20 January, 2021

Live Bands Dying

Karnataka too uses the moral argument to ban dance bars

Saibal Das
Live Bands Dying
Salam-e-ishq meri jaan, zara qubool kar lo..." goes a haunting Hindi number even as the dancer balances a glass on her head. This is followed by a raunchy Telugu sizzle: "Ah ante Alapura, Ee ante Elapura." Then a Kannada dancing tune. The girls gyrate, some just tap their feet, a few others stand resting against the pole. Bangalore's 'live bands', as dance bars here are known, are multilingual. The crowd that visits them is eclectic, from techies to traders. But surprisingly, the girls in the middle are mostly monolingual. Their 'thank yous,' when you throw money at them, are all in Hindi.

Live bands have proliferated here in the last one year and there are about 48 of them running now "but not exactly thriving", some owners contend. The upmarket ones are all around M.G. Road, Brigade Road and Residency Road. And the epicentre of the rest is the Majestic area. But wherever you go, it is just Hindi-speaking girls. "Ninety five per cent of our girls come from Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Calcutta, and there are a few khandani transfers from Jaipur and Agra....


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