Businessman Nikhil Singhania loves to party. For him, a party means three things — great ambience, fine wine and a ‘good’ crowd. By that, he, of course means the ladies. In fact he often chooses to head to a ladies night and he clarifies it’s not to ogle at women. "I like to see the ladies having a good time without the company of men," says this 31-year old. "Plus, surrounding myself with good-looking women makes me feel good about myself."
Nikhil isn’t the only regular that you'll spot when you scan through pubs on ladies’ nights. In fact at these weekly dos dedicated to women, it’s the men you’ll spot by the dozen. “There have been times when I feel I’m at a stag party,” says 25-year-old Lekha Mohan, sales head for a wine importing company. “Yes, of course us ladies get special discounts and stuff, but the men most always outnumber the women.”
The concept of the ladies specials, nights on which bars and pubs give special discounts and freebies to women customers, isn’t new. What’s new though, are the longer happy hours and in most cases free cocktails through the nights. Watering holes such as Kylin, Barcode and Turquoise Cottage in Vasant Vihar, Urban Pind in GK I and Tabula Rasa in Saket host these nights weekly while upmarket restaurants such as ai: The Love Hotel host them at least once a month. In fact restaurateur AD Singh, the man behind Olive Bar and Kitchen, feels that the ladies nights have been doing better over the last couple of years, because women seem to have a better time by themselves.
Internationally, the concept of ladies nights, (a.k.a. gender bias) has met with several controversies since the late Seventies. Feminists have often seen it has as an antithesis of what they propagate. Yet, Delhi seems blissfully unaware and is always coming up with new ideas to entertain the femalefolk. Turquoise Cottage’s owner Gaurav Soral believes that you don’t really need a reason to celebrate women.
“Monday nights (the ladies nights) have been extremely successful. It’s time to go one step further — maybe have a lady DJ or women bartenders in the future,” says Soral.
But, where they’ll be women, they’ll be men says 27-year-old Nikhil Bajaj, project manager with a law firm. “Ladies’ nights aren’t just marketing ploys to attract more women, which means more men… who follow in the hopes of chatting them up about feminist issues perhaps.” Indeed.