Who Saved the Burning Lehenga at the Bachchan Diwali Party? An Account by the Maharani of East Parle

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Who Saved the Burning Lehenga at the Bachchan Diwali Party? An Account by the Maharani of East Parle

Illustration: Siddhakanksha Mishra

Hi you plebs, this is your Maharani of East Parle. In my spare time (of which I have plenty) I host shindigs for my “billionaire arrivistes” friends. As most of them have relocated to obscure islands along with their bank accounts, these are exclusive to those who easily fit in my cosy 1.5 BHK mansion. In East Parle we call it virat kholi.I am writing this piece because something remarkable happened during Diwali week. And if I don’t share it with you, my dear readers, I might just choke on my chakli. We don’t want that, do we? East Parle will lose its downmarket sheen without its gorgeous Maharani.

I was out for my evening brisk walk to keep my lower body energised. Interestingly, my walk turned into a life lesson for me. I strayed into a mansion somewhere in Vile Parle West… sorry Vile Parle is so middle-class… I mean Upper Juhu for a sip of nimbu sharbat because I forgot to carry my sipper. (How could I, the whole workout look is incomplete without it? Sorry, paps.) What happened next will take your breath away and you will end up feeling like the poor sods from Delhi.

My thirsty soul aching for nimbu paani led me inside this Maha Virat Kholi that had enough bedrooms to accomodate all of East Parle. My eyes became as wide as potholes nurtured lovingly by the BMC, as I took in its grandeur and realised that I was indeed an urban poor. But the broken footpath outside reminded me of home and I felt a little better. Just as I was engrossed in my complex emotions, my reverie was broken by the sound of tinkling laughter.

I have a strange medical condition where I break into hives every time I smell hypocrisy.

An assembly of illuminations dressed in brocades and bandhgalas in brands so discreet, you had to knock them down on the floor to see the labels. What a Jalsa! It’s only when they started moving did I realise they were Bollywood stars who had descended on Amitabh Bachchan’s bungalow in Juhu to air-kiss each other. All of them gathered under a flashy canopy strung with lights that… was a recycled outfit from Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, the favoured darzis of the super rich (who also have the same plastic smile as their Botoxed patrons). Sipping champagne flown in from France, nibbling on fresh figs from Greece while having an avid discussion on how to save the planet through veganism. 

I had to move on quickly. I have a strange medical condition where I break into hives every time I smell hypocrisy.

What happened next knocked the mangalsutra off my ample but delicate neck. One of the mobile illuminations caught fire. Its lehenga came in contact with a diya that someone had stupidly placed all over the lawns in an attempt to appear classy. My ears perked up when I heard a male voice scream “Main hoon naa!” and run toward the burning lehenga with his arms outstretched. When I saw it was my jaan Shah Rukh Khan, my wet dream for over three decades, I started sprinting toward him channeling my inner Simran, stretching my one hand, holding my velvet track pants with the other. In a rush I knocked over a red- turbaned author. Turns out he was shaking hands with the magical Rekha Bhardwaj and feeling the “sonorous, galvanic power of her voice” through some undiscovered miracle of neurological dyspepsia.

I was, of course, distracted and took my eyes off King Khan. Not too far away, the most beautiful woman in the world (1994), Aishwarya, had to put a sudden pause to embracing the elderly. Confusion ensued, someone saved the day. Was it Shah Rukh? Was it Aishwarya? We’ll never know. And this will remain one of Bollywood’s biggest mysteries, only after who killed the black buck.

I was feeling extremely low voltage. Sad violin tunes were playing in the background and Lata Didi’s Yash Chopraesque “Lalalala” was giving me a brain fade.  I needed my daily dose of any nimbu paani but I didn’t know whom to ask. My confidence was a bit shaken since everyone was doing a perfect job of ignoring my low-class presence. That and they were all talking in hushed whispers. Were they sharing nuclear launch codes with each other? Anushka, Sarah Ali Khan, Jhanvi’s midriff.

My confidence was a bit shaken since everyone was doing a perfect job of ignoring my low-class presence.

I must have said, “Vicks ki goli lo, khich khich door karo,” loudly because I heard a deep “hain?” a few feet above my head. I immediately fell flat at Amitabh Bachchan’s feet but not before telling him that he needs to stop asking people to respond to his tweets. Before you berate me for criticising your God, let me assure you I did congratulate him for being India’s greatest salesman who even made us buy Navratna Tel.

After my encounter with two great Bachchans, I had to meet the third one – Jaya, of course.

I finally found her. Her arms interlocked with Mr Red Turban, trying his best to soak in something else this time. I didn’t bother to ask.

I knew it was time to leave but before that I wanted to thank Bachchan uncle… now that I had spent over two hours around them, I can rightly call him uncle, can’t I? But somehow I could not get him to comment about my OOTD.

Since walking into a Diwali bash of the century by mistake is not repeated often, I called a launda-type in a velvet suit to click a picture in front of Jalsa. He walked up to me and gave me his autograph instead. Turns out it was Kartik Aaryan.

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