Behind the Brewpub ScenesHe's shy, he's hardworking and he's our teetotaller bartender—say hello to Niranjan!
Running a brewpub isn’t easy- it’s a lot of work, a lot of sweat and the occasional tears.
There are a lot of good, earnest people working behind the scenes, who put in a great deal of effort, round-the-clock, to ensure that everything you love about Toit stays that way.
And these people are none other than our never-tiring, ever-inspiring staff.
Our very own Toit Army- a battalion dedicated to the cause of good beer!
He’s the epitome of shyness, but also the best example of keeping your head down and doing good, honest work. Say hello to Niranjan, our bartender.
How long has it been since you’ve been working in Toit?
I joined in 2012, on May 19th.
So you’ve been here for five years. What were you doing before that?
I was in my village before that. I’m from Orissa, and my village is in Baleswar District.
What were you doing there?
I was studying in college there. This is my first job.
How did you hear about Toit?
My older brother used to work here, Ranjan. He was in washing and slowly got promoted to being a chef. He recently quit.
Were you always interested in this field? Or did your brother motivate you to join?
Actually, there were no jobs in my village. Also, my older sister had to be married and we didn’t have money that time. We used to be quite poor.
That’s why I came here. And after working for five months, both me and my brother got our sister married. After that, after some six months, we started building our own house in our village.
Does your family live in Orissa?
My mummy and daddy stay there. My brother got married recently.
He was supposed to quit and stay in Orissa, but getting work there is difficult because it is a village, so he came back to Bangalore for work.
What is your job role and what is typical work day like?
I am a bartender. But when I started, I used to work in Housekeeping. I got promoted to Assistant Steward, where I used to do food pick-ups.
After that they asked me to join the bar and slowly I learnt everything. Took me about 6 months to learn everything properly.
On a working day, I wake up at 9:00 am. After that, I wash up and have breakfast. Then I make food at about 11:30 and take some rest. At about 12:45, I have a bath, eat my food and come to work. I get here by around 2:00 pm, my shift is at 2:30 pm.
Once I get there, I need to set up the bar first. I check what supplies are there and what is not there. I prepare the lime juice, clean and organise the display, prepare the garnish and then make sure all the setting is done. Only once all that is done, I go for a break.
The break is usually at 5, and for about half an hour. After that, I work on whichever floor I’m assigned till closing.
Do you stay alone in Bangalore?
I stay with my brother. We stay together, both brothers.
Actually, our family stays in Orissa, and my mummy had a brain problem earlier. Once we got our sister married, mummy did a brain operation.
Is she better now?
She’s fine now. Sometimes, when her medicine gets over it gets bad, but we get her the medicines and she’s fine again.
So you stay with your brother here. What do you do on your off days?
On my off day also I wake up at 9:00 am. I need to wash my clothes and go shop in the market for vegetables and supplies.
Then I come back and make food for the house.
After that, I rest for some time. Later in the evening, I sometimes go to the park or just stay at home. I prefer staying at home instead of going out on my off day.
I like listening to music also.
Who is your favourite singer?
Udit Narayan is my favourite. And my current favourite song is Gerua from the movie Dilwale.
And my local favourite is Babul Supriyo. He’s from Calcutta, but he has sung Odissi songs too.
Bangalore is the first city you’ve ever lived in. What is the big difference?
The weather I think. My village is a little hot, but there’s sunshine all the time.
But here, the weather is unpredictable.
I like my village of course, but there is work here and ways to spend time. Sitting at home in my village is boring.
There is a little work. My father owns a cycle store there and I have learnt everything there, and sometimes I go help him and his workers.
If your father has a business there, why did you want to move here to work?
Earlier, the store was very small. We just did small jobs like oiling.
After coming here, we were able to get our sister married, get our mother’s operation done and we also helped our father make the shop bigger.
Are you married?
You’ve been working at the bar for two years now. What is your favourite cocktail?
I don’t drink. But I enjoy making the Cosmopolitan. I have a lot of friends—both my colleagues who work at the bar and also the customers.
How come, being a bartender, you never tried drinking?
I’ve tried them, like just a drop to see the taste.
I don’t drink because of an incident that happened when I was very young.
When I was about 12, back in my village, I was at the cycle shop helping my father.
There was a tractor passing in front of us.
There were two people on the tractor—the driver and another worker sitting with him.
The driver had had too much to drink, and ended up driving into a deep ditch.
The driver somehow ran away after that, but the worker with him came under the tractor and his whole body was injured.
We rushed to help him, my father, brother and I, along with some 15 other people. We managed to lift the vehicle off the man and I saw him completely bruised and bleeding. They had all been drinking.
Seeing that, my father said never to drink. He doesn’t drink.
My brother used to drink for a short while when he came to Bangalore, but when I came here, I controlled his drinking and now he doesn’t drink as well.
It’s been five years! What is the best and worst thing about working at Toit?
I like everything. I have friends here and I love learning the work here.
There is nothing bad. Whatever work they give me, I do it willingly and with a smile.
Whenever I have had any problems, with my mother or family, they have always helped me out, the management is very supportive.
Someday I want to move back to my village and help my parents out. I will.
But until I work, I will work here.
This is the first place I started working and how many ever days I work till I move back, I will work here.