The word paints a picture of a sturdy, well-built man in a very tight black t-shirt with an expression that makes you walk on your toes. This description fits almost every bouncer so perfectly like they were cousins. But what if they really are cousins?
A few kilometers south, the twin urban village of Asola-Fatehpur Beri, near southern Delhi’s exclusive VIP farmhouse belt, Chhatarpur, breeds bouncers.
Bouncery is a very beloved profession there, and right from the age of 12, every boy works towards his physical health in order to become a bouncer.
How did it start?
Fifteen years ago, Vijay Tanwar missed out on a place in India’s wrestling team for the Olympics. He says he was looking for an opportunity where he could use his muscle and power, and so took a job as a bouncer. He became the first bouncer from his village and realized the perks of it. Not stopping there he established a company called the storm group who trains the boys from his village and get them jobs at restaurants and clubs.
Today more than 1000 men from his villages are employed as bouncers via his company.
How to be a Bouncer?
“It takes a lot of effort to develop that body, 350 kilograms,” says Vijay. The men of the villages start training from the age of 12, they have a small gym built inside but they prefer traditional methods of wrestling and exercise to develop their bodies. They carry each other on their shoulders — all part of the traditional Indian way of working out.
They don’t drink or smoke and also maintain a healthy protein based diet. And the majority of them are vegetarians with diets that consist mostly of fruit, nuts, yogurts and lots of milk. It’s not all pumping iron, their regimens also include hours of wrestling practice and yoga, and Vijay insists that they study up to class 12 before taking up security jobs.
They don’t take any protein supplements and live a healthy life.
Living the Life of a Bouncer
Though this is a good and safe occupation choice, few people from the village have different dreams. “Standing at the door all night, is not a very happy situation. I wish I could also become a doctor or engineer someday ” says a member of the village.
For the villages Bouncery is a matter of pride now, they believe that since their ancestors were warriors and fought against the Muslim invaders and Britishers, it is today their duty to protect other people also. But 20 years later, they never thought that they will be spending their lives standing in front of a bar.
So, the next time you’re visiting a nightclub, spare a thought for the well-built Tanwars welcoming you at the door.
Since you’re at it, you might also like reading this: