Filmmaker and author Fahad Samar has followed up his bestselling novel Scandal Point with Flash Point, the second instalment in his Mumbai trilogy. Set in the world of the paparazzi and high society, here is an irreverent excerpt from Flash Point, enumerating assorted party animals that are found prowling the Page 3 circuit.
So ladies and gentlemen, here are 6 types of characters you will always meet at these glamorous, fun yet somewhat crazy parties!
Several Bollywood actors and actresses find themselves at a loose end after discovering they have lost their on-screen lustre. Craving attention, they become permanent fixtures on the party circuit and land up at every event they are invited to, even, as a young director cattily observed, “to the opening of an envelope.”
This gaggle of unabashed C-listers earns their livelihood by acting outrageously in front of the media to garner publicity. They slap each other at parties, threaten to strip publically if India wins a cricket match and shamelessly debase themselves in order to receive offers to appear on reality shows. As the nation sniggers at their theatrics, these performing monkeys go laughing all the way to the bank, earning a fat fee for their exhibitionism.
Some members of the glitterati have become notorious for championing every cause and charity imaginable. Inspired by the media attention that social activists are grabbing, these bleeding hearts have become socialite activists. But instead of staging downmarket dharnas and wasting wax at candlelight vigils, the cause celebs prefer to remain in climate-controlled surroundings and pay their publicists to plant stories expressing solidarity with issues that range in importance from Anna Hazare to Anna Kournikova.
Not just wannabes, who often try sneaking into parties, a few well-heeled Mumbaikars also feel it their birthright to attend high profile events without bothering with the niceties of an invite. Convinced that they are welcome everywhere they habitually saunter in and air-kiss the organisers who immediately let it be known to the media that these pesky guests are not on their list.
Husbands and wives that cheat on one another are a source of great entertainment to the hoi polloi who have a hard time keeping track of which promiscuous socialite is sleeping with whom. Adulterous spouses sometimes arrive at the same event as a cuckolded partner or an ex, leading to red faces, hasty exits and occasionally a public showdown. A brazen, two-timing ménage a trois has succeeded in making many an evening in Mumbai an affair to remember.
The metropolises of India are peppered with the impudent progeny of wealthy parents. Mumbai is not without its share of spoilt brats who shovel coke with a silver spoon and behave obnoxiously, convinced that the sun shines out of their little brown bottoms.
Meanwhile, the paparazzi dutifully click as these party perennials preen and pose on the red carpet. Only a slender velvet rope separates the photographer from his glamorous subject. But that rope represents a barricade that is impossible to bridge.
You know you can’t wait to read the entire book now, right?