Wondering what would be special about the evening. What the entertainment would be this time.
Wondering whether it will be worth going. Another bore perhaps. Or perhaps great fun. Finally the mind decides to go ahead. Its just another party.
Then it is the dressing up. Going through the wardrobe in a feverish haste.
All the time wondering what the dress code actually would be. Will this be too dressy? Or too simple? Too daring perhaps? Wondering about the reactions, about what the other guests would come in.
Then the makeup. Oh the careful application. The artwork in maintaining a look which will be dressy, yet not dressy. A look which will match the clothes and a look which will make one look stunning. Careful setting of the hair - not a strand out of place.
Finally it is done. The package is ready. The right clothes for the body, the makeup.
Oh wait! The shoes!
There another few trials are spent trying on the correct pair to emphasise the best points. The ribbon on the box of candies.
Finally, she is ready. To leave.
Out of home it is the Indian heat that blasts her. Almost melting the makeup right off the face. Even as she makes a dash for the car, an irreverent bit of breeze comes and musses up the carefully brushed and set hair.
Never mind she thinks, the clothes and shoes remain as they were at home.
Reaching the party she looks at herself in the mirror. Her makeup is not as fresh as before and needs a touch up to look somewhat like it did at home.
The hair too needs another brush.
She decends into the party. Not as perfect as she was before she left home, but no one except her knows that. She is good enough. Better infact, than many others. Who cares about the rest anyway?
The party begins. The hors d'oeuvres are passed around, the drinks handed in crystal glasses clinking with ice. The music is nice, light and fun. She sips on her glass and picks on a snack with a toothpick. And then while talking to someone, again and again.
She leaves a bit of her lipstick on the glass and the rest on the napkin.
The evening wears on, and she is having fun. A chance look at the clock and the mirror below tell her how late it is. Her makeup in the mirror tells the same story. Her hair is not as perfect as she could have wished, her face not as fresh as before.
But the party is almost ending now. It is time to say goodbye. Even the host looks tired. No one cares about the pretty package. It is about the conversation now. About lingering on the threshold as the goodbyes are said.
Of remembering not to invite the tipsy ones again.
She leaves the party. She is sure her impression has remained a good one. She was a good guest. Not only did she arrive on time, she left on time as well, and said all the right things. She had fun too, and let them know that.
She reached home and took off all the wasted hardwork from her face. No one really cares about the makeup, but if its not there, its awkward. No one really cares about the dress, but it has to be good.
She knows its only one project that got over. She has to begin another preparation soon. For the next party. Again she will wonder if she will get invited for the few get together's she knows are going to take place. Some by people she knows, and some more by those whom she detests. The invites will come in, and again she will wonder.
And so it is with projects. We dress them, make them pretty and package the company in the best way to make them appeal to the clients and send the proposals. The competition comes out to disrupt the pretty package. Then the introductions and the work begins - all in earnest, pretty people together, talking, till the party really kicks off. Finally, it is just a parting, gloves off - either with an invite to be back again soon, or both wishing never to see each other again. Soon it is time to send another proposal and wait for another melee with the clients. Till then, it is anticipation.
We all play the part.