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December 22, 2014

7 Conversation Starters To Save The Party

Text by Nittal Chandarana

Got the perfect dress but missed what happened in the country while you were on the Riviera? No issues, Verve’s round-up of what happened this year will sort you out

We love parties! Okay, scratch that. We love the anticipation before and selfie tweets post the party. The bit in the middle is either hazy in the memory or spent on the favourite chair. You know, when you’re just that reluctant to mingle and suddenly even Newton’s law of inertia throws its hands up in exasperation. You remain stuck to the couch you plonked yourself on when you entered. Verve, obviously, comes to the rescue. Till the alcohol kicks in, conversation is key. We chalk out a cheat sheet for our readers to work it at a party. Presenting to you the hottest topics of 2014. (If you are the kind who needs to know about social etiquette, read this.)

Conversation Starter #1: “Sachin’s book was more anticipated than the Potter finale, but not sure it came through.”
Who To Say This To: The dude wearing the Indian cricket tee with number 10 on it or that social butterfly who claims she is an avid reader and gorged on I Am Malala and Saina Nehwal’s Playing to Win.
How to take it forward: Wax eloquent about the man’s outward modesty and his crazy fan following. Loosely comment on the style of writing being painfully plain and the lack of revelations regarding his personal life. If you need to know more about this, read here.
Wrap up with: “As autobiographies go, I preferred Agassi’s. Witty, full of fire with just the right dash of angst.”

Conversation Starter #2: “The International Premier Tennis League strived to match up to the grand slams but fizzled out like a weak firecracker.”
Who To Say This To: The dude wearing the cap with the RF mark. Actually, try this with anybody. A number of people enjoy tennis, especially the Nadal-Federer-Djokovic triangle.
How to take it forward: Lament the fact that Nadal could not make it to the Indian leg of the tournament and how the format itself was lackluster. Move on to quip that 2014 has been a sport-happy year with all the various leagues bringing hockey, football and kabaddi into the forefront. No one knew watching kabaddi could be so much fun! Also, petition to stall another installment of the IPL reign in the summer.
Wrap up with: “The one person who benefitted immensely and was left gladdened by the IPTL bonanza was Sania Mirza. When else would she get the opportunity to pair with Federer for a Mixed Doubles match?”

Conversation Starter #3: “The Christie’s auction was a gobsmacking event that revealed just how much money is being circulated among the elite.”
Who To Say This To: The person who showed up impeccably turned out in khadi or silk fineries. Or the journalist. Or the one with the ready sketchbook and pen.
How to take it forward: Churn out fact after fact of the top works auctioned at the Taj Mahal Palace and how artists Tyeb Mehta, Francis Newton Souza and VS Gaitonde shone. If you need to know more about this, read here. You could also go on about how the art also lies in the streets, and wall painting and graffiti are rapidly gaining popularity.
Wrap up with: “While I appreciate art by the major players, I’d be equally happy with doodles and sketches in the streets.”

Conversation Starter #4: “Winter is coming. But the new season of Game of Thrones is nowhere close.”
Who To Say This To: Everyone watches Game of Thrones!
How to take it forward: Groan and whine about how you will have to wait until April to access the new series. And the fact that you have given up on Sherlock which grants you three new episodes every two years. The number of episodes are inversely proportional to their fan following. To rant about GoT, read here.
Wrap up with: “Who lives? Who dies? Where are the dragons?”

Conversation Starter #5: “Did you check out that app?”
Who To Say This To: Anyone whose phone pings nineteen to the dozen.
How to take it forward: Pick your favourite app and then, there’s no turning back. Be it Snapchat, Tinder, Flipboard or 2048, the addicts can’t survive without their fix and naturally, have much to say about it. You can also explore the recent surge of apps used for work, especially fun ones like Hopping Chef.
Wrap up with: “What a beautiful world we live in, where not only food, but gourmet chefs can be delivered at your doorstep.”

Conversation Starter #6: “How did you like Interstellar?”
Who To Say This To: The movie buff. Or the science geek. Or the Nolan fan. The possibilities are immense.
How to take it forward: If you aren’t the go-to person for scientific theories, rave on about Nolan’s genius and the performances by the lead cast. Mention that it’s all a little too much to take in and the director has finally fed us the formula of love; something Rowling has been doing for over a decade now. But the thought and work put behind the movie is commendable. Speak about other releases in the same time frame: Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, Boyhood, and your favourite Bollywood offering.
Wrap up with: “I don’t believe Interstellar and Happy New Year exist in the same movie hall; in fact, the same era.”

Conversation Starter #7: “Did you catch the AIB roast last week?”
Who To Say This To: Any avid YouTuber or Ranveer Singh/Arjun Kapoor fan.
How to take it forward: Start off with the general excitement about the roast and how this format of comedy has meandered to our country. What’s a roast, now? Premier celebrities voluntarily appear to be panned at the behest of stand-up comedians. Made famous by Comedy Central in the west, TVF brought it to India in their recent SRK interview and now it’s AIB taking it to a whole new level. January brings with it the Weirdass Pajama fest. Prime attraction being Johnny Lever. To know more about the caustic quartet ruling the comic charts, read here.
Wrap up with: “Who would have thought that it would be Karan Johar ruling this roast .”

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