Post 26/11, Mumbai night
life takes a back seat
By Azera Rahman
Dec 12 (IANS) To get entry, you have to register your name
at least 24 hours in advance. You must carry a valid photo
identity card, like your PAN card or driver's licence, and
you will be thoroughly frisked by security guards at the entrance.
Welcome to the party at a Mumbai five-star hotel.
the 'city that never sleeps', the roads wear a deserted look
a little past nine at night. And the pulsating night life
that Mumbai is so famous for seems deflated.
have never seen the roads of this city so empty so early in
the night. All that you see are a few cars, there's hardly
anyone walking on the roads," Rahul Kulkarni, who works
with a multinational company, told IANS.
self-confessed party animal, Kulkarni said that most of the
city's hot spots in the party circuit in Bandra, Colaba and
Khar have been witnessing a dip in crowds.
only natural. Mumbai is still recovering from the shock of
one of the country's worst terror attacks just two weeks back.
People are going to work because they have to, but most of
them are not in the mood to celebrate and party," Kulkarni
Christmas and New Year's Eve just round the corner, a number
of hotels had been booked for parties. After the Nov 26 attack
which lasted 60 hours and killed 179 people, many have opted
to call off celebrations.
Jain, a homemaker, is one of them.
my husband's birthday Dec 24 and I wanted to throw a surprise
party for him, inviting his closest friends and some long
lost pals whom I got in touch with through Facebook.
we just came to know that a close relative of one of his friends
lost his life during the terror attacks. In such a situation,
how can we celebrate? The party has been called off,"
Roshni and Anubhav Patel, a young Gujarati couple who got
married last weekend, all plans for a perfect wedding came
had planned our wedding specifically around this time because
the weather now is great and some of our closest friends from
outside Mumbai would be home on holiday," Roshni, a dentist,
after the terror attacks, the party mood was missing. Everyone
tried their best to make this a really special occasion for
us - with a cocktail party, mehndi and a sangeet ceremony
before the wedding reception - but something was missing."
the entrance to the Intercontinental hotel, a five-star hotel
in south Mumbai where the couple's cocktail party took place,
the strict security check took many guests by surprise.
have never been so thoroughly checked before entering a five-star
hotel. After what happened at the Taj and Oberoi Trident,
security has assumed an even greater importance in the hotels
here...Ironically, these checks make you feel secure and vulnerable
at the same time," Deepshikha Thapliyal, one of the guests,
said while walking through a metal detector frame into the
reception of the hotel.
her friend Kavita: "Yes, they somehow remind you that
no matter where you are - on the road, in a fancy hotel or
in the cocoon of your own home - you are not completely safe."
doorman at the hotel's steps welcomed every guest with a cheerful
"Chak de phatte" - roughly translating into 'forget
your woes, cheer up' - and managed to bring a smile on most
lips, however momentary it may have been.