Partying is Such Sweet Sorrow
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Do's and don'ts for the party animal.
For most people, the holiday season has come to an end and it's now back to the grind in the New Year. However, for some, the frolicking and festivities continue unabated as partying is their primary pastime. But these hedonists are often unschooled in the finer nuances of schmoozing and socialising. Here, then, is a ready reckoner to party etiquette in India:
NEVER BE PUNCTUAL: It is the mark of a seriously clueless wannabe to arrive on time at a party in this country. Unless you are a foreign diplomat, it is advisable to present yourself at your host's doorsteps at least a couple of hours after the stipulated invitation time. If you commit the error of arriving punctually, you will probably be asked to enter by the service entrance along with the waiters, caterers and bartenders who also make it a point to arrive fashionably late, wholly secure in the knowledge that no one, including the host, is going to make an appearance till well after 10 pm.
BRING A GIFT: It is considered good form to bring a gift. A bottle of wine or a book is always appreciated. Unless your host is a teetotaler and/or an illiterate. In which case, send flowers or a potted plant the next morning. Do not arrive with a big bouquet of flowers as there is every likelihood you will be mistaken for a florist's flunkey and intercepted at the entrance by security. You may also send your gift across the next day with a handwritten "thank you" note on personalised stationery. But do ascertain that your host has learnt to read, otherwise this exercise will be in vain.
ONLY AIR-KISS: Under no circumstances should you slobber a wet kiss on your gracious hostesses' perfectly rouged cheeks. Remember, it is hygienic to air-kiss a good three inches away from the face of any guest. This will also help them avoid getting a whiff of the fragrant garlic tikka you have just walloped. Always carry a mouth freshener and regularly spritz to circumvent assaulting the olfactory senses of assembled invitees.
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