The crowd waited expectantly outside the auditorium hosting the final, marquee show of Day 2 — by designer Rajesh Pratap Singh. It was well past 9.30 pm, when the show was to begin, but the music was playing elsewhere. I decided to follow the trance sounds, away from the auditorium, down a ramp, and realised that the real show was already on near the lounges.
Everyone was a potential model here — whisky glass or beer bottle in his hand, ready to get clicked by cameramen buzzing around. The lounges, which were near empty earlier in the day, were spilling over with excited, laughing people.
Two men in skin tight T-shirts accosted designer Rohit Bal, who generously agreed for a photograph with them. The time read 9.45 pm now. What about Singh and his show, I wondered? That’s when I noticed a board placed at the entrance of what appeared like just another lounge — pre-show party by Rajesh Pratap Singh, it said. Just then, a young couple — dressed in refreshingly casual informals — was stopped at the entrance to that lounge. “There’s a private party going on here,” the lady at the entrance told them. On enquiring, I learnt that designers slotted for prime time — late evening — routinely throw such private parties, without any privacy as the lounge was open from all sides, and the ramp I had walked down, offered a perfect, close up, top view of the private party.
Those in the private party, were constantly moving in and out of the lounge that was meant exclusively for them, meeting those who were in what was effectively the public party.
Like a Martian unable to understand the rules of Earth, I walked up to a young man sipping beer in the public party. “What’s the point of a private party when there’s already a party on, and when mostly everyone here has come to see the same show,” I asked quizzically. By now, I was used to receiving amused looks in response to my questions. “The private parties are meant to separate the junta from the inner circle. You get there when you’ve arrived,” he said. It didn’t seem to matter, though, to the young couple who had been turned away from the private party. I caught them happily practicing dance moves to their own tunes in a corner of one of the lounges. They had arrived — to have fun.
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