Saturday, July 02, 2005


Have you ever wondered what its like to visit a discotheque on a weekend? Apparently, after suffering the rigours of a 6 day working week for the best part of a millenium, Mumbai is now appreciating the delicate charm of partying on a Friday night.

Ofcourse, the definition worldwide, of partying is 200 or more thoughtlessly scantily clad bodies crammed into a 350 sq feet dimly lit arena, that is littered with obstacles like chairs, tables, dj tables, dancing floors, railings, curtains, waiters, and other dancing people.

And that is applicable in abundance to Mumbai. Dimly lit bars, with well-meaning waiters, who are brilliant at maintaining individual tabs on tables, offering you refills at your most vulnerable (when your drink is near empty, and you're gazing at it hopefully, waiting for Bachchus, or even the crow with stones to fill it up), with loudly pounding music, that invariably turns to Punjabi Hip Hop and suspiciously resembles a cattle call for all those hopelessly shackled to their mundane lives and who are craving a release - any kind of release.

Ofcourse, the drinks are expensive. Not in the quantum that you might find abroad, but as expensive as a ride in a go-karting festival :)... Every time I go out to a bar in Mumbai, I read the menu (I always have to read the menu; 'Mera regular laana'is reserved for regulars), I try to compare the cost of a beer with what it costs at the bar with the Australian female bartender, on 15th and Lexington. Then I add the cost of a return air ticket, the cost of travelling by train from Ridgefield, and I end up projecting a much more snobbish image than I started out to portray. But, a 6 dollar beer on a 3000 dollar wage, and a 150 rupee beer on a 15000 rupee wage is kind of a no brainer.

Ofcourse, once you're out, you have to decide where you are gonna party. Depending on the company, you are partying southside (bye bye, petrol economy), or in the suburbs (bandra, here we come). Ofcourse, deciding on Which exact location you would like to reside in, for the best part of those 4 hours you will pay through your nose to be pounded with Punjabi music, screaming, raving lunatics who have just finished with their BPO shifts, and be shunted around while you try to balance 2 beers, one vodka, and a scotch on the rocks for the people who found you to make gullible's travel to the crowded bar and backm is tricky.

Hot and happening places are lucrative Page 3 investments, but ofcourse if you are worth less than a million dollars, dont have a botox in the right places, dont have flat abdomenal and pelvic muscles, and are not suitably promiscuous, you dont have a hope in hell of making it to the raggiest of rags. (Pun Intended).

Ofcourse, when this circus is parading through town twice a week, my only thoughts are about the time in college, when during stayovers, we would go to Sunlights or Lalits, and with 150 rupees between 4 of us, split 2 Romanov Vodka Quarter with Sprite, and free moongphalli and boiled channa, and loiter back to the hostel beds, feeling completely on top of the world and happy with life.



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