Way to party

Parties should be not only about food but also a lot of fun, games and laughter.

Had I received an invite to Michelle Obama's 50th, I would have been quite happy with the ‘Snacks, sips, dancing, and dessert’ format. I always wonder why parties are mostly about food. There should be fun and games and lots of laughter. Food should be a sidekick and not the hero. But not many share my perception. Whenever it's a birthday, the first question that friends pop is ‘where are you taking us for a treat?’ Nobody asks, ‘where are we going for fun?’ Looks like food is the idea of fun for majority. I like good food but is this the only way to celebrate? I beg to differ. Thanks to Mrs Obama, I get the courage to come out in the open. 

The thing is, I get into a huge dilemma at parties. I am a slow but an enthusiastic eater. At the same time, I love to socialise. But I am not able to do justice to both endeavors simultaneously. Juggling between commenting when the mouth is free and listening when the mouth is full is quite an art which I haven't mastered yet. It's like facial acrobatics. So I go around meeting people unburdened with a plate. Others, however, don't lose much time in starting their food odyssey. This makes me a late starter. By the time, I finish soup and starter, people are moving on to dessert. By the time I am in the middle of my main course, people are already passing their verdict on dessert. 

Like a sangam, I have a triveni of starter, main course and dessert in my plate. Now I get a little sheepish and don't want to be seen as a greedy pig. I skulk in a corner and try to finish the damned fare, divine gulabjamuns and all. By the time I finish, the caterers are folding their linen and guests have started leaving. So much for my socialising hopes! The issue gets further accentuated at weddings. In big fat Indian weddings, there are so many dishes that I come back feeling bloated and defeated. Tummy space is at a premium and should not be filled with plebeian noodles but devoted to exotic walnut halwa. Did I use the space judiciously, is my perpetual worry. My request to hosts is that instead of serving so much food on one single evening, they sponsor one dish every day of the month or two dishes for a fortnight. They can take a pick, I am quite an open person. 

So if I were at Mrs Obama's party, I could have easily danced and socialised without worrying about ‘Have I taken enough helpings of that heavenly starter so as not to regret later?’ Her party would be more about fun and less about food. My only grudge to an otherwise perfect invite is, 'Eat before you come' part. It sounded rather matronly. Agreed she's mom-in-chief but the guests coming over weren’t exactly kids. I was planning to eat just enough so that my tummy wouldn’t have grumbled when I wished Mrs Obama happy 50th.

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