Earlier this week, I was in Delhi. I didn’t think a conversation about Mumbai’s talked-about-to-death nightlife would come up. The topic has obviously become boring by now. But one day into the trip, LIV in Kala Ghoda got raided. The 200 people who were taken to the police station in the middle of the night then took to social networking sites and made sure the topic trended.
“So the nightlife in Mumbai is still happening, right?” asked a friend who I’ve been defeating in the Mumbai-Delhi argument for years now. “The situation is bad, but it’s still better than Delhi,” I said, not sounding half convinced myself. Just to rub it in, he went on: “Anyway, we have a few options for what we can do this weekend. House party, terrace party, we can go to a farmhouse, hang at a bar, discotheque or microbrewery. By 3.30 am or so, you’ll be dropped home.”
That chip that most people from Mumbai walk into the capital with has shifted shoulders quite smoothly. It would be safe to say that we’ve officially lost the argument of all time. Meanwhile, to distract themselves from this depressing truth and the recent raid, this coming weekend, thousands from this city are heading to Pune to head-bang their worries away at a three-day music festival. The only thought on everyone’s minds: is the festival going to get raided for some reason or another?
It’s a fair concern, considering there will be music, alcohol, open spaces and lots of happy people having fun (the one factor that attracts the police’s wrath instantaneously). The scariest aspect, however, has to be the fact that the recent incidents involving the cops (including the one at LIV) have started taking violent turns.
To top it all, the police’s highhanded behaviour in Mumbai seems to have given officers across the state the feeling that they can get away with almost anything. What else would explain why Pune cops assaulted the crew organising the Enrique Iglesias concert for a few extra passes?
Additional commissioner Krushna Prasad’s admittance that the police handled the situation badly (with regard to the LIV raid) only goes to prove that even they are slowly losing control of this monster-in-the-making.
Let’s just hope they don’t give Delhi another reason to smirk.