January 24, 2020
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Among The Cats

Among The Cats
Who would think that a mere book would have Delhi's Beautiful People all atwitter. And daahlings, it is not even Vanity Fair or InStyle or the latest international style bible but an Indian paperback. Some weeks on after the publication of Kanika Gahlaut's Amongst the Chatterati—her deliciously savage portrayal, underbelly side up, of the freebie-champagne set and the fashion frat—dinner party talk still ricochets round the desi Bridget Jonesesque diary a clef.

Of course, the spat in reams of newsprint between designer Rohit Bal (the high priest of the arrived and the arriving) and the Indian Express reporter kept the book on the frontburner. Class wars between those who wear Kolhapuri chappals (a no-no with style gurus) and those who sport Guccis make good copy. Even ersatz class wars do: He called her a lower middle class wannabe. The Truth is She went to Welhams, the toffee-nosed public school.

And now the frissons of figuring out who's who are giving way to tales about the revenge of the blondified set. A duo of designers, all set to fix her, have been telling the party set and scribes that they will complain to Nina Pillai, whose columns have appeared in The Indian Express. However, when told that it would be more effective to call the paper's editor, Shekhar Gupta, they retorted: Who is this Shekhar-Phekar, we will go all the way to the top, to Nina Pillai. Touché. The Laksman rekha of the charmed champagne circle is obviously water-tight—nothing gets in from the real world.

Meanwhile, back in the non-fash frat world, there is another soul all atwitter. Livleen Sharma, the self-styled gypsy lady and impresario who has penned an unflattering portrait of the world of the politico-rati, is now worried about the fallout of her forthcoming book. Will she never have lunch in this town again?

Ms Gahlaut's invitations are still coming though. But we have a bit of advice for her: she really ought to send Mr Bal a bouquet of orchids. Ever since his diatribes in the press and J'acuse announcements, her book has been flying off the shelves. With "enemies" like these, who needs friends? In fact, there are some murmurings that it was all a conspiracy.

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