Mumbai is the city of extremes with multiple in-built paradoxes, with large metropolitan buildings and with slums inhabiting in the same 500 meter radius. Mumbai used to be the melting point for people from other Indian cities. Just like people from Dubai go to Goa to gamble since gambling is illegal in Dubai, people from other cities would come to explore the party culture in Mumbai due to a relatively well defined weekend party culture in the city. In many ways, Mumbai represented liberty, freedom and a liberal mindset which was largely lacking in other cities. However, other cities are now capitalizing on the tourist revenues which party culture brings to the city. Mumbai, is no more the destination where people come solely to party and explore nightlife and the youth recognizes that.
In the never ending argument about being a better city, everyone knows that Mumbai has more nightclubs and Delhi has more house parties. However, there has been a shift in the party trend in Mumbai from the youth simply going to party to nightclubs to the youth becoming more aware of the culturally rich part of Mumbai. I am a Mumbaikar and I love to party deep in my heart. But I have seen a rapid shift in the mindset of the youth when it comes to nightlife.
From going to a party every weekend, I have seen brunches becoming a more popular part of Mumbai culture. Instead of organizing night parties, more and more day parties are being organized around cricket match screenings, pool parties, and foam parties. Mumbaikars do not want to explore just nightlife anymore where the music is too loud and people cannot make conversations. Mumbaikars want much more than that. Nothing is constant in the city and trends constantly change, the new shift from nightclubs to day parties was one of the most unexpected shifts in Mumbai culture.
From being someone who parties thrice every week at a new nightclub, I am now a person who goes to explore the lighter sundowners, match screenings, pool parties and foam parties which I find much more destressing. These parties are like the parties you see in Hollywood movies about High school where you can go and meet new people and actually form friendships with them. Swimming with someone and bonding with people over a common cricket team you support is anyday stronger than bonding with people you go to party with.
There is a greater zeal in the youth to explore the city. A lot of friend groups go to cycle together, explore the city, visit museums and art galleries, or just for walks around the city and make drinking plans after that. Drinking is an important part of city culture and most of the youth practices it. It is almost like tradition when you go to meet friends, no peer pressure intended. However, with an increased awareness about cultural setting, most friends explore places together and drink at a restaurant or at someone’s house right after that.
Mumbai as a city, does not only belong to the people who have lived here since forever, but it also charts out its heart to the aspiring students who are here from different states to study. Student budget, often limited, does not extend towards contributing to expensive party culture. There has also been an increase in including live singers and rappers into the party culture. Instead of having DJ’s, many parties boast having famous musicians and bands playing.
In the traditional sense of the word, the party culture in Mumbai is often associated with nightclubs. The youth is redefining the party culture in Mumbai from a night party scene to a day party scene. From social taboo extended towards drinking in the day, more and more people engage in “day drinking”. There are more event centric parties related to match screenings and activities like swimming, playing poker or playing beer pong. Mumbaikars want to involve culture in their everyday lives and explore heritage with their friends. Drinking plans are often made in restaurants around that, but nightclubs are being left out of youth’s plans more and more often. Mumbai can never be a party free city, people need to relax after a tiring day, but there has surely been a revolution in the way we want our parties to be!