Whether you're grooving with the Armani set at a farmhouse, getting jiggy with it at a beach rave in Goa or dancing to David Guetta's beats in Ibiza, remember this isn't as simple as it looks. Partying right requires a variety of highly developed skill sets, both mental and physical, besides a heavy dose of creativity, intellect and charm. And if you're partying all night? Add endless stamina and endurance to the list.

It's essential to start right. Make sure you're at the ‘happening' party: there'll only be one in town at any given night. Everything else is an ‘also ran'. Charisma, charm and a super-spy's ability to process information are essential at this point. If you're targeting ‘Saturday Night,' stay alert through the week, following Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. Of course, face-to-face interactions are essential, or you might just end up at a high school pyjama party, programming competition or — ugh — art movie marathon.

When D Day arrives, take it slow all morning. Nap at work with cucumber slices on your eyes. If your boss isn't the indulgent sort, consider calling in sick. Make sure you're not caught languidly ingesting frappes and doughnuts at your favourite coffee shop, though. Caffeine and carbohydrates are non-negotiable. Channel your self-indulgent, diva-esque marathon runner. You need to start preparing your body for the upcoming task.

Take a post-lunch siesta, preferably with aforementioned cucumber slices attached. (The more thrifty among you can ease your consciences by popping them into your mojitoes later.) Once you're awake, slowly start getting revved up. Of course, you're wardrobe's been decided a week ago (we're not dealing with complete amateurs, I hope!). So, your only concerns now are hair and make-up. Start dabbing, sponging and painting: think Chanel meets Picasso.

Yes, we've been trained to party at 8 p.m. and be tucked into bed with a glass of hot milk by midnight in the Indian metros. However, at party zones, things are far less geriatric. Cinderella's coach might have turned into a pumpkin at midnight. But, don't even think of entering a club anywhere from New York to Barcelona any earlier than 2 a.m. unless you want to be labelled a pumpkin for the rest of the evening. So, take things slow. Chill at home, meet friends, head out to a bar, then another…

Finally, you're at the club / party, and raring to go. Now it's time to think like an Olympic medalist. Pace yourself. Don't drink too much, or you'll be out cold like a silly college kid at his first rave. (If you must pass out, kindly try to do so glamorously, so everyone's not laughing at you on Facebook in the morning.) Socialise. Dance. Sing. Make cow's eyes at the DJ. (Everything goes — as long as you refrain from doing that ghastly pointy fingers old-man-at-a-medical-conference dance.) Then, at some point, look up and the sky will be blue. Pat yourself on the back. You fought the good fight. You lasted the night.

Keywords: partying