We (Lali, Akshay, I) crashed the GQ party at the Four Seasons last Saturday. Oh, it was such a good party. First we stood around outside, all nervous, because there were cameras and pretty people everywhere and it would be rather humiliating to be turned away. But then we discovered the route through the lobby and ambled in, all gleeful and turning to each other with big smiles. Akshay and I have gatecrashed before (it is an art--one of these days I'll do a Quick Guide To Gatecrashing Parties), but this was Lali's first time, and wow, you wouldn't have known it to look at her. I was all morose and single (JC and I broke up briefly, our problems seeming insurmountable, but then on Sunday we had a looooooooooooooooooooong discussion--tearless, I'm proud to say--and yes, another go is happening. We've even set our Facebook statuses to "In a relationship with..." HUGE deal.) and so I drank my vodka Red Bulls, sometimes a glass of wine and watched people. It was also a great party for someone who likes funky clothes, because the stuff people were wearing was totally excellent.
On the 33rd floor was a blues band from L.A, and they did this lovely version of Stand By Me. The three of us were on the little balcony offshooting the lounge and we watched the lights of Bombay sparkle below us, for a minute, I was almost standing outside my body watching me, going, "Wow. Look at me all fancy!" Then we went down to the lobby for dinner--sushi and ostrich barbeque for me--and then to the nightclub to watch a DJ from Ibiza, who was also excellent. Normally, I'm not into electronic music, but this guy was really, really good, he even played a trumpet while he was spinning.
Two high points of the evening: one, going up to Shobhaa De and being all like, "Oh we're going to be in Kovalam together" and her going, "I love your column and I'm really looking forward to your book." And two, standing by the bar, and a random girl coming up to me and going, "Did you write You Are Here?" I nodded and she said, "It was terrific!" Yay for validation. I think that did a lot for my crumbling ego--the entire night, I mean--so I was confident and willing to work things out with JC the next day, but not needy.
How are things now? Oh, a lot better than they were, you'll be happy to know. There's still some fighting--but it feels more like healthy discussions than anything else. It's good. I don't know whether we're going to last forever, but at least we're giving it our best shot. And I am happy when I'm with him, sort of fuzzy around the corners and humming inside and all that.
Okay, I'm out. Happy Eid! And, for all of the rest of us smokers, ONE LAST DAY to enjoy it in public places. Sniff.
EDITED TO ADD: Wow, lot of haters in the comments this time. To delete or not to delete. Ah, what the hell, I'll let them stay. Only please, don't come to my launches. Did I say launches? Yes, I did! Bangalore on the 10th, at a place called Reliance, where they have a bookstore and a cafe, and then (dun dun DA DA) Hyderabad! I'll be at Odyssey on the 11th. And at the lit fest, while I will be at the Taj all three days (6th to 9th) so you're welcome to come on by and say hello at any point, my particular event is on the 8th, at 10 am. I'll be reading from my book followed by a panel discussion with Shobhaa De, Tishani Doshi and Jaishree Mishra.
Sorry, Chennai, no one in your city seems to want me. :( This is how book launches work, some book store or whatever calls the publishers and says, "Hey, we like this author, how do we get him/her down?" and then they work out sponsorship stuff (at a bookstore for instance, the banners would read: Full Circle and Penguin Books India present You Are Here.) They take care of some of the costs, and in return, their bookstore or cafe or nightclub gets publicity. All this I have only recently figured out. So, to do any other cities, I would have to be invited. See?