March 29, 2020
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Monsters' Ball

Was this finally the year when Page 3 became nationally significant, with an entirely new gallery of rogues?

Monsters' Ball
Monsters' Ball
This was finally the year when Page 3 became nationally significant. I defended it on The Big Fight; got trashed by a hack who, incidentally, while making her living out of Page 3 events, trashes the culture. Every author worth his or her word launched his or her work for the benefit of Page 3. More chefs have been made and re-invented thanks to the gourmand tastes of supplement editors whilst more clothes have been seen on Page 3 this year than what people possibly wear. But 2002 was different as it threw up an entirely new gallery of rogues, not the wicked kind but loveable ones. They range from wannabe ministers to wannabe Rajya Sabha members leaving the wannabe fashion designers gasping for every column inch! Here are our favourites:

The Enduring Political Rogue: Amar Singh
He continued to live from party to party. From the first birthday of his twin daughters to a party for Lalit Suri, Amar Singh showed the world that when it comes to parties, the 3A troika is unbeatable. So where there’s Amar can Anil and Amitabh be far behind? Or for that matter, the 3,000 he always manages to invite, all his personal friends he’ll tell you!

The Enduring Industrialist-Confused Politician Rogue: Vijay Mallya
The Rajya Sabha has never had a larger depository of gold and glitter since Vijay Mallya walked into it. There were more parties thrown to welcome Vijay than there are in India’s political landscape. But then what the heck, he does after all offer free plane rides and free booze. With Vijay, Page 3 will now never be the same again!

The Fashion Rogue: Rohit Bal
Now this is one man that no Page 3 can do without. What I like about him is his honesty. He makes no bones about the fact that he enjoys life and is not once apologetic about it.

The Tired Authoress Rogue: Shobhaa De
From her annual Dussehra parties to the fact that she is India’s presiding literary deity, Shobhaa does not need Page 3 as much as Page 3 needs her. Which is just as well because she’ll be on Page 3 forever!

The Industrialist Rogue: Yash Birla
A sculpted body such as his would put Hrithik Roshan to shame but then what is the sky for if you can’t reach for it after working out? So while working may have been given the short shrift, working out has certainly not! And what a pity that the balance-sheets reflected that!

In all, 2002 was the year of unmitigated joy for the Page 3 set. More and more people embraced it with alacrity. So by the next year I just may have to beg the editor of this magazine for a double-spread. Till then, keep partying: you have great company now!

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