Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bars, and other hang-ups

It’s Saturday night. I’m home. Not like I didn’t want to go out tonight, but all my energy got drained this evening. And I didn’t find anyone fun enough to go out with. I typically have very low tolerance for evenings spent with couples. No, it’s not the pressure to de-single myself. Rather, I get very bored. I’m quite a romantic myself, but not the ‘let’s do a romantic dinner, and meet with friends who can we bore the shit out of, with all our canoodling’. I like hanging out with a few couples. Vani is a lot of fun even when Nobby is around. Bharati and Hari are really fun too.

So I decided to stay back and read this book on Bombay city. I also realized I’m adamant about calling it Bombay as opposed to M**bai. It’s a hang up. Just the way I say “Leave this with me” as opposed to “Leave it to me”. I find the latter a lot less credible. This came up a few days back and maybe a certain Mr. Sawhney will relate to this, if he ever reads it.

The alternate plan was to hang out in a club in Saket. It didn’t appeal much to me. Saket, or the club. I would rather go to a bar.

I’ve had this ‘clubs vs. bars’ moot point with my friends for ages now. I don’t go clubbing. I think 2 years of B school partying killed my inclination to plan, dress up, and dance in a group of 400 unknown people. B school partying was very different. Every other Saturday, all of us would finish our work by midnight, after which we’d begin partying at L-square, and old basket ball court, right next to my room. I don’t recollect wearing anything other than old tracks and a grey vest as these parties (will try to dig up an old picture). Everything else, including the shots, babushkas, hook-ups, fights, people passing out, more shots, is the same. The bang for the buck, i.e. the party for the effort, was much higher!

Bars, on the other hand, are different. Now one has to come to terms with the fact that L-squares won’t happen once you’re out of B school. Given that, I like to spend my Friday evenings with friends, catching up over beer (I end up drinking very little of it, but providing a lot of the entertainment). U2, The Doors or Cranberries playing in the background can make it a fairly light start to a weekend.

I rarely find bars over-crowded, with men wearing orange shirts with “Lady killah!” written on them, and women wearing red stockings matched with red gloves (No kidding, that what’s I saw at Agni, one of the happening clubs in Delhi). Plus, Delhi women, when all decked up can give me quite a complex. That lot thankfully is always pulled towards clubs.

It’s a pity Delhi hasn’t imbibed the bar culture well. We had Turquoise cottage, which they shut down because it was not in an ‘authorized’ area (read crowded commercial complex, with multiplexes, apparel stores and fast food joints cramped together, with a little hole in the wall spared for the bar. In short, a highly inappropriate location). I honestly wish the Delhi government would expend its energy in other things.

So we’re left with TGI Fridays now, where I end up spending most of Friday evenings. I do wish one of my enterprising friends in Delhi takes a cue from the Hard Rock Café in Bombay, Mojos in Bangalore, Crazy Elephant in Singapore, Finnegan’s or the standard Deutsche Haus in KL, Chapandaaz in Madrid, or any bar in Munich (this list is clearly not exhaustive- its what's I know from my very limited travels). I’m sure there are at least a few hundred people in the city who like to spend their Friday evenings with friends over beer, chicken wings and Classic Rock.

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