In the City

India Today - - SIMPLY KOLKATA - by Tithi Sarkar

A check­list on where to eat and what to shop for

Mid­night cur­few

Kolkata night skies have grown a lit­tle dim­mer in the last two months with the city be­ing forced to ad­here to an early bed­time. With the re­cent state- im­posed cur­few— a decision taken by the state gov­ern­ment fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent of rape at gun­point on Fe­bru­ary 5 at Park Street, even those will­ing to ven­ture out to party are po­litely be­ing asked to head back home at mid­night.

In a des­per­ate ef­fort to stay afloat, night­clubs are of­fer­ing fab­u­lous dis­counts on food and bev­er­ages, host­ing live mu­sic events and en­cour­ag­ing guests to come early through spe­cial pro­mo­tions of dif­fer­ent brands. Com­pli­men­tary drinks for ladies and one free drink on any or­der are also some other ways by which the clubs are at­tempt­ing to keep the party go­ing.

When the cur­few was ini­tially im­posed, clubs such as Shisha Rein­car­nated, Un­der­ground or the re­cently shut down Venom night­club had seen foot­fall barely cross­ing two- digit num­bers. But re­cent fig­ures por­tray a slightly up­ward trend. Even then So­van Mukher­jee, co- owner of city- based night­club Noc­turne says, “Foot­fall has de­creased by an av­er­age of 50 per­cent since the or­der.” It’s a mixed bless­ing for DJS though, as An­shul, res­i­dent DJ of Un­der­ground, Ho­tel Hin­dusthan In­ter­na­tional says, “Now the tempo has to be raised ear­lier in the evening and we have to play a med­ley of tracks within a shorter time frame. While busi­ness has gone down, I am get­ting to spend more time with my fam­ily now that I can pack my bags be­fore mid­night.” The IPL sea­son, how­ever, has helped nightspots rake in some ad­di­tional moolah. While two five- star night­clubs at ITC Sonar and The Park, where the play­ers stay and where af­ter- par­ties for the games are or­gan­ised, were granted per­mis­sion to stay open till 2 am on match nights, none of the rest have been al­lowed to wel­come guests af­ter mid­night.

Ben­e­fit­ing from the cur­few are nightspots like Maaya of Swis­so­tel Kolkata, which does not come un­der the am­bit of the gov­ern­ment or­der, ow­ing to its lo­ca­tion in New Town, which is out of the city’s precinct. With Zumba and salsa ses­sions, Bollywood nights on Satur­days and free drinks for ladies on Fri­day evenings, Maaya is step­ping up the pro­mo­tions to woo the city crowds to New Town.

But for now, all party peo­ple in the city agree unan­i­mously that nightlife is at an all- time low, the ‘ work hard, party harder’ line does not quite work here and now.

SUVASHIS MUL­LICK/ www. in­di­a­to­day­im­ages. com

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