Diwali card parties have caught the fancy of Delhiites once again. Only this time, the stakes at these parties are not limited to just big money. People are going all the way, putting their car keys, branded bags and even gold jewellery against a chaal (a game move). “I know a friend who exhausted all his money in a game and was ready to put even his wife’s gold jewellery at stake!” revealed a Delhi-based fashion designer on the condition of anonymity.
These card parties are usually divided into tables of different monetary levels. Starting from as less as R100 and going up to lakhs. “I have been to parties where stakes go as high as Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakhs. Sometimes, people get so addicted to the game that they shell out as much as Rs 6 lakhs for an ace,” says Ramon Lamba, a life coach.
“People throw in their car keys, branded bags and even watches just to keep up with the spirit of the game. After some time, the fun game turns into a kind of business,” reveals an entrepreneur.
On an average, there are three to four card parties happening each day, with some continuing till four in the morning.
And there is more to these gatherings than just games. “There are snacks, drinks and various versions of the game flash are played,” says Blossom Kochhar, beauty expert.
“These days parties have hookas and free-flowing alcohol. Those who don’t play cards opt for tambola,” says Delhi-based fashion designer Shivali Misra Seth. For the who’s who of the Delhi party circuit, these parties serve as an opportunity to dress up in their traditional best. “Even those who you would never see wearing traditional outfits otherwise, come dressed in ethnic clothes. It’s like a typical Delhi party scene,” says Mayyur Girotra, fashion designer.