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a bollywood 
bash by way of the five senses

by Emily Meyer |
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Bolly-what? Bollywood, Bombay's own Hollywood, produces approximately 800 films a year, over twice that of the United States' Hollywood. Often scattered with loads of extravagantly-produced musical numbers, these pieces of eye candy are filled with action, romance, and melodrama. Their lush visuals and giddily-fun, campy goodness make Bollywood films the perfect inspiration for a fab theme party…

touch: The most important element of a theme party is the costumes. Everybody loves the chance to get dolled up, so when it comes time to send out your invitations, be sure to specify the proper attire for Bollywood film stars. Include instructions for how to make a sari or a turban. A sari how-to can be found at www.kerala.com. Play up the theatrical, over-the-top styles of the hero and villain, and of course, the glamorous ingenue. Be stocked with some remnants of fabric for those who don't come prepared. Fun party favors could include bindis (the jeweled stick-on forehead jewelry), and henna tattoos.

see: To instantly turn your home into an Indian palace worthy of a Bollywood film star, concentrate on luxurious textures like soft cottons, velvets and silks, and rich colors, like deep earth tones (reds, oranges, browns and greens) or jewel tones (magenta, purples, and blues). Some relatively inexpensive options (compared to renting the Taj Mahal) include:

  • Draping sheer or patterned fabric over your beat up couch, over the windows, over lamp shades, even on the walls, especially if the pattern looks like a work of art. Layering on the fabrics will warm up the look of your abode, and add a little air of mystery to your everyday décor.
  • Think sparkle. Mirrored or sequined wall hangings, pillows, candleholders, or picture frames will bring a glitzy, glittering effect, especially if combined with candles. For example, frame some of those dime-store illustrated postcards of Indian deities in mirrored mosaic frames, and display on a table with a water-filled bowl and floating candles. Scatter groupings of candles in the different conversation areas, or choose a focal point like a mantle and create a spectacular shrine with a long row of tea lights.
  • Divide your space: Spread out a large straw mat to define a dance floor, pile floor pillows in various nooks and corners, or use different colors of light bulbs for different rooms, to define the mood in each area.
  • One last mood-maker: rent some Bollywood films and play on mute, or randomly scatter film posters around your space, to give that film-premier feel to your party.

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