Home >Mint-lounge >Bye bye party planning, hello spontaneity

Last weekend, my plan was as follows: attend office party on Saturday night, help friend move home, watch Dostanawith visiting in-laws, go fish and vegetable shopping, get head massage from Magic Fingers at neighbourhood salon, and read final Loungepages. Then, in a casual phone conversation on Friday night, a friend informed me that we were having a party at my house on Sunday night.

Get groovy tip No. 1: This party season, whip up a last-minute feast for your pals.

Now the husband’s theory about inviting people over is simple: “What’s to think? Leave it to me."

“I can easily cook for 20-30 people," he is fond of saying. This relaxed attitude probably stems from the fact that when he was growing up, his friends frequently dropped in unannounced, often raiding the kitchen and finishing the whole tandoori chicken that was cooked for the family.

Me, I grew up in a hotel suite and did my entertaining in the restaurant on the premises. One of my dearest friends always predicted I was unlikely to survive life without room service. It’s been nine years since we got married, but last-minute parties still faze me.

Sure, the husband can flip through his favourite cookbook Prashad—Cooking with Indian Masters and whip up some exotic dishes but while he’s cooking, who’s the sidekick who answers his every query: “Where are the whole spices?", “Do we have mace?", “Don’t tell me the rice is over.", “I need a vessel to dum cook (a slow-cooking method where you seal the lid with a flour paste) the chicken."

In addition to buying and organizing all the ingredients, I have to tidy the house, right? Hide the Kanchenjunga of old newspapers; wipe away the thick layer of dust that settles on the furniture every single day; wash the party crockery; and organize the snacks, salad, drinks and dessert (the husband’s a main course kinda guy). And while I’m doing all this, I have to listen to him yell that I’m wasting my time, that nobody even notices these things.

And after the party is over, and the guests have had a great meal and a great time, I have to endure the husband saying: “Wasn’t I right?" Of course he was.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you is that as we head into December, it’s time to jump off your party high horse. This is one time of the year when you shouldn’t get bogged down by details and dust. Just stock the bar and keep those friends flowing. I know I have decided to have a last-minute party every weekend.

Incidentally, despite the party, I managed to catch Dostana. The film may be India’s first gay movie—though if you go by Karan Johar’s logic, Sholay was the first (why else would Gabbar Singh keep yelling “Kitne aadmi the?")—but it’s also the first Hindi movie where a lead actor (Priyanka Chopra) plays a Sindhi who doesn’t speak in a funny accent and who is not money-obsessed.

Watch it only if you track John Abraham’s bum. My favourite scene in the entire movie, though it’s targeted more at men than women, was when Abraham gets out of bed in his underwear and walks away from the camera, one side of his waistband lower than the other to reveal a glimpse of what lies beneath. And then, almost as if he’s got eyes in the back of his head and has caught you staring, he casually adjusts the waistband. You go boy!

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