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Cheap Thrills of Mumbai


Baby I don't need dollar bills to have fun tonight

(I love cheap thrills)

Baby I don't need dollar bills to have fun tonight

(I love cheap thrills)

But I don't need no money

As long as I can feel the beat

I don't need no money

As long as I keep dancing

This song by Sia is exactly what everyone loves and even groove on, when in a club or bar in Mumbai. But if you really feel this way, I have a list of places in Mumbai, where you'll love cheap thrills. The city of dreams still has the culture of local bars and joints at every nook and corner, where one can easily get drunk at cheap rates.

I remember going to cheap-rate local bars after the long day of classes, to relax and enjoy my time with friends. And the ‘shady’ bars, or so we liked to call them because of the raw interiors and loud Bollywood music, are just the perfect place to be care-free and drunk-much in the budget. Scroll down to read about my favorite bars whenever I had to treat a huge party or was broke or wanted nonsensical (read unsophisticated) fun.

1. Gokul

Cheap Thrills of Mumbai-1 One of the most crowded and most popular among the college crowd, because of being the only closed space where one can drink and smoke on the table. The A/Cs are on in every corner, the smoke turns the room translucent and the constant shouting or dancing on the chairs make it lively. Every table is playing, one or the other beer game and having a gala time.

The beer pitcher costs equal to cola rates of posh hotel, and is served in plastic jugs and glass mugs. The people around you are all young and newly-turned singers, singing and making merry on the tunes of chikni chameli or likes.

If you have trouble finding this one, reach Colaba and ask for the famous Bade Miyaan. Exactly opposite to the stalls of Bade Miyaan is Gokul, with a yellow board.

2. Janta

Cheap Thrills of Mumbai-2

I have a special bond with this one. Times when I was traveling alone in the city, Janta was always a good host. There is so much of aam-janta in Janta bar, one need not worry much about being alone. And the complimentary masala papad with the drinks is as good as the street side chaats.

So many birthday treats, so many roasted chickens, no wonder the waiters started calling us by our names. Once you get out of Janta, you might want to buy a couple of cans from the only daaru-thekka that is open till 3 a.m. Go straight from Janta and make a right turn. Parcel the cans and enjoy the auto ride back.

3. Rani Bar

Just as the name sound, this bar is no less than what they show on television. Located in the famous Chembur Naka area, Rani Bar has been the saviour of many. Talk about spicy north Indian chicken with alcohol, and Rani pops-up in the head. The good for nothing lights, dim enough to give frequent bumps here and there, a whiskey quarter for sixty, mouth watering chicken biryani and masala music. What else could we ask for? A home delivery? Yes, they do, till 3 a.m. Rani bar delivers food and daaru in Chembur and around.

4. Leopold

Cheap Thrills of Mumbai-3 I am not talking about the oh-so-famous Leopold that was targeted by the 26/11 terrorists. That one is over-rated and over-played of the bullet marks. But if you notice the small, single door to the left of Leopold, the staircase behind it leads to an awesome, neon-lit, freezing bar that plays Mika and Honey Singh more than Chamak Challo. Sit on the marble, stand by the bar, dance in the corner, who is there to see you anyway? Just order that long cylindrical plastic container of beer (I mean the pitcher) with a tap, and make merry. Done that? Walk till the Gateway of India and breathe in the quiet but shiny spirit of Mumbai.

Just put your high-class mentality at home and try the mentioned places. A memorable night is guaranteed.
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