If you’ve lived in Mumbai without ever having found yourself at a Bollywood party, chances are you’ve actively avoided them. Those who don’t hate the industry as much (and aren’t directly connected to it) can depend on the two degrees of separation between them and someone who they know who’s familiar with someone in the circuit.
But not everyone gets invited to every party, now that there is more than one. These days, almost all filmmakers throw a bash to launch the first promo, soon followed by the music launch event and then the success party (which has absolutely nothing to do with its success).
Then there are the private and the wrap parties. (Note: the word ‘party’ is used loosely and signifies only the presence of alcohol and about two-and-a-half celebrities.)
Some directors like Sanjay Gupta throw parties to announce their in-production projects too. He once screened a montage of international films at his plush home. Everyone thought it was pretty bold of him to announce his sources (for Shootout At Wadala) right at the start, but apparently it was only meant to give everyone a feel of the film. No one dare expect otherwise from the man who ruined Old Boy (Korean film that was nominated for Cannes’ Palme d’Or) by making Zinda (2006).
These aren’t your run-of-the-mill filmi parties, where you’ll get to catch up with celebrities. The most fun can be had at these celebrations when you observe from a corner.
Listening is paramount. After you watch Aamir Khan being approached by the 19th writer with a story that promises to blow whatever little is left of his mind by the end of that evening, you also begin to develop some sympathy for actors. Until you read about their pay cheques. Venues like Escobar (Bandra), Tote (Mahalaxmi), Taj Lands’ End (Bandra) and wherever Salman Khan might be at any given point in time are notorious for such events.
So the next time you hear about one and feel adventurous enough to venture in for the experience, you may want to consider telling the organisers at the entrance that you freelance for yourlaptop.com. It just might be worth a shot, kamikaze preferably.