From Pune to Pushkar and now Mumbai, the police are clamping down on rave parties and arresting young people believed to be having too good a time. But all’s quiet in Delhi. Are Delhiites not into raves?
DJ Sumit, who plays at clandestine out-of-town raves, scoffs at the idea. “Delhi ravers follow the firang circuit. Nowadays we have raves at Rishikesh or Manali. It’s safe there.”
“Delhi ravers follow the hardcore backpackers from Israel, Japan and France and these foreigners are mad for the pure, cheap mountain weed,” says Alex D’Souza*, a party organiser well-networked with expats.
In the city, raves have shifted to farmhouses in the secluded areas of Mehrauli and Gurgaon, reveals Aditi Chopra*, a regular. “Raves aren’t as commercial as they were three years ago. Now it’s among friends’ groups,” she says.
“The scene had moved towards Jaipur, but after the Moondusk bust two years ago that’s cooled off,” says Rima Sen*.
According to Alex, the typical raver is a college kid. And there’s a sprinkling of models and celebs. “Models are regulars.
We’ve also seen the daughter of a musician and her well-known friends. Entrepreneurs who are regular at Delhi’s nightclubs also attend. Lately, airhos-tesses are a big draw,” says Alex.
So are raves all about drugs and sex? “Without being stoned, one can’t listen to psychedelic trance for eight hours at a stretch. Guys with money do acid or ecstasy, while the budget guys are into shrooms (mushrooms), hashish or ganja. If you see a guy dancing endlessly, he’s on ecstasy,” says Vikram, who provides sound.
“It’s not about drugs, it’s about the experience,” says Aditi. “The price is double what it costs outside. It’s the music that’s an all-time high.”
DJ Sumit said the sex bit was exaggerated. “People kiss, but they do that in nightclubs as well. Foreigners are more demonstrative anyway.”
Why is Delhi such a dry zone for rave parties? “Delhi cops are vigilant. There are also lots of rival groups who snitch to the cops making it virtually impossible to have a rave in the city.”
—with inputs from Jaydeep Ghosh and Monicca Adlakha