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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Men in black

For bouncers like Yashpal Singh,this time of the year is the busiest—and toughest.

Written by Prajakta Hebbar | Published: January 1, 2012 1:08:09 am

He is tall and brawny,keeps a stubble,and wears black all the time. His work begins when it’s bed time for most. He has access to the most coveted parties and after parties in the city,and people envy his close proximity to the Bollywood stars. Meet Yashpal Singh,31,a bouncer who works at RPM club in Vasant Vihar,Delhi.

Born in a middle-class family in Okhla,Singh chose this profession after idling for a few years after finishing his BA. But after his uncle suggested this profession,Singh hasn’t looked back.

So what goes into the making of a bouncer? “A two-hour workout,every single day of the week,” says Singh. We meet him at his swanky gym in South Delhi,where at 8.30 in the morning,Singh has already worked up a sweat. “The most important thing for a bouncer is to look threatening,” he says. “Hence,we all wear black,and are into body-building,” he says.

After working out,Singh heads back home,and after a protein-rich brunch,goes to sleep for a few hours. “I do two shifts at two different clubs,so daytime is the only time I can catch up on some sleep,” he says.

The year end is the busiest time for Singh. “This is the most stressful time of the year for us,” says Singh. “People are in the mood to party,and often drink too much. Hence,they are unstable and more prone to cause trouble,” he explains,“But it does not do for a bouncer to lose his calm. This is where the physical training helps us. Not just physically,but exercising helps us to calm our minds.”

A father of two,Singh,says his profession is full of risks. “You are not supposed to even touch the guests. We only try to calm them down,and walk them out of the club. But obviously,it does not go down well with the guests when they are told to leave the club,” he says.

Bar fights and fist fights,Singh is used to them all,and yet,he oozes calm. “The first few times it was exciting,threatening and even scary. But after you are dealing with life threatening situations every week,you start to see things in a different perspective,” he explains. “This one time,a bar fight got so ugly,that people were throwing glass bottles at one another,and I got hit it by one as I was trying to intervene,” he adds,without a hint of drama. “Another time,the ticked off guests went back and came with their own men,looking to trash the place,” he says. “The only thing we can do is call the police immediately. They are helpful,” he says.

But does Singh enjoy his work? He looks wistful. “People dress up,come in expensive cars,and walk right in. Everybody notices the black suit and the muscles. Sure… they’re scared of us,but nobody recognises our faces.”

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