From solving alcohol infused quarrels, breaking up fights in pubs and frisking customers- these women are fierce, strong and are extremely chivalrous when it comes to communicating to resolve a situation.
Life Beyond Numbers spoke to two female bouncers from Pune who are no less than knights. They take care of women in the clubs, and whenever necessary stand with them so that they do not feel unsafe while having their fun moments.
Kavita Bhima Gaikwad
A resident of Deluxe Chowk in Pimpri, Pune, Kavita Bhima Gaikwad (32) who is in this profession for a decade says, “Apna kaam maarna nahi, bachana hota hain (My job is to not beat people but save them from any trouble).” From carrying drunken women to their cars or by holding their hands or shoulders – she does it all but with politeness.
Weighing 109 kgs and a height of 5’8”, Kavita says, “People are scared of me and do not mess with me. That is a kind of advantage I have because of my physical appearance. This keeps unnecessary problems at bay,” she said between the laughs.
She got married in December 2010 and on asking about what her family thinks of her profession, Kavita says, “My family never opposed the idea of becoming a bouncer, rather they supported it. My husband too does not say anything about my choices.”
She recalls an incident from a club where mostly couples used to visit, “Last year, while I was employed as a bouncer in a club, a group of 13 men were teasing a woman and soon that led to a fight. There were crashing of bottles and too much abuse and shouting. People got injured as well. Therefore, I decided to separate the woman and her friend from the clutches of these men and send them home.”
Kavita continues. “It was late in the night around 2 am and the problem is that the male bouncers stand at the entry of the club, hardly anyone is present inside so at times when people are not willing to listen to us and keep on misbehaving we are left with no option but to hit them. Pyaar se dada, Bhau, mama bolke samjhate hain, nehi mantey hain toh ek do lagana padhta hain” (we make them understand the situations, ask them to behave properly, if they don’t listen at all, we are left with no option but to hit them). No woman is their property, so why should anyone tolerate.”
In another incident, 6-7 months back, during Holi a group of rowdy people entered the club started misbehaving and teasing women. “When I saw the situation going out of hands, I had to almost rescue these women because the quarrel ended up in fighting,” she says. “My boss also appreciated my effort to keep everyone safe and sound,” she says.
“Suppose a girl comes to me and say that another girl is touching my boyfriend, throw her from this club- we cannot do that, that is not how we function.”
Apart from being a bouncer, she is also a security guard and is currently serving at a residential complex in Bhawani Peth where she is in charge of looking after a disputed property. “I have to make these people understand terms and conditions, if they don’t follow, I have to take necessary steps.”
Kavita has been training under Umesh Wasabe, who she considers her guru. “Whatever I am today, it is because of him. He was the one to spot me and suggest my name to different clubs for the post of a bouncer.”
“Be it bouncer, security guard, bodyguard, whatever you choose as a profession, one has to understand their duties and responsibilities before jumping into something like this. I was hired for a celebrity event, have worked at pubs- as a bouncer and security guard. Duty me kabhi kabhi bahot danger hota hain, kuch logon ko sambhalne me, par main darti nehi (At times my duty involves huge risks because of the men I am dealing with but I am not rattled by them).”
Sharmila Praful Krishti
50-year-old Sharmila Praful Khristi stays at a house in Tadiwala road in Pune also has interesting events to share. “Our profession involves a lot of risks and we have to protect ourselves as well as others while solving an issue. I am staying in Pune for 36 years. I am not married and I bear my own expenses,” she says to LBN.
“Being a bouncer doesn’t mean you have to thrash people whenever something is wrong or when a woman consumes alcohol and lose their senses. At times I have seen female bouncers drag them by their hair, or hit them in clubs.”
While working in 10 Downing Street, Sharmila had to take charge of tough situations while she was on duty. “At times, there are small fights, at times there are big fights. We cannot start beating people just like that. We need to understand the situation and act accordingly. In case there is too much trouble involved, other employees and bouncers come forward to help us to solve the matter.”
She started working as a bouncer in 2005 but is now involved in a lot of social works because of her age. She is appointed as a ‘zila adhyaksh’ in her area and solves disputes in the area be it domestic violence or job-related. She became a bouncer not because she needed money but because she wanted to.
If a customer comes to the club- for them, these women are equivalent to Goddess Laxmi. “If these women do not visit the clubs, why will people employ female bouncers? We earn because of them so we ensure that they are safe whenever they come here” says Kavita.
Since childhood, you are conditioned to believe that you are in a man’s world that makes surviving in male-dominated industries difficult. Be it your ideas or physical strength, everything will be questioned till you prove yourself and put those doubts to rest.
Kavita strongly believes that if a woman prefers this profession over others, they should know the rules and what it means to be a female bouncer. “Bouncer kya hain pehle who pata karo, phir iss profession me aaon (First learn about the profession and then think of joining it).”