New Delhi: It is that time of the year again. Dress up and look like a Christmas tree, hey it is Diwali! Delhi wakes up from its summer slumber and looks so pretty during the festive season that I just don’t miss London and its summer sales.
Chinese lights shining at big white colonial bungalows; marigolds in lawns and orchids in vases; Swaroski crystal in chandeliers and shalwars; scotch and wine overflowing; puja by day and party by night.
9 p.m. leaving for the Vohra’s card party. What an unfortunate name, actually. The Vohras live in an apartment in posh Vasant Vihar but the family home is in Punjabi Bagh where the party is being held, so it’s a long drive into the suburbs for the husband and me. I’m all togged up in a blingy salwar kameez. Couldn’t decide on the bag. Thought I would take the Birkin but it draws too much attention after Hina Khar and her bagwati jokes. So taking my Dior clutch instead.
Have told the husband to stuff the cash in his gym bag and have the chauffer carry it in. I mean, we will need at least 1-2 lakh rupees in Rs 500 bills. I am not stuffing all that cash in my clutch purse.
Husband can’t possibly have cash bulging out of his Armani jacket, so tacky no? Ideally I would have liked a security guard to bring in the money in a briefcase, quite in the style of some industrialists and politicians. But if we had a security guard, it would look like we are social climbers. Haay Diwali imposes such restrictions!
10 p.m. stuck in miserable traffic near Dhaula Kuan, the border between Punjabi Delhi and non-Punjabi Delhi. Husband is cribbing away, says that the Vohra’s serve dinner too late.
Last Diwali, they served dinner at 4 a.m. But then, they had scotch and kababs flowing all through the ‘evening’, so I really can’t understand what the fuss is about.
Sometimes I wonder if he does this ‘sulking before a party routine’ just to bug me. I am still a little worried if I am under-dressed because I decided to wear a polki (uncut diamond) and ruby set instead of diamond jewellery. Actually I found out that Tinny and Ash are wearing their solly (solitaire) string. I really didn’t want to look the same, and till I can get the husband to buy me a double string of solitaires, I am going to wear these Indian designer pieces.
10.30 p.m. Nappy (Navpreet) has put out quite a show for the night. There are five card tables, with exquisite linen and new card packs. She has golden fried prawns as starters, which are an instant, hit. The paneer pakoras, not so. Style factor plummets. Too much crystal and cut glass and too many silly souvenirs picked up from travels to distant lands. Must be her mother-in-law’s choice. Nappy is quite stylish.
11.30 p.m. Can see Ameeta losing a lakh of rupees in under an hour and not a flicker of emotion. I am playing at the lower end table and have lost Rs.15, 000 in an hour. The husband is sending me dagger looks across the room that I am trying to ignore. It is so tacky to start winning at the start of the game, he just doesn’t get it.
By midnight, I am up Rs.20, 000 but can’t leave the table. That would be rude and invite comments. I can see Tinny and Ash staring at my jewellery, aah! sound decision. My feet though are killing me, next time will wear ornate juttis, not these killer 6 inch Jimmy Choos.
1 a.m. Several mojitos on an empty stomach is making me sick. But seriously can’t be seen eating at such do’s. That is only meant for the 55 plus age group. I have to make sure I don’t tilt the scales. Being overweight is so not done, you know.
2 a.m. and no sign of dinner. Tempers rise and subside as guests win and lose in lakhs. I am bored. This is so predictable. Every year, the same women, painted faces and nails, pot-bellied men, clinking glasses, dull conversations. Oh, but wait, Nappy has a surprise. Sudden entry of a Russian dancer who dances to ‘Senorita’ in the most seductive manner.
The men are too drunk to realize that they look like oafs dancing with her. The wives join in looking bizarre trying to match step with the talented, skimpily clad girl. She is pucca going shopping to Janpath tomorrow, with all the tips that she is collecting tonight.
3 a.m. ‘dinner’ served. Chilly Chicken, Gobi Manchurian, Sweet and Sour ‘mashroom’, Veg Hakka(bakka) Noodull, Egg fry rice, Butter daal, Butter chicken, Butter Paneer and Butter Naan. Aaj Punjabi Bagh zindabad. The Kapoor in me is happy and the Khanna in the husband is overjoyed. Time to plan my card party. Sweety’s party has to be the talk of town for one month at least.