Friday, August 20, 2010

How the wheels of society turn


THEY were not on the A list in social terms. More like a B or B plus. Not rich enough, not famous enough, not powerful enough. So, while they were pretty active on the city circuit they were never at the best places. Just second best. Sort of like there but not there, second stringers at best, desperately seeking the front row.

This irked both husband and wife so they devised a strategy to get themselves into the ‘in’ parties. They gate-crashed. If it was a top shelf gathering they’d be there.
Not in the clumsy or crude manner you might expect of barging in but with a little bit of panache. They’d call the hostess and say, "Awfully sorry, we were out of town and must have missed the invitation, but don’t worry we’ll be there, wouldn’t miss it for the world."

Once they called a host and said, "Our houseboy is such a nuisance, he never gives us the messages, no good help these days, hahaha, so sweet of you to be giving this dinner for the visiting MPs, sure you don’t need any help, we could get our cook to make something," On another occasion they gate crashed a private dinner by explaining how they had just landed from the airport and how they are so fortunate they got back tonight, right in time. And they always carried gifts or a bouquet of flowers to soften their entry.

The A list crowd were cruel in their comments but the ridicule was in private and even though they joked about the couple they never really came out and said, "get lost." Over the months the gate-crashing continued and the game took on a new twist. There was now speculation over whether the gate-crashing husband and wife would fetch up at a dinner or not.

And then one evening at a small dinner party for twenty of fairly important people the hostess looked distraught and uneasy. Guests asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t say. Finally, she couldn’t hold back and she blurted out what was on her mind. The gatecrashers hadn’t gate-crashed. It was way past ten o’clock and there was no sign of them. she whispered. "They didn’t come,""Maybe they don’t think we are good enough for them," said someone half jokingly. And a legend was born.

Almost immediately the gatecrashers had been lionised and turned into society barometers. If they gate-crashed your party you were to the manor born, if they stayed away you were a has been, not worth the bother. The whole ludicrous scenario was further validated by the tacit approval of the giddy social circles. There was even an honour system that evolved in that the true test of your party’s worth and your standing lay in their gate-crashing you. If you invited them it did not count, it was a natural disqualification. They had to fetch up on their own. Things came to such a pass that the hosts would sweat with suspense until the couple fetched up or have a completely wretched evening because they had been dumped. Very soon the A list had been transformed according to this arbitrary yardstick and the gate- crashing couple had become famous and very powerful indicators. If they didn’t come to your party the message flashed across the city. These are yesterday’s people, not even worth gate-crashing.

Ah, how the rich live. You think I jest. You think wrong.

note: This is not about the White house gate crashers - Michelle and Tariq Silahi..though inspired for that news.

32 comments:

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Superb! The way you constructed it.
'How the wheels of society turn'. The flow from headline to and through out the text; something really amazing. Happy Onam!

indranil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indranil said...

yeah a nice twist to reposition one's self. evolve from the hunted and transform into the hunters. but a great write... theoretically.. very lucid and absolutely seamless.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

That really was a brilliant and ironic twist on the follies of Page 3 people. It really showed how you can create an artificial demand for anything and how any publicity is good publicity.

BK Chowla, said...

But, this happens quite often and in fact I have been a witness to such gatecrash in Mumbai.

Balachandran V said...

Sujata, after reading your crisp account in one stretch, I paused and breathed again. Tell me, where would you place these people in your list? What do they matter to you? To the world? How superficial and absurd are they to spend time and energy manipulating themselves into attending uninvited parties? What, Sujata, is the lesson their example gives us? I shudder to think.

But a brilliant expose'. A totally different kind of writing from you.

R. Ramesh said...

ya like bkc says it happens quite often and me 2 have come across such instances..:)

KParthasarathi said...

It is beautifully written.You write so well and very fluently,Sujata

Nikita Banerjee said...

You made my gloomy day! Waah waah...

sakshi said...

That was an awesome take.

Loved your family pic on the side bar.

anilkurup said...

The post is well put.
But what I cannot fathom is what such people intend to state. And what the society achieves by putting them on a pedestal.
It s like honoring and respecting people who perpetually jump traffic lights. Is nt it so?

deeps said...

ohhh how innovative people can be ...really cool...
a few days back, i read sth similar somwhere..it s about a man going around the homes of would-be brides stating his son is a Dr in gulf or tellling sth similar... have good food from there, and if possible collect some cash n get lost...
the wheel has to turn on one way or other na?

Lazyani said...

Imagine , to what levels people would go to be upmarket and happening.

Beautifully expressed in a subtle irony.

Aw.S.M said...

Much like my blog feels when u dont visit :P...hehe..sad how society functions..i dunno if this is a true story or not..but then it could very well be true...

Keep throwing em out there..

luv
amith

wise donkey said...

i thought it would be about salahis, but loved the twist.
i think its an accurate depiction of the insecurities people have:)

really loved it:) subtle yet very funny:) indeed how the wheels have turned:) all that was required was confidence and self belief:)

happy onam:)

Gayathri said...

Very nice.. The story as well as the underlying moral..

Sumandebray said...

very well written. Loved the flow of story.


..........One day I hope understand what keeps the socialites wheel turning!

sujata said...

@Arun thanks, I am glad you liked it.

@Indranil thanks

@Sucharita truly society can create anything!

@BKC I am sure you have witnessed such a thing, its very common, only we fail to notice unless warned in advance.

@Bala.. I would place them nowhere, they would never feature in any of my lists, and am sure none of your list would have them either. The lesson is simple 'What not to do, the benchmark of shallow, the point where never to stoop'

@Ramesh the lady with the lipstick in the lift, I am sure she never gatecrashes!!

@Partha thanks, its huge coming from you.

@nikita thanks

@Sakshi where the hell are you? why not blogging?

@Anilkurup very well said

@deeps yah wheels were born to turn..thats their nature..so enjoy the turning moments!

@Lazayani thanks

@AWSM you hit where it hurts bro!! Will visit soon.

@Wise donkey thanks

@Gayathri thanks

@SDR tell me if you understand the system

sakshi said...

Am still blogging at the same pace of one post once in a blue moon. Maybe you you are not gatecrashing on my party as you are not aware that my blog shifted to Wordpress sobs...

radha said...

Very well written. A real unexpected twist to the story.

R. Ramesh said...

omgggggg..even if i forget "the lady with the lipstick in the lift" you wont..hey sujata ji..i really have to thank u for yr consistent encouragement..seriously..best wishes to u n fmly..

kavita said...

It must be pretty exhausting for them..trying to fit into where they don't belong or are not wanted.Are these kinds gutsy or people with low self esteem ? Pitiable .
Sujata ,i have always admired your writing style.It is once again one of your WOW post.

Debopam Chaudhuri said...

Beautiful! Nice story, awkward storyline, somewhat sattirical, in some ways....
We all measure by comparison. And in most cases the yardstick of comparison is wrongly selected. We all have some amount of similar Page 3 mentality in us!

Indrani said...

:)
Humorous indeed!

R. Ramesh said...

Happy Onam ji..

Destiny's child... said...

That was wonderful writing. The twist, subtle humour, everything. The socialites must be living a pretty crazy life, right?

A said...

Well written..wish picture was at the end instead of beginning.

Rajesh said...

Very interesting couple. It is really cool how they become from most unwanted at the party to most wanted.

Nona said...

Apt photograph!

But I'm sad that this is used as a barometer for measuring the success of the party! :( Not a good thing!

Bikramjit said...

ooh nice indeed how the rich live.. I wud not mind gate crashing all that beautiful food to eat .. :)

rmember my young days when we gat crashed wedding for food, living in hostel .. :)

sujata said...

Thanks for writing in everybody. I am glad you liked the style.

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