Anil Thakraney: A night at the dance bar

19 Jul,2013

By Anil Thakraney

 

No, I am not jumping up and down with joy now that dance bars will return to Mumbai (unless Shri RR Patil finds a way to circumvent the SC order). This is because I am not a dance bar man, chucking hard-earned money in the direction of girls gyrating shabbily to Bollywood item numbers isn’t my idea of a night out. Also, some of you might be wondering why I am discussing this issue on a media and marketing portal. Well, the answer is simple: Dance bars remind me of the coolest sting I have done in my journalistic career, don’t think I have had so much fun at work, and I want to relate the experience for those who might have missed the story which was carried in Mid-Day.

 

The year was 2005. Patil had ordered the closure of dance bars in the state, his main reasoning was that dance bars are actually pick up joints, that the dancing girls are prostitutes. This got me thinking. Why not suss if the girls are indeed prostituting. Dressed as a filthy rich but sex-starved businessman from Rajasthan (gold chain and all), and accompanied by three photographers pretending to be friends, we hit four of the most happening dance bars in Mumbai on a single night. At each place, I would order beer, enjoy the ‘performance’, shake with the gals (though that’s usually not permitted) and zero in on one. Shower her with lots of cash (billed to Mid-Day, of course), and leave a little note in her hand that contained my cell number. It was clear: If the young lady was indeed a prostitute, she would call for sure. I was a cash-rich dude, after all.

 

Guess what? Days after, not one dance bar babe bothered to contact me, not one. Mid-Day fronted the sensational findings, much to the annoyance and dismay of RR Patil. The minister, unable to deal with the result, got busy dissing such ‘debauched’ style of journalism, haha. But I had super fun doing the story, which explains why it’s still fresh in the mind. Imagine being paid to dance with pretty girls, flirt with them, shower them with money and invite them for a ‘personal’ meet. Ah, what career can be better than that?

 

By the way, I must add a few of my pals, and Tarana (then a jock with Radio Mid-Day), made a snide and hurtful remark. That it was possible the four girls didn’t want to sleep with me for all the money in the world. Ouch, ouch, ouch! This is what Patil should have said in his defence, but to expect our rural netas to be witty is like expecting pothole-free roads in monsoons.

 

PS: Cool ad for a butter brand. Wonderfully captures the joy of cooking, and it’s shot beautifully too. Makes you want to rush to the kitchen and create magic.

 

Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney

 

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