CLIMBING UP the steep circular drive to the Indian Embassy residence last Friday was worth it, when the loaded tables on the terrace overlooking Rock, Greek Park were viewed.

But the Indian women in the summer saris in iridescent silks bordered in spun gold were the evening's loveliest sight.

Ambassador and Mrs. Nargesh Palkhivala were bidding Washington adieu as he returns to resume his career in high echelon law. He is viewed by many of his countrymen as the stellar barrister of India, particularly in the field of constitutional law. He braved the ire of Mrs. Gandhi many a time, when it was exceedingly dangerous to do so.

Two former American ambassadors to India were stars . . . John Sherman Copper and John Kenneth Galbraith . . . the latter's "six feet man" and his much caricatured face easy to spot.

The "wed-to-each-other ambassadors," Ellsworth Bunker and Carol Laise, were greeting friends, both having served all over India's part of the world.

Peggy and Bob McNamara came a bit late and his new hair part seems to be for better distribution of what's left. Father . . . let the president to do anything, and the ripples never seem to stop.

Justice and Mrs. Powell mixed with the large force of Washington's Indian residents, who came to honor the Palkhivalas.

Stories to Tell

. . . The next night's Americans for Democratic Action banquet at the Mayflower was almost a reversal of treatment for Harvard professor Galbraith, who is supposed to be one of the ADA's super resident "thinks" and leading gurus.

He, Arthur Schlesinger and Pat Moynihan were all distinguised looking in navy, with JKG wending his rather amused-looking way through the belly-to-belly drinking crowd before dinner. No one paid him any mind. Also ingnored

Udall seemed far, far away, as the liberals babbled all about him . . . eyes lifted to visions only he seemed to see outside the Mayflower's 16th Street door . . . seemingly bored, definitely sunburned, with an air of standing there stuffed with kapok.

Galbraith told a good Father Drinan story . . . he was helping the Jesuit congressman compain to keep his Massachusetts seat and had introduced him at a rally, noticing as he did "a particularly intense, ERA, Right-to-Life-buttoned young woman, the epitome of all known Radcliffe types, sitting on the very first row. She was the first to ask Drinan a question . . . 'as a Catholic, a Jesuit and a priest, explain how you feel about abortion' . . . Father Drinan, with very, very thoughtful demeanor answered, 'As a Catholic, a Jesuit and a priest . . . I'm against it ... except for a woman' ... It got the rally off to an astonishing start."

Tennis Anyone?

Dr. Stanley and Lili Sarnoff's intimates have dubbed their Bethesda home the Sarnoff Tennis and Country Club with everything but membership cards and bed and boarding provileges. Everyone comes for the tennis courts and pool fun and so as not to freeload, each couple brings a zingy dish or two and the get-togethers turn into Roman feasts.

A quite grand thing to be doing what with the petrol storage and all and a marv substitute for foolish travel this summer.

Lili, as you certainly know, does fabulous sculptures of lucite and light and she is enjoying huge success in her field.

Toe Shoes and Tutus

Lots of ballet has graced lots of stages before and will again, but nothing can ever be much more exquisite than the Royal Ballet's "romeo and Juliet" produced at Wolf Trap last Tuesday evening.

Beforehand at a Polynesian dinner hosted by Wolf Trap boarder and Mrs. Robert A. Eidson, president of Dicisions and Designs, Guest were plied with fruit-embossed drinks and all that goes with going native under the trees . . . and praise the Volcano Gods or whomever, it didn't rain So far, it's been a water-logged summer at dear ol' W.T.

Being honored by the Eidsons were retiring British Ambassador and Mrs. Peter Jay, but the star was Dame Nitte de Valois, founder of the Royal Ballet . . . quite beautiful in her inimitable British way . . . . small, teddibly grand and grown elegantly in black silk satin and Chinese brocade. She could not have been more gracious to questions and individual remembrances of unforgetable Royal Ballet performances in cities all over the U.S.

She gladly talked to her two most famous prima ballerinas, Margot Fonteyn and Moira Shearer, the gorgeous red-head, who starred in the film "The Red Shoes" ... now "just a houswife with a husband and children, but very happy" . . . and animatedly told of the recent birthday party and cast gave Fonteyn of her 60th birthday.

"it was held on stage at Covent Garden and everyone who loves her so was there, and after the cake and songs, she and Robert Helpmann [former Royal Ballet and Red Shoes superstar] danced the most unbelievable tango that went on and on and on and was just glorious . . . there's never been anyone like Fonteyn, and she can still dance better than anyone living."

Diplomatic Doings

The Sonny Werblins gave one of their buffet luncheons at RFK before the Diplomats soccer game last Sunday in a great dinning room way at the top of the Stadium.

Judy Lewis, PR party lady and her N.Y. partner, Barbara Wainscott, do all the Werblins' arranging, so that of course meant Judy's steady honey, True Davis, was on board, nattily turned out in glen plaid and blazer.

General Bill Quinn was beside himself with pride that he had lost the required over-poundage to get into the sporty threads that Bette had givel him at Christamastime, but into which he could not squeeze then

The general's chief pal, Sen. Barry Goldwater, was enjoying a little liberal-annihilating with former Ford Navy secretary Bill Middendorf, discussing the media reports on the ADA convention, the Draft Kennedy movement, [Arthur and James] Schlesinger ad Galbraith. They agreed Bill Buckley was the only person who could totally intimidate and master John Kenneth Galbraith's "wild-eyed liberal bilge" [a Barry-quote, of coursel].

Carlos Lopez-Guevara, the Panamanian ambassador, was there with his three sons, who are soccer addicts, and the ambassador explained the "utter madness" of the Central and South American countries for this, their favorite sport.

Indeed wars have broken out . . . much blood has been spilled over controversial scores involving fabulously popular players such as Pele. "Down there" soccer is a serious thing Maybe even as serious as Southeastern Conference football is to Good Ol' Boys

Watching a soccer game from the owner's box is not exactly a plebian experience, as we all found out . . . every guest's whim being met with service at every elbow and with the legendary Werblin graciousness. Bill Cook of Georgetown, who had been the Quinn's country weekend guest in Maryland, also was with them at the game. Beautiful Allison LaLand was squired by one of her many swains, this one named Vladimir Something spelled with about nine zs

And hey, and Dips won CAPTION: Picture, Retiring Ambassordor and Mrs. Peter Jay with Mr. and Mrs. Miles Copeland at Wolf Trap; by Lucian Perkins -- The Washington Post.