“No, I’m not that kind of a guy”. “No fuckin way, man”. “Hey, if it’s a normal bar, I’m game”. “It’s gonna be sleazy…” Before I could complete I was face to face with a puny guy with a handle bar moustache. He held my hand and shook it vigorously. His moustache tried hard to cover his pimp like smile. I thought for a second, this is my last chance to retain my innocence. Run you innocent lamb.
Door opened slowly as the music started getting louder. Psychedelic lights hit me. Nostalgia, am I at the sets of a Mithun-da movie? I quickly glanced all over. Mithunda was nowhere to be seen. We’ve to settle for the extras.
We found a nondescript dark corner and parked ourselves. A parade of waiters shook our hands vigorously and moved on. “I’ve never appeared on Bombay Times third page, why all this hand shaking?” “Keep quiet and sit, thank your stars they only shook your hands, there’s a place in Mulund where they shake other things” that was my friend asking me to shut up.
Girls, I noticed them now. Loads of make up, garish costumes. This was life in Technicolor. A few of them were dancing. A few just standing there showing off their two left feet.
Music was really loud. (Roger Drego on sound?).
We asked for two beers. Even hardcore whisky drinkers start lusting for beer once you’re here. Menu card being the prime reason. Not that beer was cheap. Just that the drink you hate most lasts the longest in the glass.
Suddenly, a giggling fit beside me. That was my second friend, still wet behind his ears. He showed me a guy right across our table. A guy in his early 40’s, with a waist in late 40’s, in a black fishnet T-shirt. Banian inside visible most of the time. I joined my friend in laughing.
He had lot of money stashed on the table. I thought, if money talks, this guy is Shekar Suman.
Now my attention turned to my first friend, the guy who brought us here.
This was written in 2000 by the late Mahesh V (you would know his work for Orange, Hutch, etc.) for an online magazine or site as they were called then I used to host online called Mombai. With all the chatter about Chamiya Bars on twitter today, I thought that I will share what he had written here once again.