New Delhi sets the beat for New India
It's late on a Thursday night and the party cognoscenti are headed for one of Asia's slickest nightspots. From the exterior, f.bar, a bunker-like building with an unpromising squat black façade is guarded by serious-looking security personnel clad head to toe in matching black.
Inside it is a very different story. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls, gold chandeliers and soft, low-slung divans welcome the well heeled. Drape-like screens reflect endless images of fashion models, the latest house music thumps and the beautiful people gyrate, cigarettes in one hand, whisky sodas in the other.
Yet another night out on Asia's wild club circuit of Hong Kong, Singapore or perhaps even Bangkok? No actually. For while f.bar (the trendy branding which is actually short for Fashionbar) may scream Lan Kwai Fong, Orchard Road or Sukhumvit, this, believe it or not, is New Delhi.
Perched on the fringes of the exclusive Qutab Golf Course in south Delhi just past some of the city's worst slums, f.bar is a franchised bar concept from US cable TV channel FTV (Fashion Television). The channel runs interminable videos of waif-like models prancing around Europe's catwalks, clad often in little more than greasepaint and a pout.