Monday, February 26, 2007

Out and About

In days of old
When knights were bold
And curfews weren’t invented
We’d stay out all night
And come home, a sight
All tired and cigarette scented.

The days of old ended in 2005 when a mean cop commissioner slapped down an 11pm curfew on all things nightly in Bangalore. The number of late night muggings and drunk driving incidents that the curfew was supposed to reduce, remains exactly the same. People who never really went out clubbing late in Bangalore (such as my mother who’s rejoicing as she reads this), seem to be happy about the city being nice and quiet at midnight. I am not. While the whole curfew deal doesn't cut me up as much as it does many of my friends, I certainly don't relish being hustled out every weekend by a nervous management before my chariot has a chance to turn into a pumpkin. Bratty sons of celebrities have been arrested on account of it, and the insufferable who’s who of Bangalore can’t stop talking about how their lives have been ruined forever.

The one good thing that has come out of an aborted nightlife in Bangalore though, is the fact that the old Bangalore party-at-home scene has made a quiet comeback. There’s now conversation, games, laughter and fun times at house parties in lieu of staying out clubbing all night. It’s a viable and infinitely more economical alternative for sure, but I’m greedy and want them both. There are rumors of the old days of hassle free clubbing coming back fairly soon. Being the true patriotic bengalooru hudugaru that my friends and I are, we certainly make sure all our favourite places stay in business until then.

The kids I used to go out with a couple of years ago were certainly the most tireless clubbers I’ve ever met. We called ourselves the fearsome foursome. Always the first to break the ice on a dance floor, and usually the last to leave. We each had our own style of shaking our booty on the floor: One had a lifestyles-of-the-rich-and-famous wave that would make waiters collide with each other and form a small heap at her feet, another would study his toes and cross and uncross his arms in front of him. The third would dance with abandon, eyes firmly shut and elbows half bent to pre-empt unwelcome amorous advances. I of course had perfected the Bombay Local - a complicated step that involved swaying from side to side holding an imaginary overhead bar. With our combined grace and technique, we brought the overall dance quotient of any club we visited, err... down.

Each of us had our favourite places to go to, and most of the weekend would be spent deciding where to go and plotting an optimum path between various destinations. I-bar was definitely my favourite. Many happy memories there, of my sweet Dalhi friend and I sipping Mojitos with the Princess of Persia, and showing ‘em how it’s done on the floor. Miss Morkozhambu and I, diehard twenty-something wannabes, would hip hop determinedly all evening with the kids at Spinn and Taika. We finally managed a half-Odissi, half-rapper bounce that fooled nobody.

180-proof (now 1912), I-bar and F-Bar were reserved for days when we felt rich enough to pay a million bucks for “six spoonsful of herbed goat’s cheese” and hang out with the well-heeled who’s who crowd. Urban Edge, Sparks, Ego’s, The Club, Zapp, Zero-G, Spinn and the like would be for days when we wanted to be amongst nice, down-to-earth urban people, all out for a good time and lots of dancing.

When we didn’t feel like shaking a leg, there was Cosmo Village, still the nicest lounge bar in town, the lovely Thirteenth Floor, and pubs like Geoffrey’s, Pecos and Tavern, where the NKBH (Namma Kaaladha Bengaluru Hudugaru – Bangalore Youth of Our Time) would gather in large numbers for a night of moojik, wining and dining. When we wanted a pleasant evening with nice house music, there was always The Night Watchman, The Underground, Downtown and Guzzlers. Pub World and The Bunker, erstwhile rocker havens, have now developed unique characters of their own, quite different from what was intended for them back in the 90s when they opened. Crowds mill in like never before. Strange impromptu dance-offs take place in the middle of the floor between the clueless and the clued in. Everyone is happy and huggy-huggy. Quite a lot of fun to go there once in a while.

Purple Haze (my favouritest pub in the world ever), Styx, Legends of Rock, Pecos and Le Rock are where it's at, for all us die hard rockers. I always have an out of body experience 15 minutes into my Purple Haze evenings, when I realize I’m at a pub on a plateau in South India headbanging to Papa Roach and Linkin Park!

I’ll go away quietly now, and leave you with a list of my favourite places to go to in Bangalore today:

To Dance (socially) : Fuga,Taika, Athena I Bar, F Bar
To Dance (junta) : Spinn,Fabulous, Zapp, Zero-G, The Bunker
For the Music (Rock) : Purple haze, Tavern, Le Rock, Legends of Rock, Pecos, Styx
For the Music (Retro/House) : Opus,Windsor Pub,Pecos,Sherlock Holmes, Night Watchman
Lounges : Taika, Cosmo Village, Elements, Pebbles,
Restobars : Thirteenth Floor, Maya, The Beach, Olive Beach, Hint


Shobha said...

Lovely beta lovely! Mwah mwah. Sniff sniff.

P.S. - What's r-&-r?

Meenakshi said...

Biker Dude, Neat blog ... could not stop laughing.
Hey, I was wondering if you would be interested in blogging on burrp! We are going to be launching a community blog for city bloggers - and you would be perfect with your graphic descriptions of Malleshwaram mamis, cantonment bungalows and clubbing. Do send me an email at meenakshi at burrp dot com.

comment_raja said...

how could you forget The Club .. Those were the days no?
Shoot! i forget what that other club - bang in the middle of MG road used to be called. ah! wait. L'attitude. with its kitch interiors and excellent music and great location.

who can forget Time & Again ? .. probably me, coz ive only heard about it, and never been there.

and my excellent dance moves have been reduced to me studying my shoes. heh.

i cant wait to see you on burrrp!

Bikerdude said...

Thanks meenakshi, I'll certainly consider it. Nice site by the way :)

Bikerdude said...

Heh I know- Time and Again seems to be the one spot that everyone talks about, that I completely missed too. It had an afternoon disco and everything. What fun!

Comment_raja, rest assured, our general grace quotient, from what it was then can only get better :)
I can see that your new geography has helped you gain some neat moves on the floor these days though ;)

Praveen said...

I happen to get this on googling something.. and must say was quite an interesting reading abt all the years I missed out not being in the city.
Sigh! the hassle-free days arent still here yet.. :-(