The party secrets.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A blue shade covered her bare shoulders. The delicate cloth languidly fell over her red gown. And her blue necklace resembled a late-night dream.
The Israeli ambassador’s beautiful partner, the slender Ditza Froim, was going through the biggest trial of the year. She, along with ambassador Daniel Carmon, was about to shake hands with hundreds of guests.
One evening The Delhi Walla tiptoed into the Israel National Day celebrations at the Kamal Mahal Hall in Hotel ITC Maurya. The ambassador and his partner stood at the entrance as a long queue formed at the door. Each invitee had to personally congratulate the couple for the country’s 68th Independence Day. The ambassador went through the ordeal with the ease of an experienced courtier. His partner also performed bravely; she must be a veteran of such evenings because of her position as Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Israel.
The real pleasures were in the hall. The principal delights were to be found in the folds of the women’s dresses. An unnamed woman, seemingly of foreign extraction, looked ravishing in a black sari (see photos 15, 16). Mexican ambassador too, the lovely Melba Pria, stood out in her shiny golden shirt that tantalizingly verged on casualness.
The evening saw a number of single men with blank faces and dark suits; they could only be New Delhi attachés. Some of them had the alert eyes of patriotic spies. The evening’s most elegant person was of course a French man but he was not a diplomat—art consultant and writer Jean-Philippe Bottin was in a brown checked tweed-textured suit. A former director of the Alliance Française in Delhi, he looked every bit like a Parisian of the Faubourg Saint Germain set.
The Indians were more adventurous. One woman’s sari was printed with images of red apples (see last photo). It was very naughty.
2. (Minister counsellor Ditza Froim with ambassador Daniel Carmon)
3. (art consultant and writer Jean-Philippe Bottin)
9. (Mexican ambassador Melba Pria)
10. (Kanwar Sibal, former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India)