Last Saturday, I attended a page three type event. Let me get this out of the way right at the outset that I am not a page three type person, the occasional invite that floats my way is probably because I used to be, a decade ago, a journalist with one of the leading publication houses in the country. The damn journo lists are never updated I’m guessing. I’m guessing by the time I get to claiming senior citizen seats in public buses, I’ll still get calls asking me to please ensure something gets listed in “Your Esteemed Publication.”
Anyway, this was an invite that came in because of my connection to books, and I went because I was curious to see how these book launches are done. Shameful confession time, although have done enough and more events and launches for mine own, have not been for any other launches except one more, which was a friend’s launch. So there I was, lipsticked and powdered and perfumed with a friend at this do, where the small talk was as sparkling as the wine and I knew no one except a few from my old days in journalism and realised I had no nerve to go up to people and introduce myself and demand they make conversation with me. Ergo, I hid in a corner. Hung at the doorway. Hid behind pillars. Sat through, laughing and clapping appropriately. In the interim, I observed. There were the pretty people there, many of them. I marveled at the immaculateness of how well put together they were. Hair blow dried into perfection, outfit coordinated down to the nail polish and eyeliner and heels so terribly high and spiked that they had to rely on a helping hand to get them up and down stairs. There was plenty of air kissing and conversation so clever going on that no one stood and spoke to a single person for more than five minutes. No make that five seconds. Then there was the spatting for the seats. Ex-Bollywood actress and Page 3-ite squibbled a bit over the seats in unseemly manner, until another gracious theatre man valiantly offered Page 3ite his seat and moved back into the ha-penny seats where the aam junta were seated.
The panel discussion by itself gave us a few laughs, as did the speeches. And then it was time to disperse. It was interesting for sure. But I am definitely not going for another one of these. Not that the events would miss me. They’re fun, I guess, to those who do need to socialise. I don’t. I am the proverbial bluestocking, happiest when I can find an isolated corner to go back to the book I’m reading. I have some invites piled up, all unattended from the currently on Lakme Fashion Week. Shows. Post show parties. Have gone for none. Probably if I knew any of those who had invited me personally, I might have been obligated to go. But since I don’t I can choose to ignore. And yes, I can surely do without the blessed stress of “What do I wear?” which will have me pull out my hair in bunches to ensure that in the near future, hair styling at least will not be a cause of further stress. This cave woman mentality will surely bite me in the butt in the future, but right now, I’m happier staying in my cave. You know. Emerging blinking into the light is a trifle disorienting.