Monday, March 31, 2008

An Evening With Royalty

Thursday evening there was a little do at The Claridges. It was a party in for Leiber, which is all about the crystal encrusted clutches coveted and carried by women in the know everywhere. From Sarah Jessica to Eva Longoria to Heidi Klum, crystal clutches seem to be the new pastel Louis Vuitton. I received an invitation today – hand delivered to my office, I might add - and decided to break out the white wing-tipped Gucci sneakers, which in Delhi are as practical as, let’s say, white wing-tipped Gucci sneakers in Delhi. I almost never wear them and in between their limited excursions around the various five-star hotels and restaurants in Delhi, they stay in their little individual cloth shoe bags tucked snugly in the brown box with the word Gucci written in gold letters across the top. And there they sit, waiting for some glamorous invitation that warrants pulling them out of their individual pouches and dusting them off for a night on the town. So given the fact that this party was being thrown by their Highnesses Maharaja Sawai Bhaani Singh MVC, Maharani Padmini Devi and Princess Diya Kumari, all of Jaipur, I decided I should pull out the sparkly white sneaks and parade them around Delhi for a few hours. I was bored and an evening with royalty seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.

I had phoned Ankit hours before and he assured me he would be there as well, and so off I went, full speed ahead to the garden at The Claridges. I walked into the party, a vision in Paul Smith and Gucci and took a look around. And what a sight it was. I almost fell into a coma, but instead ordered a glass of champagne. I decided to entertain myself by taking a tour of the new collection and the few vintage pieces they had on display. My favorite piece was the reason for the party. A sparkly Ganesh that made me wish I could carry off a cocktail dress and glittery clutch, but I am afraid there just would not be a pair of Christian Louboutin’s in my size. I walked around the party in awe at how entertained people can appear in even the most boring and numbing of occasions. Ankit had a change of plans and didn’t think it at all necessary to let me know, so I hung around waiting for his camera crew to arrive.

Contrary to popular belief, I get very shy in situations like this. I simply have no idea how to break the ice. If is a situation of a conference where someone has expressed an opinion or talked in an educated way about a topic, that opens up a door to engage a complete stranger. But being a guy at a party for handbags, I didn’t really know what to say. Fortunately for me a glittery Ganesh smiled down on the party and just as I was about to trip over the shoelace of boredom and stumble into a glitterless coma, I met three fabulous women who came to my rescue. Fiona, Caroline and a tiny stylist for Elle. We chatted, we toasted and we compared notes on our boredom and all too soon it was time for us to part ways. But not before getting invited to Fiona’s Luxury Vagabond book launch party which promises to be a spectacular affair.

And after 2 hours of jewels, champagne and camera crews, I walked out of the party and was handed the parting gift. A copy of the current Indian Vogue, a gift worthy of royalty.

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