Year End Party and My Brief Career as a Model

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, May 31, 2007

Most of you that are reading this and work for my company know our fiscal year ends at the end of May.  As a result...we typically try to have some sort of year end event to let our hair down and celebrate our successes.  In the States it's typically a low-key affair and relatively low budget..maybe a happy hour.  But in India where labor is cheap and putting together a big party is relatively inexpensive...they go all out....and I do mean all out.

A few days before the party I get approached by some people on the planning committee asking me to participate in a fashion show...skeptically I respond "what the hell do you mean a 'fashion' show?".  The tell me that someone had the great idea to put on a fashion show with a stage, a runway and employees acting as models to present to the entire company team, their families and friends.  The kicker is that everyone acting as a model would be required to wear traditional Indian dress.  Great...sounds like a good opportunity for the entire team to make fun of me.  When I heard that all the other expats were doing it I agreed and was given my shopping instructions for what I needed to go purchase to be ready for the event the following evening.  Based on the advice from some friends in town, that night I head over to a store called Fab India which is known for their selection of traditional attire and good quality clothes.  With a little help from a salesperson there I pick up my long kurta, my pajama pants (that's what they call them) and a casual shirt (short kurta).  The PJ pants are one size fits all and they are probably a 50 inch waste with a drawstring and narrow tapered legs that you're supposed to bunch up towards the bottom...they look goofy but fortunately the long kurta covers up most of the pants.  I planned on wearing the short kurta to the office during the day and the more formal long kurta for the show that night (did I mention that the entire day...not just the party in the supposed to be traditional dress day...whoopee). :-|

Dressed in my new silk short kurta, the next day at the office I find out who my companion will be on the runway and I definitely luck out and get one of the cutest girls in the office to walk with me.  She and I practice a bit as she's a bit nervous and we both decide to walk on the runway acting as cocky as we smiling or no acknowledging the crowd.  I must have been a model in a former life.  The party starts around 6PM so I head over to a friends house (Melissa) who lives by the party site to chill and drink some wine with a few others before heading over.  Melissa is also in the fashion show and she let's us all use her place to change clothes so we don't have to be in our full outfits until the last moment as it's hot as hell outside (did I mention the party is the heat).  Thankfully there is cold beer being served at the party.

The party starts and there are several stage shows including some skits in Hindi I can't understand, some traditional dancing and a puppet show for the kids.  I've said it before and I'll say it again...Indians know how to party.  Not really the kind of partying we do in the states...but they just seem to know how to enjoy life and let their hair down.  There were so many people dancing and laughing and drinking and posing for pictures that it was really fun just to step back and watch them have fun.

The time comes and we all change into our fashion show attire and immediately I sweat through everything.  I really don't think Indians sweat...or they can turn their pores on and off at will.  It pisses me off because I think I was the only one sweating and it showed.  Anyway...the show kicks companion and I do great and I only got one semi-OK photo of it which I'll post.  The party continued well into the night...but not for me as I have to fly to Bombay/Mumbai early tomorrow morning...but more on that in another post.
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