Even as right-wing political parties and the National Commission for Women receive their full measure of public ire, Chandigarh is witnessing a spate in the number of customers to the city's pubs and lounges. Both men and women in the state capital think nightlife is a well-deserved break from the daily, stressful routines of IT professionals.
Of course, until a couple of years ago, there was hardly any nightlife in Chandigarh whereas of late the scenario is different, literally one short of the adage about the sun never setting.
The bar culture in Chandigarh is seeing a reversal of trend with many late night pubs having come up in the city.
As for girls lounging in a bar with a glass of drink was almost a taboo in the past but today, it is a different scenario with many girls visiting the bars to unwind over a few drinks after a hard day's work.
"It is good for people who work specially, the youngsters. The entire week you are working and weekends are only the time, you can chill out and spend time with friends and relax. All the tension is just gone. Sitting with nice music and nice ambience or just having fun with your friends," said Esha Verma, a bar goer.
Thus youngsters as well as courting and fun loving couples in the city have become regular guests at these bars.
A manager of a lounge bar noted that women sipping and supping in a bar is no more a stigma in the modern society.
"Now, there is no hesitation unlike in the past. If a girl drinks, people do not look down or stare slyly anymore. People have changed in our society. Everyone has right to enjoy and girls have equal right too. We are happy that things have changed," said Balbir Singh, Manager, Vintage Bar at Hotel Mountview.
The recent incidents in Mangalore seem to have had no bearing in Chandigarh and reflect the fact that the society has accepted the changed trends of youngsters sipping spirits in the right spirit.
It may be recalled that a group of enraged activists of Sri Rama Sena had barged into a lounge bar named 'Amnesia' and had resorted to violence, abusing the owners and customers apart from beating up women customers.
With an entire industrial complex coming up in Chandigarh, solely for the IT software development and outsourcing services, the nightlife scene is certainly changing as the professionals wish to lead a more western (read: modern) lifestyle.