The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bar on boys, girls just wanna have fun
- Nightclub ladies gala turns the tables on events for male eyes only

The Friday-night rendezvous: giggling gals gang up, doll up, and head for the action. It’s the first bona fide Strictly for Women’s Night; men are an absolute no-no. And the ladies are just loving it.

Tantra, 9 pm, July 11, has been the girl talk in town for weeks. After years of watching patiently as men had their ogle at a bit of oomph, Calcutta girls could get some of their own back with dancers from Mumbai hotting up the floor. Thong-clad women and exotic belly-dancers have been the norm at every city nightclub for the past few years. But boys beware: the tables have turned and it’s ladies’ night out.

Friday found all-girl groups — from companies and colleges — planning to troop down to catch the fun. Most, however, had not foregone the men altogether. “We have asked the guys in our group to wait for us at Someplace Else, so we could meet them afterwards,” explained one executive in her mid-20s.

A couple celebrating its anniversary was separated for a few hours, as the groom somewhat reluctantly agreed to press the pause button while his bride stopped by the gala with her girlfriends.

At Tantra’s first such event, Ali and Kamlaksh were the centre of attraction. An early night, the action kicked off at around 9 pm, with the doors to be thrown open to the men around 11 pm. Complimentary drops home were on hand for ‘stag’ women.

“There have been a lot of events for men. But girlie nights are usually pyjama parties at home. We wanted the girls to feel safe, so that they could come out alone and they don’t always need a man,” explained a spokesperson of The Park. The hotel is hoping the concept catches on, so a regular feature can be planned.

Public relations veteran Rita Bhimani blames the gals-only nights firmly on the men. “Before, men and women would have their fun together. They could go to Mocambo or Blue Fox, where they would dine and dance. But now, the men have fallen behind. They don’t like to dance, and the women have decided they can have fun on their own.”

A weekly ladies’ evening at Grain of Salt has been “quite a success”. On for around three months, Thursdays see the doors to the bar firmly closed to all men between 6 pm and 9 pm, and an additional menu of low-fat drinks on offer. “We have quite a few ladies coming by in groups. From the young to the middle-aged, all seem to enjoy it,” says Sanjay Mukherjee, assistant food and beverage manager. The desire to “do something different” triggered the move, and the response has been good enough to keep it going.

The girls just wanna have fun, and no guys please.

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