Living in Delhi/NCR have some advantages, as this is the capital of India so there is no dearth of places where you can party like a king. Delhi has worst reputation among all metros as far as the safety of women is concerned. This is statistical fact but we better don’t apply it at all places and all time in the city, so its a bit exaggerated. People having a rare or no link with this part of the country make perception based on heavily sensational material available on news channel. They(news-wallah) telecast such unfortunate incidents at-least a million times so that even a rare incident looks like the culture and ritual of the city, which can scar the hell outta any sane and normal person.
But when you actually go out in the city, all the bad reputation which this city has earned disappear in the fumes of positive vibes which you feel all around, only if you are wise and receptive. I have traveled in many countries in the India and world and I can say without a hesitation that no city is as lively as Delhi. It has an unmatched charisma and that is why it was the darling of many rulers of India, native or foreign. Whenever I ask the girls in my circle of relative/friends/colleagues if they feel unsafe in the city or would like to shift to another city in India then most of them answer in negative. They say, though they are concerned about the negative image of the Delhi, but the love for this city is too strong to leave it. They are not frog-of-well types but the ones who are well-traveled. So I can justifiably say that fearful rejection of this joyous and beautiful city by nerdy statisticians is just another case of generalization gone awfully wrong.
I am not a party guy in the way that I don’t feel like going to a pub/club( damn, I don’t even know the difference between two) every weekend. I like to have a private life with my family. I don’t even like attention, good or bad. In fact after driving around the city in a car heated by blower only to see poor children shivering in a near-zero temperature on traffic signals, I don’t have moral arrogance to over-power my guilt and kindness. But few days are meant to be selfish.
That was one of those rare days when I went to a five star hotel in the city to celebrate new year. The party was at Nyx, The Royal Plaza. The location was in Lutyen’s Delhi. In front, behind, adjacent to the location of hotel were either other luxury hotels like Le Meridian and Shangri-La, or banglows of some political bigwigs. It felt like a different world. A very artificial one. And pretending also. After some usual security screening and courtesy welcome, we headed straight to the venue, Nyx. OB vans of some news channels were stationed in the premises of the Hotel and I knew it was going to be a rocking party. We were the first one to reach at the entrance of the club. As there was some talk of blockade of all roads leading to Cannaught Place by police after 8:00 pm, so I rushed early to the place.
The club was decorated with a blue theme. Lights, carpets, paintings, dresses of dancers( Belly dancers from Turkey ) were all blue, as you can see in the pics. As we reached much before the action would start at 10:00 pm, we were there even before it was 9:00 pm, so we thought it better to explore the other sections of hotel like lobby, adjacent bar and the area around pool.
I got to know from the staff that there were actually four parties to be held at different location in the hotel and ours was most expensive and grand, (I know she was telling this to every guest 😉 ). Almost half of the visitors were foreigners. Most of them, specially girls, were dressed impeccably, sharp and to the occasion. Some white guys, for the reason only God knows, were there in casual pyjamas and t-shirts with a water bottle in hand and chappals in their feet. I don’t know what these guys were up to. They must be the resident guest of the hotels. Anyway after roaming for some time in the hotel purposelessly, we went finally to the Nyx, lounge bar. To no surprise of ours still we were the first to reach there. Only some staff persons were there arranging for the grand party to follow.
People kept coming, usually couples, and going because there was nothing to do there other than having some drinks. Then came the round of snacks and people became busy as Delhites are so fond of food. As I am vegetarian, most of the stuff was out of my scope and interest. Then I contacted a staff and asked if the cuisine was specifically designed for non-vegtarians, he replied in negative and left after promising me some vegetarian stuff. Never to appear again. After some time I contacted another one. Same scenario. He also disappeared. Same thing happened for two other staff. Then I surrendered, and without concerning the staff again, compromised with sipping the vodka mixed with Limca. Well, this was not how it was going to end. After some time I had all those waiters coming to me with vegetarians snacks like samosa, cutlet and spring rolls all together. I was surprised. It was a scene in itself with all other people looking at us as if we were some VVIPs. Thanks to being guest of a five star hotel. 🙂
At around 10:45, the activities around the dance floor started increasing. People were waiting for who was going to be first one to invade dance floor. A middle age woman took the lead and stepped on what was still a no-man’s land. Other people would follow. Now it was looking like a party. My wife started pulling me towards floor but , as I forgot to bring my cigarette, I was keen on buying the cigarette from lobby downstairs. It was a brief and usual confrontation. After buying the pack of cigarette, and went straight to her, hold her hand and took her to dance floor to spice up the dance floor till last light is dimmed.
We danced, danced and danced without being concerned of what was happening around us. It was only when I went to have a smoke I realized guys from a renowned news channel were actually telecasting all the action dance floor live on TV. It was new for me. Then we were told to vacate the dance floor for five minutes as the belly dancer would entertain us. She danced on ‘Senorita’ , a song from Bollywood movie “Zindagi na Milegi Dobara”. It was a brief and ok performance. Some girls and guys also danced with her and they she left.
At sharp 12:00 pm, the fireworks from the lawn surrounding the swimming pool started. It went on for around 30 minutes. That was another spectacle of night which reminded our self of Diwali. After the fireworks, we again went to the dance floor and danced for 15 minutes. We wanted to be there whole night. At around 1:00 am we went for the dinner. It was the worst dinner I had in A five star hotel. There was actually nothing for vegetarians, and I am sure it was no better for non-vegetarians also. I had to adjust with Nan and Dal Makhani. Yes deserts had more varieties and I loved Kulfi and Gajar ka Halwa.
While in the lobby, on our way to the parking, one member from the crew of one news channel complimented us and said that you people enjoyed the most. That was icing on the cake. An appreciation no matter how small always makes you happy.
Seeing our self on TV dancing like “rock-stars” made our weekend and NYE celebration a memorable one.
A very happy and prosperous new year to all of you.