Tough, but paying business

Kathamndu, July 5:

Males of all ages and size — teenagers to those about to touch their second childhood, lean and hungry looking to pot-bellied ones — swarm the place; teenaged, skimpily-clad girls gyrate to Hindi music, drinks flow like water and customers drink to their livers’ tolerance and hearts’ desire.

As the day progresses, the dance becomes a tad vulgar; older women gain courage to show off more. One such woman lands on the dance floor wet from a shower. Lights are dimmed. The patrons use small torchlights — to read the menu card. Girls, both buxom and lanky, well endowed and so-so endowed, sit on the laps of patrons.

That is normal in dance bars daily, especially in the inner streets of Thamel. Business becomes brisk after 9.30 pm and brisker as the night gets older. There are too many dance restaurants in Thamel, the haunt of tourists. Huge posters of semi-nude girls that appear in the nighttime lure passers by into them.

Girls as young as 16 entertain the patrons. Not only the dancers, but waitresses, hostesses and guest reception officers (GRO) are also pressed into service. Male employees of those bars have their duty cut out, they work as accountants, managers, captains and bartenders.

As skimpily clad girls embark on a jig on stage, other girls give company to the patrons and perhaps more and have drinks with them, paid for, of course by the patrons.

“For every drink, we are paid Rs 100 the next day,” said Sangam, one of the GROs, adding, “We persuade customers to spend Rs 3,000 in one night on an average.”

It is a huge business all over the valley, vindicating the saying that every moment a sucker is born.

There is no gain without pain, the girls know it too well. They start sprucing themselves up from 6 pm, even though the business booms only after 9.00.