Posted by Kanika
It all starts with a long, very long, slim cigarette holder.
It floats above a crowd of pretties and pearly whites in a seemingly bare New York apartment. A tabby cat with a bird’s eye view of the party and a certain insouciance about him, but no name, follows the faint flicker of the cigarette, leaping from one high shelf to another. Then finally on the last shelf, his eyes follow the smoke down a long stem to reveal a beautiful host wrapped elegantly in a white bed sheet. She takes a puff and apologises neither for the sheet nor for being late to her own do.
As she changes into something more fitting, society’s real phonies and fake floozies crawl about the apartment taking in the sights and sounds: a stuffed parrot in a cage and the 9th richest man in American under 50 (Mr Yunioshi upstairs threatens to call the cops); a drink-spilling time checker and a Hollywood agent with every phone number there is to have (a wailing telephone is packed into a suitcase); a drunk woman weeping in front of a mirror, one raised to a reveller’s shoulders, and another’s glorious gluteus swaying to the sound of music as alcoholic reinforcements arrive (a “thumping bore” of a model crashes on the floor to the sound of “timberrrrrrr”). The cops arrive and the only way out is through the fire escape, past the bathroom door and through the tub where we must break up a twosome in action.
This is my favourite party. Sure, it’s put together by a celebrated screenplay writer and hosted by an Oscar-winning actress, but this house party scene from Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one I RSVP to each time I need a laugh or a lift. Or when I’m too tired to go out. Armchair partying, if you will.
A month of non-stop revelry – new bar openings, friends’ weddings and Diwali soirees – is what made me think of this perfectly imperfect party, and of extending an invite to you (watch part of it here).
This, and the fact that I attempted a Holly Golightly (protagonist of Breakfast at Tiffany’s) costume for Halloween couple of weeks ago. An idea that struck when I chanced upon a cigarette holder at a costume store, much like the long stemmed one Ms Golightly wields on celluloid (and every clock, laptop bag and purse in Mumbai that sports her face). If you followed my cigarette holder on Halloween night, above a sea of heads, it would lead you to a hip Bandra house party; a fascinating host (with no cat); an explosive guest list of musicians and stylists, writers and filmmakers; plenty of booze; and an eventual cop bust. Sounds familiar? Comfortingly, just like Tiffany’s.
Here’s what I learned: Where there’s smoke, attached to a long, very long, slim cigarette holder, there’s always fire.