The mood that night was of party and cheer,but 29-year-old Kavita Deepak Javaldip wore a grim expression. With her hands folded across her chest,she scanned every face with determination,looking for signs of trouble,unrest,or cheating. Wearing all black,the muscles in her arms rippled as she asked for the party-goers for their tickets and vouchers.
Javaldip,who is one of the few woman bouncers in the city,knows well about the dos and donts of her job.
I first started as a security guard,you know,because of my personality, she says,sheepishly. A muscular frame at 5 feet,9 inches,Javaldip has been working as a bouncer with a group called Man Power Corporate Protection since 2007. One of the first things we are taught is to be able to speak with our eyes. We hardly ever have to use words; people are intimidated by our steady,no-nonsense gaze, she explains. It is a good job,but the only complaint I have is a universal one the salary can be a little more, says Javaldip,who got married in 2010 to a colleague,also a bouncer.
While Javaldip uses her gaze as the strongest point,Priya Awate has gained her confidence because of sthe rigourous lessons in kick-boxing,karate and the hours spent at the gym. She too,started off as a security guard,and gradually worked her way up as a bouncer. I mostly work at high-profile events and year-end parties, she says,adding: This is the busiest time for us.
Awate does not shy away from giving a hand to the needy in times of conflict or fights. Sometimes I see that a husband is beating up his wife on the road. I go and try to stop him and succeed too, she says with a smile.
Rashmi Kusekar,who has studied till Class 10 and has been working at the regular party haunts in Mumbai and now in Pune,says people have started losing inhibitions over the years. The clothes on the girls are getting shorter,and the boys are getting bolder each year, she says. I like the fact that people like to party and forget about their lives for a night,and just let loose. But I see so many girls who get so drunk that they need to be carried to their cars by their guy-friends or by us, says Kusekar.
But even drunk people generally refrain from fighting and that is the biggest trend I have noticed over the years, says Kusekar,who has been working as a bouncer for over seven years now.