Other side of midnight

Published: 29 December, 2013 08:22 IST | Dhiman Chattopadhyay |

The city that never sleeps seems to have fallen into deep slumber. But all that will change in 2014 � that's our bet. Mumbai's legendary nightlife will get its fizz back, cops will patrol the city on sports bikes, our beaches will compete with Rio (well, almost) and fashion will go desi cool

Party all night
Yo Yo Honey Singh has no part to play here. But we are pretty confident that 2014 will see some life being pumped back into Mumbai’s pubs and nightclubs. No more Cinderella-like midnight deadlines, pubs will stay open till 4 am. And here’s an idea to keep miscreants and ruckus-creators at bay: every nighclub owner should invest in a dozen Dhoble-masks and make it mandatory for all bouncers to wear them post 11 pm. Anyone crossing the decibel level or throwing a tantrum will be made to do 10 sit-ups for a first offence -- something that has been perfected in Ahmedabad by NaMo’s cops. Occasionally invite the real Vasant Dhoble over too as a guest of honour, so that troublemakers are kept guessing.

Backless cholis will not be restricted to the nine nights of garba alone. Expect the sizzling cholis to hit the stores as the temperature rises

But what if you end up having a drink too many? Worry not, a new trend is on the horizon. Nightclubs will employ a posse of drivers who will drive you home for free (or for a nominal charge) in your own car, in case you are drunk. After all, you have given the club a lot of business already by drinking a tub of beer. They owe you this much. As we write, one nightclub in Andheri has already started this system. Expect others to follow suit in 2014.

Harley burly
2014 will perhaps see (we sincerely hope so) an embarrassed state machinery invest some money so that our overweight cops finally manage to catch some molesters and rapists red handed.

Imagine a beachside promenade in Mumbai that looks like this. The year 2014 will see the city take its first few steps towards this direction. Pic/ AFP

Even two per cent of the money that our netas make (but do not show in their IT returns) will ensure that every police station in the city is gifted one burly Harley Davidson (or maybe a Ducati) bike. Every month the bike will pass hands to the ‘cop of the month’, i.e the best performer. And the chap with the bike will be given the responsibility of leading the chase to catch every molester, rapist or thief his team spots. Unless the culprit is driving an Aston Martin, it will be tough for him to get away from a bike that can travel like a rocket. Of course someone needs to fix those potholes so that these bikes can live up to their reputation. If only pigs (err, you know who we mean) could fly.

Small is sexy
What do you think we are talking about, huh? Chhee! All we are saying is that booze bottles will get smaller and smaller in 2014. Don’t believe us? We expect the sales of miniature spirit bottles to double in 2014 as more and more liquor companies bottle their premium and luxury products, including single malts and high-end white spirits in sample bottles. The idea? Those who aspire and wish to get a taste of truly world-class malts and spirits but cannot afford a 750ML bottle at R5000 can easily pick up a miniature at R200 and give it a shot -- literally. Clearly a win-win marketing strategy, 2014 will see both Indian and global spirit brands plunge head first into the miniature market. For those wondering what the world is coming to, here’s the good bit: buying small also means drinking less. We are betting our money on this one.

Oh, c’mon, stop daydreaming. Nah. No David Hasselhof and Carmen Electra on Chowpatty. But 2014 will hopefully see Mumbai’s citizens making a gigantic effort to not just keep the beaches clean (which already many residents associations help keep) but to pour in a bit more money and energy to ensure our beaches and promenades look world-class. Shops will only be allowed on one side of the beach; no vendors will be allowed to enter beyond a point and nor will visitors be allowed to eat/drink beyond a point. But most importantly our beaches will come alive at night too. Night patrols (a la Goa), night markets, cultural shows on the beach front and proper policing to keep the beach clean and safe will not only bring more people to enjoy our beaches but will add significantly to the tourism ministry’s coffers. And with enough security, women and children will feel safe as well. A chance to flaunt some of those seductive resort wear, finally?

Go glow
With so much happening to Mumbai’s nightlife, the fashion industry’s single largest contribution to Mumbai’s nightlife in 2014 will hopefully be the creation of glowing evening wear. Fashion will be redefined with prêt lines that come fitted with insta-glow technology. Push the green button and your sheer off-shoulder gown will make you shine (literally), catching the eye of, well whoever you want to catch the eye of!
Want to ward off a loser who’s trying to hit on you? Push the red button and he gets a mild shock if he comes within six inches of you. We are still figuring out of men will be able to order glow suits too, but the jury is still out on that one.

Plunging to new depths
There will be much talk about parampara and Indian traditional wear in 2014. And this will plunge fashion wear to new heights. We love our tradition. So backless cholis will not be restricted to the nine nights of garba alone. Expect the sizzling cholis to hit the stores as the temperature rises. Sarees too will be the order of the day, as we go back to our roots. Men will be men though and will pair long kurtas with bermudas, making the formal-shirt-with-shorts trend that hit 2013 like a meteor, look boring in comparison. Lungis, almost on the verge of being declared an endangered species, will make a desperate comeback bid. Expect to spy this colourful piece of clothing at some of the more exciting young-at-heart social events in Mumbai.

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