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How to survive a B’wood party, unharmed

Kunal Guha
Yahoo! India Movies
31 January 2012


With the recent maar-dhaad at success parties, B’wood is getting progressively rowdy. Here’s an etiquette check

As Shirish Kunder soothes his cheeks after the Baadshah of Bollywood, SRK, hammered a thundering blow on it at a recent party, Bollywood bashes seem to be getting more literal than anything else. And under the glitter and botox-ed glow, lies a dark and desperate rage only waiting to explode at the slightest flick. So here we are, reduced to compiling a list of appropriate filmy etiquette that stars could subscribe to. Following this will ensure you’re seen at the right places, not thrown out, clobbered shapeless, and hopefully invited again.

Dress like you’re invited


Just like while travelling by air, your appearance can get you upgraded in Bollywood parties too. It’s more important to look the part, even if you don’t suit it. This is partly because the film industry is shamelessly lookist and dangerously fickle. So one appearance in an undersized red sweater can alter your image from ageing superstar to closet moonlighter.


Be the life of the party but not the lewd

Bollywood is famous for its crassness that is acceptable in the guise of being candid. But even by filmy standards, there are some lines that need to be doodled firmly. So when in a party, it’s good to be charming and sociable. But it’s a definite thumbs down to be outright obnoxious and indulge in behaviour that becomes a source of comic relief for the other attendees and tabloid literature in the days following it. Unless you’re haggard and singularly quirky and it is the only way you can draw any attention or interest of the paparazzi.


Pat on the back and not poke in the rib

Since we’ve already covered how touchy Bollywooders can get here, it’s ideal to moderate your friendly punches. It's important to know that there’s a thin line between a cool pat and an uncomfortable poke. If you’re too junior in the industry, it’s best to do away with any kind of physical contact as it may appear desperately social which in filmy parlance translates as ‘I-need-a-role-right-now’. But a casual friendly slap on the back with a compliment that seems genuine and not rehearsed can really do wonders for you.


Say no to social alcoholism

There are a few things more embarrassing than having a drunken image in the media for any actor. But those things generally put one behind bars. So, it’s best to hold on to your first glass till the end of the party even if the bar is well-stocked with all the ‘labels’ that make your staple diet. The idea is to network and exchange numbers and be sociable and not fight the urge to shut your eyes.


Be a Charlie and not a Chameli

The film industry with its hysterically judgmental attitude is quick to dismiss wannabes. And dressing up like someone who is willing to make an offer worth refusing will be just enough to get you there. This doesn’t mean you wrap yourself like an Eskimo. But it also doesn’t mean that you reveal so much that people get to know you more than they would if you wore nothing at all.


More chemistry, less physics

If you’re married, it’s almost compulsory to drag your partner along to every party that you attend. But the ‘dragging’ shouldn’t really appear literal and your comfortable equation should be visible. That said, surely don’t overdo the PDA or it will end up trending on popular MMS channels.


Arm baat hain

If you’re a filmmaker, a producer or his bhatija, strugglers of every kind will be quick to cling on and a bit of arm candy hasn’t hurt anyone either. But try to stick to conversation only and may be even demonstrate your humourous side. If you don’t have one, try and resist reading out forwarded jokes from your cell phone. Santa and Banta have never managed to help anyone get anywhere.


Buddy baatein

The idea of a party is to have a good time. Often, this constitutes to sharing a joke or two about what happened to someone, somewhere and how it was really embarrassing. While gossiping isn’t really frowned upon, it could reduce you to someone who’s just too glad to have been there and relishes the idea of seeing someone being stripped of all dignity.

But Aamir is a thinking actor so…

Filmwallahs are very particular and informed about who did what and how in which film. So when complimenting someone, know your facts. Also, no star can suffer lengthy compliments about another star, so the topic of discussion should stick to the person you’re conversing with. It’s an old yet classic trick to compliment a star by standing right behind his back, hoping he/ she would hear you, turn around and hug you.  Welcome to Bollywood.



Social climbing

Piggy-backing on someone’s success is the most tried and tested formula in Bollywood. But literally doing that at a party will make you seem clingy and again ‘out-of-work’.

You can reach me at guha.kunal@rocketmail.com or connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

Also check out:

How to make an SLB film

Cause without a rebel

What Bhansali can learn

Video: Here's how it went down at Sanjay's party




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