In Page Three, film director Madhur Bhandarkar's potshot at the world of celebrities, two chauffeurs wonder aloud at the readiness with which their employers air-kiss everyone at a party. "Yeh hawa mein kiss kyon karte hain?" one asks the other.
Now, even Bhandarkar, the man with the outsider's perspective, routinely finds himself compelled to air-kiss because "it's the norm in the high circuit". And never more so than during the Christmas-New Year party season, when you can scarcely draw breath without inhaling a lungful of chummas.
No matter that the air-kiss is about as authentic as a Louis Vuitton handbag hawked outside CST station, everyone's puckering up these days, from fully paid-up members of the Page 3 club to young, urban wannabes and earnest never-will-bes. The air-kiss has arrived as the social greeting de rigueur.
"It's our way of saying namaste or Sat Sri Akal," says socialite Queenie Dhody.
The air-kiss is, as adman Prahlad Kakkar puts it, "a tribal ritual, a Page 3 phenomenon". That's where...