04 August, 2021

Wine Or Vinegar!

Who hosts the best (and worst) parties in the hallowed diplomatic enclaves of Delhi

Narendra Bisht
Wine Or Vinegar!
Delhi is not as quiet as it seems. Behind those impressive frontages is another world, which can be elegant or trashy, glamorous or just showy, depending on who's inviting, and who's invited. But never peaceful. Welcome to the world of New Delhi's embassy parties.

For a long time, diplomatic dos used to be staid black-tie affairs, with top government officials and the more socially savvy politicians invited to sit-down dinners. National days were populated by more of the same, nibbling sad canapes and sipping drinks that ran out midway through the evening. The Soviets were notorious for having two rooms—unlimited champagne and caviar in the room for VVIP guests, pakoras and sickly-sweet white wine for the hoi polloi assembled in the larger room. Unless you made it to the VVIP Soviet room, your best bet was to wangle an invitation to the British, American or French embassies.

Today, it's a very different story. The guest-lists have grown and grown—to include heavyweight socialites, artists, journalists, businessmen, power brokers,...

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