Sunday, 15 May 2016

[] The Story Of The Crorepati Bar Dancer Of Mumbai,



The Story Of The Crorepati Bar Dancer Of Mumbai, Tarannum Who Once Ruled Bombay's Nightlife

It was 1992, the year of the destructive communal riots in India. A 16-year-old saw her home burnt down before finding herself in the streets with her parents and her siblings. After a month in the relief camps of Milat Nagar, Andheri, they were out on the streets again. For three nights, Tarannum Khan and her family went on without food or shelter on the streets of Lokhandwala. However, it couldn't go on like this.
Her father, Zafar was already weak in the heart, having undergone a surgery before, and her mother was ready to do anything for the money. Life was simple and easy to get by for Tarannum Khan and her family before a conflict over God's home broke her house down.

So she walks into the bar…

During such dark hours, Tarannum saw a ray of hope in the cheap, neon lights of the infamous beer bars of Mumbai. Passing twelfth standard was all the education she had managed and she didn't believe that she was worth much. Therefore, when she was approached by a lady who offered her a bar dancer's job, nothing seemed more promising for Tarannum, who could only, at that time, think of providing for her family.

The taste of money…

Tarannum had said she didn't want to remember her first day at work. It is understandable because she wasn't really aspiring to become bar dancer; dream of gyrating in front of inebriated men who in their drunken madness would often step over the line. Also, Mumbai beer bars in the 90s was not exactly a Las Vegas strip club. There could be only as much professionalism that a dancer could hope for.
However, she didn't mind all that as far as the money kept coming in, which she remembers, was more than she could ever imagine to earn.

A fairy tale life of another kind

Tarannum saw her life change after a year when she joined the much talked about Deepa Bar. Barely an adult, she would spend 14 hours a day dancing on her toes in the shinning dance floors of the surreal and brightly lit up 8,500 square bar, the smell of alcohol in her hair, the smoke of cigarettes in the air and pairs of lecherous eyes all around. Some of these eyes belonged to Bollywood celebrities, cricketers, businessmen and politicians who showered money and gifts on the Deepa Bar's favorite dancer – Tarannum Khan. Once in the streets, Tarannum was soon living in her opulent house in Lokhandwala.

A win-win situation for everyone

There was just one rule at the Mumbai dance bars – "Look but don't touch". However, that wasn't a rule written in stone for there were rooms where the rules could be broken. Crisp currency notes were always flying over the dancers, and bar owners, big or small, were making a neat profit of Rs 10 to Rs lakh a month on an average. The cops enjoyed the privileges of a non-paying customer. These bars were, as if, a merry common ground for criminals, policemen, politicians and businessmen all alike.
It was a place from where writers and poets drew inspiration from; the bouncers, make-up men, waiters and even the auto-rickshaw drivers made a killing every night because of the business. At the center of the huge economic humdrum lay the queen – Tarannum Khan.

When they money started overflowing

When the money was to much for Tarannum to handle, someone advised her to file for taxes. It was a good piece of advice and would have probably helped her live an honorable life, though a little less extravagant, had she not resorted to the accountant at Deepa bar to take care of the matter. When Tarannum was hit by an Income Tax raid at her Lokhandwala residence, she was not prepared to take the jolt at all.
When she finally found a moment to breathe amidst all the legal hassles, Tarannum realized that she had been dragged into a scam by his financial confidante. She she wasn't a tax defaulter by nature but only by choice and that's how she pleaded.

When she got involved with international cricket betting…

Yes, Tarannum was meeting all the who's who and the rich and famous but the shady dance floors of Deepa bar was not the ideal place for such meetings. Tarannum found herself with involved with one of the biggest cricket scams of the nation. Bollywood actor, Aditya Pancholi allegedly took Sri Lankan cricketer, Muthiah Muralitharan to Tarannum!
How would a bar dancer be of any use in such high stake transactions between bookies, Bollywood actors and cricketers? Well, there are more than one ways to pay the cricketers when it comes to betting and Tarannum, with all her sensuality was probably considered an offer hard to refuse.

But, no, she was so much more than just a pawn

Tarannum, according to the police was far from being just a transaction in the ugly game of betting. Apparently, she had her own strings that she pulled every now and then. The police suspected of Tarannum not only being an accomplice to some of the most notorious Indian cricket bookies but also as a chief betting executive of the Australian – English Ashes Series – one of the most respectable cricket series in the world. Eventually, Tarannum found herself behind the bars along with two other bookies in September, 2005.

What happened to the 'Crorepati bar dancer' then?

Tarannumn never accepted the allegations made against her regarding cricket betting and her underworld connections. In fact, in 2008, she had even approached the IT department to return her all the money that had been seized from her during the raid. She never regretted being a bar dancer and the stigmas that were brought by the profession didn't bother her.
However, she did condemn the media for sensationalizing her case, exposing her in an unfavorable light to the world and questioned what the government could do as a reparation if all the allegations were, one day, proven wrong. Neither the money nor the answers – Tarannum couldn't find any of it.

Today,  nobody knows her whereabouts. Some say she's in Dubai, catering to the rich and elite. However, Tarannum, the beautiful seductress of Bombay's nightlife has left her legacy far and wide.




Posted by: "K.G. GOPALAKRISHNAN" <>
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