How to survive raids in Mumbai

Jun 16, 2012, 06:09 IST | Rohan Joshi

Worried about nightclub raids? You won't need to be after this handy helper

Troubled times are upon us. Nightclubs are empty, party-goers are afraid, and the Netherlands are on their way out of Euro 2012. Apparently that last one does not concern the people of Mumbai, who still think ‘Dutch’ is a method of bill-payment. But the city’s nightlife has taken a hit, thanks to Emperor Palpa Vasant Dhoble, a member of our esteemed police force who has decided that the worst thing you can do with your life is have a good time. This man is so hardcore that rumour has it that as a child he once arrested his own mother for not calling him home early while playing cricket. But this is not the time to point fingers. It’s a much better time to flip ‘em. The real need of the hour though is a primer on how to survive pointless raids by overzealous people like Vlad The Impa Dhoble. And so I present to you, a primer on how to survive raids in Mumbai.

What do I do if I am arrested for being in a nightclub?
You can’t be. Just leave. They can’t stop you. Unless you’re either a) causing disorder, b) seven years old, or c) Manu Sharma. In the third case, stay there, let them arrest you, go to jail and rid us of your patheticness.

Overzealous: ACP Vasant Dhoble has decided that the worst thing you can do with your life is have a good time. File pic

What if I am found with drugs on me?
Consume them. If you’re going to spend a few nights in prison, may as well make a party of it. It’ll make a great chapter in a book some day.

What is “overcrowding”?
Overcrowding is a perfect example of what us Indians do best; add prefixes or suffixes to words for no reason. Shouldn’t just ‘crowding’ be enough? (See also ‘slept off’, ‘met up with’ and ‘replied back’.)

No seriously, focus. What is overcrowding?
“Overcrowding” pertains to a rule that says that there must be only 166 people per 1,000 square feet in a restaurant. This rule is a part of the Bombay Police Act of 1960, an act so old it doesn’t even get beaten up for calling the city ‘Bombay’ because it has senior-citizen benefits. The keyword here is ‘1960’, which is when the city had only 167 people living in it. 166 of them went to restaurants, the 167th was Dhoble, who ate alone at home because nobody likes him. Some people feel like the act needs to be updated. Mostly because these days, 166 people is nothing. More people stand on my foot in the Borivli Fast. More people share a seat at Wankhede when Sachin is batting. Heck, more people ran for President of India.

What are my rights as a girl caught at a nightclub?

What do I do if a cop starts to frisk me without my permission?
Pretend to enjoy it a little too much. That usually works.

Should I be afraid of going clubbing?
Of cops? No. Of overpriced drinks, stupid cover charges, an hour’s wait for valet service, and boys named Pinku who tell you they “lhau going clubbing in the discs”? Yes.

What if I want to party without fear of retribution after 1:30 am?

What if my nightclub gets raided?
Fret not. The next day, a newspaper will do a story on it. Then you can question their fact-checking on Facebook. The next day, the paper will refute you. Then you can re-refute them. And the mining mafia in Uttar Pradesh can laugh at you as they kill another cop and it goes uncovered because this is hogging all the newsprint.

Why did the chicken cross the road?
Irrelevant. The bigger question that Mr Dhoble wants answered is did it have a permit to perform the act of road-crossing? There. You should be fine now. Unless you support the Dutch, in which case, tough. 

Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can also contact him on

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