For Rapper Raftaar, Gurgaon is a city that spells party and fun. “I feel Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village is losing its charm as its overdone now. Plus, the place also has some bad elements over there. So, now everybody is shifting to Gurgaon’s CyberHub, or sector 29.” However, the fate of CyberHub is still uncertain after the Supreme Court banned the sale of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways, though several pubs in Sector 29 have been given clearance. About this, he says, “It’ll be difficult for the new artists, who start of with a small money bracket and are surviving on clubs shows. They are going to suffer. Initially, artists need exposure and these places are good platforms for that.”
Besides sharing his thoughts on pubs shutting shop, he jokes about an idea that pubs and bars back in the Millennium City can use. In North Paravur, Kerala, a restrobar has built a 250 metre-long maze that leads to the actual establishment, Raftaar, says, “In front of a beer and wine shop, they have created a maze, and that maze is 500 metres, if you walk inside it. But it is completely inside a 100 metre area.That is a very good tip somebody can take from Kerala (laughs). ”
Even if pubs, beer shops are closed, there are people providing people with liquor at any given point in the city. These are liquor bootleggers.That is the reality of life.
He adds that no amount of rules can stop residents from living it up. “Even if pubs, beer shops are closed, there are people providing people with liquor at any given point in the city. These are liquor bootleggers.It’s just that we’ll be buying stuff at more expensive rates. Log airports pe setting karenge, railyways pe setting karenge, army cantonment mein setting karenge. Rukne kuch nahi wala. Yeh Dilli aur Gurgaon hai hai meri jaan, yahan sab jugaad se chalta hai (laughs).”
The singer who has belted out hits such as Dhaakad (Dangal, 2016), says he will never call Gurgaon as ‘Gurugram’ as the former name holds sentimental value for him. “Woh (authorities) apne time paas ke liye naam badalte rahenge. I will call it Gurgaon as it holds sentimental value for me. Our heritage is Gurgaon. My mom, worked half of her life in Udyog Vihar, Phase-5.”
The city is also special for him because he performs in “the Millennium City at least five times a year”. The rapper has also studied at a boarding school Shiva Shiksha Sadan in Sonepat, Haryana in the year 2000, where he would often rap in English. “But nobody understood anything I was rapping over there.Maybe it was not their style. I was there because I was very naughty. Those were fun days, where I met kids from different states and places. My first rap ever was in Haryanvi, and that is why I was chosen for Dhaakad. When I speak Haryanvi, I sound like a Jaat. And people used to mistake me for a Jaat. When I’m in Mumbai, my lingo completely changes- Tu kya kar raha hai, Kidar ko jaa raha hai. I know how to adapt to the company I am in,” he shares.