Page 3

A luxury watch brand, a premium liquor manufacturer, a media conglomerate, an airline… the host does not have a face — but that does not stop the crowd from coming.

This is Mumbai remember… there are hordes of people who think nothing of dropping in to a faceless, host-less, name-less do: as long as the booze is free and the babe quotient is good…

OK, so once you arrive at this faceless, name-less, high-babe-quotient do, here’s what to expect:

Finger foods. More creatively presented than you can imagine. Cocktails. Like they were going out of style. Vino — by the truckloads.

And beautiful people.

Really truly Beautiful People. Bright, charming, successful. Like they had stepped out of a magazine feature.

And here’s what these beautiful people would be saying: they would talk about last night — when they drank too much. They would talk about their weekends and how they unwind. They would talk about their third house and its furnishings. And then they would go back to talking about last night... and how they drank too much.

And for those who haven’t been to these ‘page 3 parties’ here’s the drill…

Be prepared to be stalked by photographers. Be prepared to be targeted by society hostesses; be prepared to be overlooked by social climbers. Be prepared to be shunned by social mountaineers.

To allow yourself to be entertained at a dyed-in-the-wool, full-bodied, generic Mumbai party, you need the hide of an elephant and the sensitivity of a mouse: most of those you speak to will do so even as their eyes scour the room for newer conquests; the host will barely remember your name; the photographers and TV crew will elbow you aside for more high-profile fodder to capture. And at the end of the evening, you will return more lost, confused, and unsure of yourself as when you started out.

This is what a Mumbai Page 3 party is all about — and this is what they never tell you in the aftermath of the coverage. An unholy spirit of one-upmanship; a conspiracy of self-service, a trajectory of dog-eat-dog a pact of you-scratch-my-back, I-scratch-yours… that’s what it’s all about.

Smug, pleased with oneself, committed to maintaining the status quo- that’s what most parties that you read about are all about.

Of course they are fun. Without question they are stimulating. But nevertheless they are vacuous and void.

So the next time you see a Page 3 party and wish you had been there-remember: the skin of an elephant and the sensitivity of a mouse-that’s what you need. And, of course, the ability to smile like a chimpanzee and look like you’re having a great old time!