8 August 2007

Rubbing Shoulders

We all have party favour stories. The ones we tell when we're in a group of relatively new people, and we're not yet drunk, but drifting away on a haze of happy alcoholism, wanting to impress. Wanting the entire room to stand spellbound for a moment by the Adventures Of You. There's no greater thrill than having a good party favour story. It stands you in good stead through various parties, it breaks the ice for you and best of all, if it's not a time-bound story, it helps locate you as the person you want to be. The Guy Who Bravely Battled Adversity In Ghana. The Girl Who Was Picked Up By Cops Who Thought She Was A Hooker, Only To Stand Up To Them Defiantly. The One Where You Were Drunk (Oh My God, So Very Drunk) And Wound Up Partying With Roger Waters. Good stories, all, mostly told with some sort of humour or irony, and which will earn you backpats and drinks and you're-such-a-rockstar! comments.

My favourite party favour story actually happened a long time ago. I think it was the year I had just turned 23, and The Vagina Monologues had just come to India. Bombay was where the big show was--we had heard Marisa Tomei was a part of the cast---and so it had been all over the papers for a couple of days. Naturally, then, by the time it came to Delhi, it was tired news, old news, and most papers sent their youngest correspondents to see whether they could get a small page 3 filler item. My paper didn't even send me with a photographer. "PR pictures," said my editor, and when the editor asks for PR pictures you know your story is pretty much doomed to either not run at all or run in a tiny box with no byline. The tabloid I worked for then was pretty big on their party pages, they had two dedicated party reporters, and I was the theatre/book person, which sounds like a really big deal, but not so much, because out of the six features pages assigned to us, one went to movies, two to parties, the centrespread to "important" stories and I got random little stories scattered wherever there wasn't a party piece. Anyway. I had already seen the play in London, with my father a couple of years before when it first released. I had heard a lot about it, and when I saw the posters advertising it in London, I begged for us to go, and my dad being the sort of guy who prides himself on not flinching when the word 'vagina' comes out of his nineteen-year-old daughter's mouth, agreed, and we went together. It was an awesome show (Sophie Dahl!) but every time they made references to "loving your vagina" or even "my hoochie-scrotcher" I cringed in the seat next to him. (And seeing as the play is called The Vagina Monologues, you can imagine there's a lot of cringing). My dad seemed to enjoy it though, but I was looking forward to watching the play without the presence of a parent.

I took Dee with me, having two passes and no photographer, and we went to the India Habitat Centre, I introduced myself to the PR saying I'd need pictures and we happily sat back and watched the show. Good fun. Afterwards there was a cocktail thingy happening up on the terrace, but before we headed for that, I thought I'd join the line of TV reporters on stage, you know , get a quick quote for my 150 word story and we'd carry on with the rest of our plans for the night. TV reporters are never kind to their poor print cousins. The number of times I have been banged on the head with a camera (being about the same height) probably explains the sudden blackouts I keep having. Anyway, having learnt my lesson at a young and tender age, I preferred to stand back and watch as the TV guys did their thing, before swooping forward with the rest of the print journos and getting my quote. Most were clustered around Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, the director of the play, but a few were around the other actors.

"Let's go," said Dee.
"Hang on, hang on, let these guys finish," I said to her, and then she wandered off to say hello to someone and I was left standing on stage, looking around, wishing the bloody cameras would move already.
Which is when I spotted this nondescript looking white woman standing off to the side of the stage, watching the television cameras and smiling to herself. She looked familiar, I thought, letting my gaze wander again, and then, you know how it is when someone looks familiar, you have to keep looking at them and looking at them while you flip through your mental portfolio to see where they fit in. I examined her again. Lessee, mousy brown hair, not unpretty features, wearing a white kurta and khaki pants--typical dip wife attire, I thought. It must be someone I met at an embassy party. But there was something niggling at the back of my mind, this was more than the usual I've-seen-her-somewhere-before feeling. This was a sense of absurd familiarity, like we had hung out on occassion, gotten drunk somewhere or something. I gasped
and grabbed Dee by the arm, dragging her away from her conversation.

"What?" she asked, exasperated.
"Dee, look at that woman--no, don't look now, don't look now--haan, now look."
She did, and looked back at me, rolling her eyes. "Yes?"
"Dude, that's Marisa Tomei."
"No, it's not." She looked again and gasped too. "OH. MY. GOD."
"Yup."

My dilemma was now complete. This was a story worthy of a full party page spread. This was a story my editors should hold the press for. (We were an afternoon paper, so often the party reporters returned late at night and filed whatever they had). And I was a) minus a photographer and b) anxious not to draw attention to Ms. Tomei, just in case anyone else should see and ruin my perfect exclusive. I whispered to Dee not to call too much attention to it, and called my editors. "There should be our freelance party photographer there," I was told, "Ask him to shoot her."

I found the freelance guy--this weird effeminate chap, who was involved in a battle of power with me over my desk. See, he got the desk I used during the day at night, and being one of the youngest reporters, I was also in charge of the television listing pages, which meant huge dossiers from all the channels lay all over my desk. I called it my open plan filing system, he called it a mess, and often, I came in in the morning to find all my stuff in the trash, because he was a "creative person who could not work with untidiness." We both yelled and complained and bitched, our editor patted us both on the back and told us to live with it. Anyway, tonight he was there and charming, because I was the creature of power. "Who is that?" he murmured to me after a "Hello, sweetie!" which made my eyes widen in disbelief. "Marisa Tomei," I whispered back, "Famous actress, Oscar winner, get a good picture."

At the cocktail party, Dee and I managed to corner Marisa Tomei, who was once more standing by herself, with a glass of wine in her hand. I asked her the usual, "How do you like India? And Delhi? And what have you done so far on your trip?" before breaking down and saying, "I am SUCH a huge fan of your work."

"Thank you," she said, smiling. She was really very nice, and close up, even without makeup, very pretty.

Think of a good movie, eM, think of something to say about her work. No, NOT What Women Want, something where she had a substantial role.

"
I loved you in The Guru!" I blurted out, "I've seen it like five times!"

Her eyebrows rose, but she smiled again, "I'm glad you liked it."

Then we talked about shopping in Delhi and where she should go, and I exited, still riding high on my neat little coup. "Dude," said Dee, "The Guru?" "I couldn't think of anything else!" I said defensively. "Erm... How about the role she actually won an Oscar for? My Cousin Vinny?" "Crap," I said.

And there's my party favour story. Won me much acclaim too. Oh, and in case you were wondering, it did run as a full party page spread and no one else had it and I got calls asking for her number and/or email address for weeks. Which also I had forgotten to get. I was so much younger then, what can I say?

18 comments:

  1. "party favour story" hmmmmmm tx 4 the explanation
    i wonder why is alcohol so egotistical on man ????? and that 2 in grandeur !
    my faves: Indie lyrics n Lawn Dogs (till such time every1 in my circle has seen this movie ie. or heard from me ;-))

    bravo scribe lotsa work in thr.

    ReplyDelete
  2. wot a blooper!! i as abt to ask you for the same details!! quite a scoop ma'am!! way to go!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My all time favoutirte party favour story..having coffee at the diner in Port Alberni with..wait for it..Al Pacino (the man's man) during the filming of Insomnia. Top that one, eM groupies.

    ReplyDelete
  4. party favour story? This was more of a reporter's coup story. at least for someone like me who used to do this not so long ago!

    ReplyDelete
  5. "nondescript looking white woman"!! Not!

    My Cousin Vinny is one of my all-time favorites, and not only because of Tomei, but also because of Joe Pesci.

    ReplyDelete
  6. nice story.

    heh, i was thinking, 'oh, why not Mighty Aphrodite?', till i realised that was Mira Sorvino and not Tomei. :o

    ReplyDelete
  7. Haha! Good story. Did you know that David Dhawan is planning on making his own version of My Cousin Vinny? With Govinda and Lara Dutta, no less. Sacrilege!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Marisa Tomei :) Wow. I remember her from the MTV Movie awards where she and Christian Slater won the ' best kiss' award or something for their Untamed Heart movie. And with INXS's Beautiful Girl playing in the background and them French kissing in some stadium spectator scene, my teenage heart thought it was all oh-so-cool and ' oh they are kissing' :)

    Another of your narrative and entertaining pieces :) Thanks for all the entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ms.Tomei!! Temme this...Does she come across as an Airhead ?

    ReplyDelete
  10. anonymous, eM groupies! I love this. considering she is trying to build-up a fan base for quite some time.

    my party blooper? was Bill Clinton after the Kutch earthquake (yeah! and I also met him while he was in office). anyways, so i got in a discussion with the husband and wife year before last, and drunk! (me that is) all I could think of was kill bill the movie, not bill bill who was walkin' around the room. so there you go. onomatopoesis on a drunken conscience`

    Anyways, this one here is a lousy blog - i read a few adverse comments below in previous posts, and tre to character, the anonymou author (who is actually announced, eM equals MR, no?) on Facebook runs for feminist cover~

    The Vegina Monologues, LOMY-ass-off. Monologue~ what else would you expect from MR (or eM, as she calls herself) pussy? It'll take a brave man, I guess, to enter this moraine.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice post. And a nice blog page too.
    Noticed you on todays "Telegraph T2" and came googling to check you out.
    Makes me want to start blogging again. I just might. And thats my confession.;)
    Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  12. isin't it part and parcel of a reporters career to come across such moments ? or may be am wrong :) but then worth a read all the same.. cheers
    awaiting your ID post

    ReplyDelete
  13. NICEE!! now did she come there in a 1963 mint blue pontiac tempest or buick skylark?

    ReplyDelete
  14. sorry..."metallic mint green" not blue!

    ReplyDelete
  15. 塑料托盘,塑料栈板 四川塑料托盘,塑料栈板 成都塑料托盘,塑料栈板 自贡塑料托盘,塑料栈板 攀枝花塑料托盘,塑料栈板 泸州塑料托盘,塑料栈板 德阳塑料托盘,塑料栈板 绵阳塑料托盘,塑料栈板 广元塑料托盘,塑料栈板 遂宁塑料托盘,塑料栈板 内江塑料托盘,塑料栈板 乐山塑料托盘,塑料栈板 南充塑料托盘,塑料栈板 宜宾塑料托盘,塑料栈板 广安塑料托盘,塑料栈板 达州塑料托盘,塑料栈板 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|托盘|仓储笼 轻型仓储货架|轻量型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量A型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 中量型仓储货架|中量B型仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 横梁式仓库货架|重型仓储货架|货位式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 模具货架|抽屉式仓库货架|仓储货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 贯通式仓储货架|通廊式仓库货架|驶入式库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 悬臂式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 阁楼式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|钢平台 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 流利式仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架|辊轮式货架|自滑式货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架 工作台|工作桌 工具柜|工具车 托盘|塑料托盘|钢托盘|铁托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼 周转箱|塑料周转箱 静音手推车|铁板手推车|购物手推车|登高车 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢搬运车|电子秤搬运车 高起升搬运车|电动搬运车|平台车 手动液压堆高车|手动液压堆垛车|半电动堆垛车 全电动堆垛车|油桶搬运车|圆桶搬运车|油桶装卸车| 柴油内燃平衡重式叉车|电动平衡重式叉车 液压升降机|剪叉式高空作业平台|固定式蹬车桥 文件柜 不锈钢制品 零件盒|零件柜 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘 钢制料箱 堆垛架 物流台车 手推车 钢托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|金属托盘|镀锌托盘 堆垛架|巧固架 钢制料箱 物流台车|载物台车 手推车|静音手推车 手推车|静音手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘|钢制料箱|堆垛架|物流台车|手推车 仓储笼|钢托盘 仓储笼 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架 塑料托盘|栈板 钢托盘|钢制托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 托盘|钢托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 周转箱|塑料周转箱 托盘|纸托盘 料箱|钢制料箱 工具柜|工具车|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌 刀具柜|刀具车|刀具架 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|手动叉车 仓储笼 仓库笼 南京仓储笼 常州仓储笼 无锡仓储笼 苏州仓储笼 徐州仓储笼 南通仓储笼 镇江仓储笼 连云港仓储笼 泰州仓储笼 扬州仓储笼 盐城仓储笼 淮安仓储笼 宿迁仓储笼 轻量型货架|角钢货架 中量A型货架 中量B型货架 货位式货架 横梁式货架 阁楼式货架|钢平台 悬臂式货架 贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 辊轮式货架|流利条货架 压入式货架 移动式货架|密集架 模具货架 抽屉式货架 汽车4S店货架 汽配库货架 自动化立体仓库货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|铁板手推车 手推车|静音手推车 置物架|工业置物架|家用置物架 堆垛架|巧固架 挂板架|物料整理架 登高车 物流台车|载物台车 料箱|钢制料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 堆高机|堆垛机|手动堆高机|电动堆高机 叉车|电动叉车|内燃叉车|叉车厂 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|横梁式货架|中型货架 钢托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架> 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 托盘|塑料托盘|栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|液压搬运车 仓储货架|>仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|托盘搬运车 货架|仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|上海货架|北京货架 轻型货架|中型货架|搁板式货架 重型货架|横梁式货架|托盘式货架 托盘|木托盘|纸托盘|木塑托盘 托盘|钢托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|静音手推车|铁板手推车 物料架|整理架|挂板架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|手动叉车 塑料周转箱|物流箱|塑料化工桶|塑料卡板箱 工具柜|上海工具柜|南京工具柜|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌|南京工作台|上海工作台 刀具车|刀具柜|刀具架|刀具座 货架 货架厂 货架公司 仓储货架 仓库货架 库房货架 南京货架 上海货架 托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 货架|轻量型货架|角钢货架 货架|中量型货架|次重型货架 货位式货架|横梁式货架|重量型货架 仓储货架|阁楼式货架|钢平台 仓储货架|悬臂式货架 仓储货架|贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 仓库货架|库房货架|抽屉式货架|模具货架 仓库货架|库房货架|汽车4S店货架|汽配库货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架|上海货架|无锡货架|苏州货架 货架厂|货架公司|北京货架|天津货架|沈阳货架|大连货架 货架厂|货架公司|广州货架|深圳货架|杭州货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 置物架|多功能置物架|卫浴置物架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|电动堆高车|堆垛车 货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 托盘 塑料托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 铁托盘 货架厂 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 南京货架 货架公司 货架厂 仓库货架 仓储货架 货架 货架

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your feedback! It'll be published once I approve it. Inflammatory/abusive comments will not be posted. Please play nice.