Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

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For one night and one night only... I felt like a star, like a celebrity, like I belonged in those upper echelons of Bombay's society... So, this is what the rich and famous feel like, I thought to myself. I had been invited to attend a fashion show by two of India's premier designers; Manish Malhotra, the famous Bollywood designer and Shaina NC, 'the queen of drapes', as was announced at the show.

After having accepted the invitation with some reluctance (we already had other plans... and maybe a part of me wanted to show that I had this really active social calendar), something else hit me... What am I going to wear? What does one wear to a fashion show anyway? Will people notice? Will there be cameras? Will I be asked what I'm wearing? Fine, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration driven by a lot of TV and the influence of watching the 'red carpet' before the Oscars. Surely, no one would even notice as I entered and left the venue. I could wear whatever I wished. I probably have never pondered over my clothes and outfits for any outing... Ever! This was turning out to be an event of firsts for me...

Let's keep it simple, I thought. And so a black shirt and jeans it was going to be. You can't really go wrong with that now, can you? Well, you kind of can. The show was being held on a cricket field which had just been layered with sawdust. Fans were blowing up the dust on to a black shirt and I certainly could have taken up the starring role in an anti-dandruff commercial! My worries were soon to be washed away, quite literally. It was the day that the Gods decided to shower the city with their blessings, to open up the heavens, to cool the earth and to send down the first real rainfall of this monsoon season.

Yellow umbrellas baring the sponsors name sprung up everywhere, quickly! (It was tremendous marketing and a genius move, whoever thought of keeping those branded umbrellas there.) You see, the rich and famous didn't want their expensive clothes wet and their make-up washed away! Maybe (they hoped) someone would still ask them what they were wearing, as they left. No one bothered to check with me either on my entrance or on exit, but then again, this was my first foray into the lifestyles of the rich and famous!

Despite the continuous trickle and occasional downpour, the show went on. The models and celebrities walked the ramp, sometimes gingerly, sometimes bravely. One even brought out an umbrella as he catwalked his way down the ramp (again, more advertising for the sponsors that evening). The crowds cheered them on and probably their unrelenting spirit. Suddenly, the umbrellas went down and we once again had an uninterrupted view of the ramp. Ah! So the rich and famous too don't mind a little bit of a shower, provided it is for a 'cause.' The loudest cheer of the evening was saved for one Juhi Chawla, a Bollywood sweetheart who had made her debut in the 1980s. The 'Dulhaniya of India', as she was introduced, walked down the ramp with that grace, that elegance, and that smile that had enchanted people for all these years. She still remained a sweetheart, and when she turned and smiled at me (or so I thought and hoped), I could feel my heart melt away. I was transported back to all those years ago when I developed my first crush on her! I guess some things never change...

At the end of the evening, as I walked out, I figured that barring a few hundreds of thousands of Rupees, there was not much of a difference between the high flyers of India and the average Joe. Everyone wants to look good, everyone wishes to be seen. Everyone cheers for their favorite film star. Similar things make us happy. Similar things such as the odd and unexpected rain shower annoy us. And in the end everyone is subject to God's whims of rain and sun. So the next time you're worried about what to wear or how good or bad you look, just give a thought to the fact that you are your own judge, all that matters is how comfortable you are in your own skin (or your own Gucci or Prada). Because the confidence with which you carry yourself, and not the brand, will distinguish you from your rich next door neighbor!