GRANT ROAD, MUMBAI-8
Swaying to the tune of popular Hindi music, Richa makes for a rather enticing visual. Her enviably stunning looks held the middle aged businessman rapt, as he lavished bundles of ten rupees notes on her. And these very marble floors had reportedly witnessed Abdul Karim Telgi showering ten mns Rupees in thousand Rupees denomination as well, this leads to the attention of taxmen… then came the infamous fake stamp paper case.
Welcome to Topaz, the plush dance bar that has emerged as a favourite haunt for not only the likes of Telgi but politicians, corporates, diamond merchants, share brokers, film industry people, foreign tourists, media people as well as visiting foreign cricketers.
For most of these visitors, this has become a way of life. “Sab type ke log aate hai, woh kya kehte hai? High profile wale bhi,” informs Raveena, who works at this up-market dance bar of south-central Mumbai. And some do spend a lot of money.
BAN. . . ? Forget it. A place of “Sharab, Shabab, Jism aur Udte Note,” where Uddhav and his comrades visit to enjoy the over flowing flesh of dancing girls, mostly belong to UP, Rajasthan. A bar where one night Salman Khan is spotted, Fardeen, Saif, Sanjay Dutt on other. DCP himself visits in plain clothes, who is directly escorted to the top floor, the mujra floor, where he is treated with his cut and bar special of that night. May be Julie or Sanam or Vyosiki- the Russian. All these things have been told by visitors, while I, myself, have seen the Rangeeniyan on May 1st, the official dry day. But, not for Topaz.
Shoeb Akhtar, Brett Lee, Shane Warne, Pointing, Mathew Hyden, Aliaster Cook, Nasir Husain, Steven, Murlidharan, Ranatunga, Yuvraj Singh, Shreesanth, RP Singh are some cricketers whose nights would spend in Topaz- 3rd Tier(open only for celebrity. While 4th tier is private lounge for those who can afford King’s ransom.
The mediocre exterior is not an indication of what is in store for the visitor. Topaz offers an opulant ambience. From gilded marble decor- ations, ornate glass and mirror work, to expensive drapes and tapestry— there is little compromise when it came to the aesthetics to develop the right settings.
Even the kitchen is pure stainless steel. Though its clientelé includes some of the who’s who of Mumbai, the bar caters to people from even the humbler stations. While the three mujra or VIP halls are open to the affluent, there is one for the commoners as well.
As for the really top notch clients, separate rooms are made available. The place offers facilities as per one’s pocket permits.
Though the bouncers move around discreetly, a sudden move on the part of the not so regular customer calls for immediate attention, followed by a battery of questions. Given the moneyed clients, who are willing to spend as much as one lakh a month, the bar ensures that the girls are some of the best in business.
They are very particular about the quality.
“The correct height, figure and looks are very crucial.” While for some girls, their earnings run upto a lakh a month, for others it is a minimum of Rs 10,000.
The opulence fails to hide the trauma manifested on the faces of the young girls, some barely out of their teens. Be it brightly lit make-up rooms or the dance floor, the struggle for survival is evident. For most visitors, the pleasure extends to splurging and holding hands, and for the privileged few, well, I leave it on your imagination.