So I was walking down the street with couple of my friends and we were all new to the city. We called one of our common friends and he suggested we should go to ‘Toit’ which is a micro-Brewery in this city. My friend said, “We haven’t been to any micro-brewery. After one we will have our own house party. Let’s rock!” Despite traveling across the world,whenever I think of a beer place I always have a picture of an Irish pub in my mind. Nevertheless Toit was just what we needed.
It was 5pm and the place was already packed. We thought we have to be in this place! Even if it means that we get the seats only after thirty minutes. The music was great; people looked as if they were having a good time. We were excited.
Now I still have not introduced you to my group. My husband has stayed in different parts of India, including Delhi, Hyderabad and Kolkata. I am from Mumbai. Our other two friends have stayed in London and Detroit. Another friend has never lived anywhere outside Delhi/Gurgaon. By fate, we all found new jobs in Bengaluru. All of us were drinking together in Bengaluru for the first time. This was my first-hand experience in tasting cultural differences among us desis when it comes to drinking.
We stood around the bar for thirty minutes. We were slowly drinking our beer.
The guy from UK started the conversation, “When I was in UK, We went to this great place. The beer is not so chilled but it was mild and goes easily down.” We nodded in approval as if we understood what he meant. I could see the Delhi guy tapping his foot. My husband who is primarily from Kolkata was having an intense discussion about Sharukh Khan. “Sharukh is not about acting, he is about living the dream. Something likes the American Dream.” I was like – “Huh, a discussion on Sharukh. Really? I sometimes get amused because people from Kolkatta have this gift of portraying everything including Bhojpuri movies like an intellectual enlightenment.
The Delhi guy was already four beers down by eight in the evening. He looks at us and tells us – Yaar beer kadak nahin hain. The guy from UK goes, “In Uk, we have this beer…..” The guy from Delhi yells “Benchod chup baith. Man Liya Uk ka Taj Mahal bhi accha hain”.
When it comes to me I sat around and judged the furniture, décor, Ac, tube light, drinks, and bulb with all the bars I’ve been to Mumbai. “Umm… Mumbai women are far pretty, na shona”. My husband simply grunted and then burped to my comment. “Mumbai people do not know to drink and your Bandra babes are plastic,” told the girl from US. I took this on my ego and ordered one more drink. I forgot to mention that after living in Mumbai for so long, I realized that I had turned into snob. Like every other Mumbaites (Bandraites, To be precise), I too started believing that there is Mumbai and then there is rest of the world.
It was eleven in the night and we were all high and I was drunk. We were an excited group of people where the Delhi guy and I wanted to dance. My husband was now talking about platonic love in Indian cinema and life. The guy from Uk switched to Hindi and wanted the bartender to play some South-Indian music. The bartender replied – Define south- Indian. Ouch!
I looked around in my drunken state and saw everyone else in Toit were calm, sitting down and enjoying their drinks. As we sit in the Taxi, I ducked my head out. I gazed at the street lights. They looked large and bulbous. My husband, turned at tells me, “After six drinks down, all the women look same.” I laughed as the car stopped near my gate.