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Underground euphony

Calcutta could just be beginning to bubble down under, with 10 nightclubs as opposed to the hundreds in London. But when it comes to the quality of music, Calcutta hears pretty much the same thing as that faraway, far more happening party destination does.

Friday night was case in point. The DJ duo of Bandish Projekt, of Bhor remix fame and arguably the best in Asian Underground music (definitely as far as the Indian scenario is concerned), flew down from Dubai and took Winning Streak by storm with old Hindi numbers and new hip-hop tracks, mixed with a wholesome Oriental groove.

Asian Underground, a genre which is extremely popular in the underground club circuit in London, was played in Calcutta for “pretty much the first time” at the HHI sports bar.

And the apparently closed-to-new-music Calcutta party brigade not only savoured the funky beats that the DJs created with their tabla and bongo but also danced to it till dawn.

They pumped new music to the Bobby hit Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho…. Then, they mixed magic with a folk tune, jamming to it at random. Faces from the city’s DJ circuit were spotted at the do, possibly checking out the crowd reaction to the “new form of music”.

Footballer and ex-Mohun Bagan captain Rennedy Singh was nodding to the beats with some beautiful people for company. Having won a match that afternoon, just about anything must have sounded like music to his ears.

At least for one night, Calcutta moved away from remix, hip-hop and R&B raj and tuned into a truly international sound.

Sporty do

On Friday evening, the Ballroom at the Oberoi Grand played host to a classy bash. The Telegraph Merchants’ Cup Golf Nite, one of the most eagerly awaited events in the city’s social calendar, saw a section of the corporate crowd having its fill of fun.

The prizes of the Merchants’ Cup golf tournament, held between July 6 and 9, were given away during the first part of the evening, with the audience giving the winners a resounding round of applause. Actor Jishu Sengupta took the stage briefly to give away the prizes, adding a dash of glamour to the do.

The entertainment chart for the rest of the evening had a good mix of comedy and music, dishing out something for everyone. Vikram Sathe of MTV Fully Faltoo fame from Mumbai had the audience in splits, mimicking cricketers, politicians and film stars.

From Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammed Azharuddin, Navjyot Singh Sidhu, Tony Greig and Geoffrey Boycott to Laloo Prasad Yadav, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and even Bipasha Basu, the television anchor did not spare any power centre or pretty face from the full force of his jibes. A sample: how Bips would ask for coffee in her best Jism come-hither tone.

After the overdose of laughter, it was time to groove and some peppy numbers from Krosswindz provided the perfect platform. Some headed for the dinner counters, others for the dance floor.

Himika Chaudhuri

 

Gear up to groove

If you are going to be seen in all the right places this weekend, your look better be up to the mark. Partying has its own protocol, and in the age of growing fashion consciousness, putting on the right dancing shoes just ain’t enough.

Setting foot inside a Tantra or a Dublin is likely to reveal a few new fashion trends hitting town. “Even one or two years ago, the fashion scene at Calcutta nightclubs was far behind Delhi and Mumbai. Now, fortunately it’s quite on a par,” feels party-hopping grooming expert Davina Gorsia. “We can see the same trends doing the rounds of the discs here as in other cities. In fact, last year when I went to London, I saw the streets full of T-shirts with Indian motifs and the same T-shirts are a rage in Calcutta discs now.”

T-shirts truly are a rage with men this season. While those with cheeky one-liners and cartoons are still hot, the ones with deities (Krishna and Shiva in magenta, yellow, blue and other bright colours) a la Manish Arora have acquired the high-fashion halo. Om and other Indian block prints are also back.

cutta men have finally broken the shackles of light shades and Hawaiian prints in a riot of colours are doing the rounds. Look down and see that the colour bug has bitten footwear as well, with reds, blues and yellows abounding.

For women, spaghettis, tube tops and backless tops are the most common attire for the witching hour. For the lowers, skirts — both crushed long ones as well as short as short can be — are the hautest things to flaunt. “While denims are always the first choice for the lowers, recently we are also seeing lots of short skirts in the discs,” adds Davina.

Nicolette Bird, who keeps shuttling between Mumbai and Calcutta, thinks her hometown night troopers are far more “chilled out” about their dressing. “In Mumbai, everyone is extremely decked up when they are going to a nightclub, as they are always conscious that they might meet a lot of important people. But what I like about the scene in Calcutta is that everyone wants to relax. Having a good time is more important than showing off clothes,” she says. For her, a pair of jeans and a backless top with her favourite stilettos are the way to go.

ot of attention is also focussed on accessories, with belts and earrings topping the list. Belts are getting broader by the night and they are not just confined to the waist any longer. One can also see belts on shoulder straps and even collars. What stands out in the variety of designs are chains and floral patterns in coloured leather.

Chandeliers in a variety of hues for the ears have been in fashion for quite sometime now and they are still going strong. And don’t forget that anklet, to draw attention to legs shown to best advantage in a short skirt or a pair of capris.

Smita Roy Chowdhury

 

Back to school, ultra-cool

To school armed with a beer and a pack of cigarettes' With boyfriend in tow or sporting a really wacky hairdo' Could sound unbelievable, but not if one dropped into Cloud 9 on Friday night where the back-to-school theme night prompted the city’s regular party people to take a little trip down memory lane while going high on their present occupation — partying.

A blackboard greeted the guests at the entrance inviting them to participate in a slogan-writing competition. Once inside, the resto-bar looked almost like a school with the DJ box being titled the principal’s room and the bar, where most of the experiments keep happening, aptly earmarked the laboratory. A staff-room and a library completed the back to books look, if not feel.

The canteen, of course, was the place to hang out, with the dancing and drinking brigade hopping over to the corner to grab a samosa or a chaat from the half-pant clad, topi-donning canteen waiter.

Guests sure followed the notices put up outside the ‘principal’s office’ which ordered everyone to be in a merry mood and “forget all about studies and work for a day”.

 

Starry night out

A brief appearance at Oberoi Grand later (for The
Telegraph Merchant’s Cup Golf Nite), actor Jishu Sengupta darted away to Someplace Else where lady-love Nelanjana Bhowmick was tuning into live music by the band Hip Pocket, but more importantly waiting for ‘the man’ to join her on a Friday night binge. With some close friends for company, the gorgeous couple moved to Tantra, before calling it a night.

 

Party Trooper

When a premier US university confers its prestigious MBA stamp on a young man, it should add another couple of Bs to it for “babe bait”. Think six-figure salaries, add some serious oomph quotient, and the mix is hot ’n’ heady. On Friday night, the gals were stepping on each others’ toes, elbowing rivals out of one US-returned hunk’s way. And the dude' Let’s just say that Winning Streak nearly turned into cloud nine for a night.

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