The I-T raids on some rich bar dancers indicate that some of the girls at least, had indulged in other activities besides dancing, to amass wealth.
It usually starts as competition among the dancers to out do each other by using one’s charm to hook patrons. Once a dancer becomes a ‘regular’ for some customers, she can take home as much as Rs 50,000 a month.
Some from this exclusive lot then, go on to become police informants. Here, the tip and hafta system works in reverse. The men in khaki, in their bid to keep an eye on the machinations of the underworld, would pay off some of these girls in exchange of “tips” (information). Some of the girls were paid regular `haftas by the cops, including encounter specialists. But soon the Stockholm Syndrome would kick in. After infiltrating the underworld ranks, the bar girls would start sympathising with gangsters and soon switch loyalties.
Such girls then usually stop acting as police informants due to the meagre amounts shelled out by the police. Once they get into the underworld, the sky is the limit.
The other modes of earning were illicit trips to Dubai on tourist visas. There, they would perform at private parties attended by moneyed-Sheikhs. Income from this source could fetch them at least Rs 10 lakh a month. They would return to Mumbai fearing arrest in Dubai due to visa violation, but would return to the Gulf after some time.
So, if the girls did not end up being “regulars” of some rich businessman or a Gulf Sheikh with lots of money to spare, they would either become police moles or a gangster’s moll.
Moneyed bar girls The I-T raid on Tarannum was yet another indication that a section of the dance bar girls did make a killing from their chosen profession. I got a compiled a list of such richie-rich bar girls. The names came up after surveying a cross-section of clients and bar owners. Most names are aliases used by bar girls but there is nothing false about the wealth they’ve amassed. The immovable property,occasionally, could be a benami one, or in the patron’s name.
The Richie Rich list-
-Mushkaan (Topaz): Supposed girlfriend of multi crore fake stamp paper scam main accused Abdul Karim Telgi. Believed to be worth over Rs. 5 crore. In just one night, Telgiis rumoured to have showered Rs.90 lakh.
-Tanu (Deepa Bar-Andheri): A bungalow at MHADA, Lokhandwala, worth Rs. 2 crore and a Hyundai Sonata car. I-T raided her Baby (Campus): A bungalow at MHADA Lokhandwala worth Rs 1 crore.
-Kaajal Sandhya Raj and Kaushal Nisha Raj (sisters) (Night Lovers): 2-bhk flat at Vashweer Apts., Seven Bungalows, Andheri (W) worth Rs 50 lakhs. 2BHK flat in Sea Glimpse Apts, Seven Bungalows, Andheri (W) worth Rs 50 lakhs. 2BHK Flat in Link Palace, Lokhandwala worth Rs 60 lakhs. 2BHK flat at Sholay Apartments, Seven Bungalows, Andheri (W) worth Rs 40 lakhs. 3 BHK flat in Raheja Crest, Lokhandwala worth Rs. 70 lakhs. 2 sprawling bungalows at Tonk Road, Jaipur worth Rs 1 crore.
-Karishma (Night Lovers): Total assets worth Rs 3 crore.
-Babli (Topaz): Flat in Lokhandwala, Andheri, Partner in a resort at Mumbai-Pune Road.
And how they spent their moolah.. ?
MOST BAR dancers invest a major chunk of the money they earn by investing in immovable assets like bungalows and apartments.
While their prime objective is to build a secure future, they also used their earnings to buy farmland and shops in their native villages. In most cases, a relative would look after the property or run the shop, which would help the bar dancer once she “retired”. Some even spent money in educating their siblings and providing a better life for their parents and relatives.
Once this was done, almost every “elite” dance girl faced a piquant situation. She would earn in lakhs, that too, in cold cash. And with her patron taking care of most of her other needs like food and clothes, she would not know what to do with the cash. The money cannot even be put in bank as it may attract Income Tax officials. That is why the recent I-T raids unearthed large amounts of cash, stashed away in nooks and corners of the houses of bar dancers.
Like any other high society girl, the rich bar girls would spend heavily on buying gold, diamond and even platinum jewellery. They would also blow up money in buying designer clothes from well-known showrooms in South Mumbai and other leading stores in the Gulf countries. Most were often seen sporting designer brands.
If a patron does not show an inclination to buy a house, she would purchase a two or three bedroom house in a posh housing society. Like others, the bar girls also had dreams of a lavish lifestyle. They even took memberships in private clubs to enhance their social status. There are instances of some of the super rich bar girls going on world tour and in such cases, the expenses would run into several lakhs.
After acquiring consider able property in their native places, these girls would often invest in flats in Mumbai and even buy property in hill stations. Since most of them did not have the business acumen to judiciously invest their money, their relatives would invariably swindle them. Since the income was unaccounted, they could not even file a police complaint.
RICHIE RICH chhamiyas, as bar girls are sometimes called, constituted a fraction of the 50,000-strong crowd of bar dancers in Mumbai. A conservative estimate puts the number of crorepati bar girls like Tarranum at 100.
The right break at the right time coupled with networking were the key to financial mobility. What, of course, would help was looks and the skill to hook the maalamaal bakra.