Monday, 9 June 2008

Willingdon Rain Dance

Attended a rain dance at the Willingdon Gymkhana this Sat with friends.

The evening started off on a quiet note. Left home at 6.00 P.M, hung around St. Peter’s in Bandra till about 7.30 when TP, SL, M, G, K and a friend showed up (tried to get a Kesar shake from Karachi while waiting) but they were out of Kesar?!? Then travelled to and hung around Willingdon realising that it was 8.30 (the event was supposed to start at 7.30) and they were still setting up scaffolding that would in turn hold up sheets that would protect the tables and chairs around the dance floor from the rain. Befriended a friendly cat while we were waiting.

Once everything was set up though, the party started quickly. It was fun, despite the fact that we had to move thrice, the first time because we were too close to the speakers, the second because our table was getting dripped on by too much rain, and the third because we wanted to be nearer the action. Drinks and snacks were really cheap – 60 bucks for a Pepsi and two rums. Around 50 bucks for a plate of snacks like Tandoori chicken, etc. Which was good since we were hungry. Variety was good too.

Three of our party had to leave early, two of them being sick (admirable how they still came) and the remaining three of us wound up soon after. TP and I then headed to the Mumbai Times Cafe (Fifth Floor, Crystal Shoppers Paradise, Off Linking Road, same lane as KFC, Bandra) to catch the Euro Cup at about 11.30 with his friends. As we walked from the elevator to the MTC, we saw a guy being carried out by two other guys; he obviously had had too much to drink. As they passed me, I patted him on the back and said something to the effect of “it’s alright, hang in there”. There’s nothing that raises your hopes of a place like seeing another guy stumble out drunk. The reasoning is, if he’s had a good time, chances are, you will too.

Upon entering however, I was disappointed. The atmosphere didn’t appeal to me. It resembled some kind of restaurant/lounge bar. However we were assaulted with EDM being played at eardrum shattering levels that actually made the furniture vibrate, which was more akin to a nightclub. Now, I like cafes/restaurants/lounge bars and I like loud music, but I don’t like them together. You want loud music when you’re dancing in a club, not when you’re in a cafe/restaurant setting where you’d like to talk to the person next to you instead of being forced to simply sit/eat/drink and nod your head in turn to the music like a zombie - because that’s all you can really do in a place like this. There was of course a small place measuring about 4 square feet in between two lounge areas where a few people were dancing but I’m not sure that was supposed to be a dance area in the first place; and it was only guys dancing?!? Did I miss something?

In retrospect, this appears to be the case in a lot if Mumbai’s so called lounge bars. You don’t go there and ‘lounge’ out of choice. You really don’t have a choice cos they don’t let you do anything else. You can’t dance to the great music for lack of space which is taken up by seating, and you can’t talk to anyone either because of the loud music. A waste of two completely good resources.

While TP took his friends back to his place, I went home.

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