Saturday, June 30, 2007

Adventure 20

My first Page 3 Party

That's right! After over a decade of watching the evolution of good old Bangalore times from Priscilla Corner to Pavithra Halakatti, I finally attended a do that made it to page 3. Unfortunately, I was too overwhelmed by the free goodies and chilled beer to posture for the camera. But it was as close as it gets! But I have made a very bad start, so let me start from the very beginning...

A semester exam had just gotten over and I was jobless. There were no new mails in my mailbox too, so I decided to read the mails in my spam folder. And there it was, the diamond amidst the muck! Among all the ads for Viagra, stocks of Chinese fruit vendors and lottery vouchers for millions of Euros sat the invite...the result of me giving my email address to this very noble organisation called the Strand Book Stall. May they flourish forever and take over all the Landmarks of the world!

I was bored, and if you observe the card closely enough you may notice that the main sponsor was a company that operated Bangalore's finest five-star hotel, which would also be the venue (I discovered that their loos had ice cubes in their errr... receptacles). Anyway, the event itself had the who's who of Bangalore including Ruby Chakravarty, Sudha Murty nee Kulkarni, Nandan Nilekani and of course the celebrated historian Ram Guha whose book was being released...

An Infy employee who vaguely recognised me (he was the only other misfit there - having come there solely for intellectual enrichment) told me that he had actually lobbied with Nandan's personal secretary and wangled a pass. I decided not to break his heart by telling him about the mass invite that had reached every ruthless rustic who had scrounged for an (upto) 80% discount at Strand's annual clearance sale.

A fifty year old page 3 extra (let's call her Veronique) sat behind me, flanked by
a Fabindia clad, Baccalaureate passed young man in his late twenties (Rahul). I sat in front, trying to pick the mannerisms of the elite...

Veronique - ... Ram sure captures the postmodernist angst in his works
Rahul - Yeah..sigh...remniscent of the chronicles of Dubrowsky (thats what it sounded like atleast)
Veronique - Hey, have you tried this? (I steal a quick glance behind to see her unzip her handbag)
Rahul - Hmmm... how's it?
Veronique - Quite exotic flavour... a bit minty actually (I love chewing gum, so I wonder what brand she has got from her son in the States)
Rahul - I heard...quite similar to the Edgar Allen Poe style I suppose...
Veronique - A bit, you know... (I look back to see her hold a book and mentally curse Rahul's greatgrandfather, grandmother, father and mother)

Post Script: Ram Guha's book "India After Gandhi" is selling well. Ram gave a fairly insightful and entertaining speech. Nandan, Ruby and Sudha appeared in page 3 a week later; Veronique didn't and neither did I. The organisers announced that a famous beer brand had kindly agreed to provide free beer to all, along with the delicious snacks. I went home happy.

The End

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