The Age Of Seth

How vice pays tribute to virtue in contemporary India

01 December 2011
Hindustan Times
Hindustan Times

THERE WAS A PARTY LAST NIGHT in Lutyens’ Delhi, or possibly in South Mumbai, crowded with those who glitter most blindingly in Shining India. Suhel Seth will have been among them. There will be a party tonight, a few kilometres or a thousand from the last one. Seth will be there too, his familiar voice carrying over the crumpled carpets or sodden grass. This is the time in our history that belongs to men like Suhel Seth; a time when, just as intemperance is intellect and fervidity is profundity, such ubiquity is unquestionably success.

Success, or at least ubiquity, is precisely what Seth intends to teach his readers in Get to the Top. But it should be read even by those who have no desire to get to the top—for it unwittingly provides a glimpse of precisely how things work at the top, and what people do to arrive there.

Some people are famous for being famous. Suhel Seth is famous for knowing the famous. They say that fame exacts a heavy price from its bearers, and it appears that part of that price is to be “dear friends” with Suhel Seth. And as the number of his famous friends has grown so large that it would clearly take a book to record them all, Seth has achieved a kind of fame in his own right—mostly as a face on our TV screens, where he is reliably intemperate, fervid and, most of all, ubiquitous, familiar to television viewers from innumerable discussions whose topics are as varied as their dissection is disorganised.

Mihir S Sharma trained as an economist and political scientist in Delhi and Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is editor of the opinion pages at the Business Standard.

Keywords: Review nightlife Get to the Top Suhel Seth party socialise social success rules television television debates friends