The lungi has been in the news recently because of the bans imposed on it by the government of Saudi Arabia and authorities in Sharjah, UAE. This means people there can no longer come out in their traditional wear which was made famous by Mehmood in films like Kunwara Baap and Sabse Bada Rupaiyah.
But what about our very own backyard. Would our local stringent nightclub rules allow us to party in a lungi? We decided to find out. We got on board Khuahhish Sharma, lead of Kuch Kariye and Usha Malhotra, assistant director of the same film and set out on a trail. The odds were not in our favour. We were indeed surprised when four out of five clubs let us in. Here’s how it went.
Blue frog, Lower Parel
Blue Frog situated right beside Zenzi Mills was next. A security guard brandishing a metal detector welcomed us. ‘What’s with the lungi, sir,” he asked us. “My friend is new to the city. He wanted to look around and have a feel of the nightlife in the city,” replied Khuahhish.
We are allowed in and headed straight to the reception area from where the club’s interiors were visible. Guests gathered around the glass door to have a glimpse of the lungi. No questions asked. We got the green signal. It was time to hit the floor.
Hawaiian Shack , Bandra
Our last stop was a packed Hawaiian Shack in Bandra. The bouncers at the reception stopped us. “Why don’t you wear something else if you want to enter,” said one of them. “This isn’t Dubai or Saudi. This is a local outfit. Why can’t someone wear it,” confronted Khuahhish.
We were not even allowed to click pictures.The tourist gamble didn’t work either. We demanded to see the manager. He didn’t turn up even after 15 minutes. We decided to give up and leave. The bouncers refused to give an explanation.
Our first stop was Prive in Colaba. The place wore a deserted look at around 10.27 pm. The security at the entrance looked flummoxed as to what was happening. He opened the door only after he was told that the person in a lungi was a tourist. About four employees welcomed us upon entering and even came to drop us outside.In the 10-minute chat that followed, they shared tidbits about the place and its surroundings.And yes, also enquired about the lungi.
Indigo, Apollo Bunder
Next, we headed to Indigo at Apollo Bunder, which was just minutes away from Prive. At the time of entering, most guest were on their way out. Before stepping into their cars, some of them stopped and looked at us in surprise. There were about seven employees welcoming us at the reception. None of them complained or questioned us, though we had to explain to them that the shutterbug accompanying us was there because the man in a lungi was a tourist.
Zenzi MILLS, Lower Parel
As we parked our car outside Lower Parel’s Zenzi Mills, we were warned by patrons smoking outside that we are at the right place, in the wrong attire. “Go someplace else,” said a few teenyboppers. We still decided to give it a shot. Unlike the previous two places, there wasn’t a horde of employees waiting to welcome us.
In store was the smoothest ride so far. A waiter and a hostess greeted us. No one even cared to look at the lungi. Even the photographer was allowed in. We sat for about 10 minutes and left without answering a single question.