By Salloli Kumar
In a glittering themed soiree recently, I happened to meet an old friend of mine. She is a talented and established lifestyle journalist and has been working for a leading news-paper for more than a decade.
After exchanging pleasantries, she gave a strange look around and exclaimed: ‘Salloli! What am I doing here? Who are these people? I don’t know anybody even though I have been covering Page 3 for a decade’.
Before I could stop myself I retorted, ‘relax, times are changing. You can’t expect the same Page 3 people forever. Embrace the change.' Smart and mature that she is, she agreed and went her way and I sat to write this article. The article is about Page 3 — a regular feature in every daily newspaper. Is it worth its salt?
First of all, what is Page 3 or the society pages? In most newspapers, it is grouped in the lifestyle section. It usually talks about the various events of the city and those who attend them on a regular basis. The people who are featured on this page are usually those vibrant people who are invited everywhere. And yes, every two to five years, it changes and so does the guest list to these events.
So there is nothing called the real Page 3 people, for the term itself is non-existent. These are simply people who have access to the various events happening in the city. May be due to their proximity to the numerous event organisers mushrooming in the city. They just want to celebrate their success, see and be seen. In this respect, it is an ever-changing scenario.
For those who have celebrated success earlier might have just moved on. May be they have evolved to a level where they are just not interested to be featured anymore.
In defence of Page 3, I can say we are no one to judge it. We can’t dismiss the Page 3 people as small time designers, showroom owners, struggling artists, failed actors, emerging beauty therapists, bored beautiful rich housewives, up-and-coming event organisers and other such aspiring terms.
Let’s not forget every great thing has a simple beginning. It is easy for others to judge but it is not that easy to sustain in this coveted page.
I wish to state most of them are successful enough. They run their own businesses successfully. Attend to their daily life just like everyone else yet are energetic and savvy enough to attend to the events looking well heeled and well groomed all the time. The cross dressers are everywhere on print. No point talking for or against them. Remember they enjoy minority rights even in the Constitution.
The emerging designers and self-styled showroom owners need to sell their wares hence it is important for them to be here. Page 3 events have witnessed many successful buyer seller connects. The failed actor/actress could gain enough prominence to give his flagging career a second shot. The yesteryears’ model could start her successful second career venture in various glamorous fields. As far as the various socialites are concerned, I would say many look so presentable that their claim to fame could just be that.
And why not? ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever,' said the immortal Keats. Yes, at one point the right address, the right vehicle, the right lineage mattered but not anymore. What matters now is the glamour quotient, the visibility quotient. Some of them are born to be there. Others will enjoy their 15 minutes of fame and fade away.
Yesterday’s aspiring youngster could be a rockstar today. The person who will hang around with you today could well become the chief guest of many do’s you will attend tomorrow. Page 3 is not about any serious issues or factors. It is simply a filler of space and acts as a respite in an otherwise serious medium called the newspaper. It is about celebrating life. And if you don’t like, it simply skip it.
Salloli Kumar is a regular on Page 3 circuit for nearly a decade.