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DELHI

The Delhi party scene spells glamour in various forms and ways. Being the power center, it does attract the cream of society with heady mix of fun and psuedoism. Polo in the sunshine on a Sunday afternoon are fun, flamboyant and fashionable a place to be seen with sun shades, hats, fans fur and boots. Whether you understand the game or not, a game which for royalty like Gayatri Devi was a passion, is to a winnable of today a status statement. Elegance matched with the horse power of today's studs is the bottom line. The Bombay culture of eating out is in now firmly here. The middle class never had it so good, with a myriad of opportunities for entertainment. No pub or restaurant has a life of over six months but then there are somany to choose from. As life becomes intensively competitive for them, the bars are throwing up new ideas to attract the hep crowd. But does it made a difference to the evening goers? They will gate crash into any opening where drinks are a plenty. Wealth and prosperity are on display-designer bags, short dresses and T-shirts showing well formed biceps. Not to miss are the latest entrants on the political firmament. They have managed even security, thanks to their fathers patronage.

Huge and menacing looking commandos accompany these usually short statured politicians who are desparate to make an impression on the Delhi evening scene. The latest to join the fashionable circuit are the book releases. While it was the serious minded who used to go for book releases before, today various kinds of books releases attract all kinds of people. Who knows you might even make it to page 3, thus snatching your own personal moment of glory. It does not matter whether the book released is on obesity and dieting or paintings or environment, hair care or learning languages. The smiling author has the elegant spouse in the right place with her coiffure straight out of fashion TV. Book releases are popular because you get alcohol and snacks along with may be some intelligent conversation. Two book releases this month. Blood Brothers by M. J. Akbar. The whos who of town no doubt was there. MJs book may be a book of fiction but the discussion it generated were more fundamental to the issue of Indo Pak relations. Blood brothers evokes nostalgia and sentiment but Akbars book and the discussions around it allowed fiction to show the path forward to fact. Attended by a variety of people from across the political spectrum Akbar attracted those from extreme right and also those like Farooq from the extreme North. Well, after the serious stuff over obviously it was drinks, gup shup and net working.

Manjit Bawas book release was launched by Montek Singh Ahluwalia. His muse and biographer Ena and the book reading by Kishan Khanna was an attempt to keep the voice of Manjit resonating as he lies in a coma which has lasted several months now. The Gourmets usually becomes nostalgic about the old Parathewali gali in Chandni Chowk and Moti Mahal in Dariganj. Some become sentimental after drinks about the Chole Bature from Sita Ram Bazaar. Political book releases are fairly boring but taken very seriously by the captive audience since shades of politicians from successful to those in power, courteous nods are also exchanged with ones out of power, just in case tomorrow they make it big. Humour at such gatherings is usually provided by the bureaucrats and exbureauctras hovering around, hoping for better assignments and post-retirement sinecures. How can you forget the fashion shows and big launches? The flying kisses, furtive glances, the swish of silk and peroxide bleached hairdo. Its a heady mix of glamour and mega bucks. The wannabes wannabe in the first row. Forget it those dresses can even be worn by anyone. Try your best to be aneroxic, even though models have a different tale to tell. They are actually desperately waiting to catch Mr. Eligible. Ah! The fashion week parties the bold, the beautiful, the young and restless the sexy and the hungry all ample opportunity to flaunt to feed and to frenzy all this thanks to the competitive partying spirit that seems to be the core of fashion weeks in Delhi or Mumbai. Though designers kept announcing that business was brisk buyers inevitably had more time to ogle than to announce figures that would boggle the mind. Gatecrashers are in plenty leaving the host in a fix. They walk in drink, flirt and act as if they own the place. Ask me! My own fashion week party at the Oberoi roof top. Culture evenings could be boring since you have to sit for a long time in the dark, watching the action on the stage which is the only area thats brightly lit. However, things are changing. Even during the rendering of a soleful Gazal, the nouveau riche manage to converse with each other, gesticulating wildly and making merry. Diplomatic evenings are another capital mainstay. You can actually fix an appointment with your close friends here, since it is the same set that is circling around this elite circuit. Thank God, there are so many embassies in Delhi-at least you hope will not get spurious scotch. You can also hold forth on how the entire system is deteriorating in the country, while you comfortably sip scotch and yet insist you are worried about the Narmada Dam Oustees.