Kudix Mug Holder of the MonthMeet our hustler of a Mug Holder, Rupa!
At Toit, our customers have always been our primary focus. They’re the ones who bring life to the place, create memories and end up giving the place its familiar, friendly vibe.
And there are so many different kinds of people who come through our doors daily, that we wanted to get to know their stories.
The Kudix Mug Holder of the Month is our little way of celebrating our customers, and their unique stories.
She’s a single mom, who raised her kid while making grills for Chingy, but now spends her days between church, taking care of her dad, and drinking Margaritas. Oh, and learning Spanish so that she can go work with the Barcelona Football Club.
Yup! We’ve got a real hustler of a Kudix Mug Holder this month. Say hello to Rupa.
Why do you think you’ve been selected as the Kudix Mug Holder?
The honest answer? I think because I pretty much live here. I’m here sometimes five or six days a week.
Are you from Bangalore?
Yes, I am from Bangalore but I left here when I was 17, and then I just moved back five years ago to look after my dad.
And where were you in-between?
I was in the US. I had my own jewellery business, and had retail stores. I sold my business and moved back. Because we’re just two girls. My sister is in London, she’s married. Since I was the single one, it was easier for me to move back and take care of my dad.
I was in the US. I had my own jewellery business, and had retail stores.
What do you do here now?
I don’t do anything actually. Because I’m on a US Citizenship, I just keep extending it.
Between the time you went to the US and came back, have you seen a big shift in Bangalore’s drinking culture?
Yes! Because I remember when I was in PUC, which is almost 20-22 years back, there were only two or three pubs maybe. Now, every other corner you can see a pub. And a different crowd as well, from what the old crowd used to be.
As far as the crowd goes, I can’t say I like it, but I like Toit. The only reason I like it here is because I’m very comfortable—I can come here, sit alone, and have a drink. I don’t think people look at you weirdly here. Twice a week I’m with friends but most of the time, I come by myself.
Do you get hit on here?
No. I’ve never been hit on. Maybe judged, but not hit on! *laughs*
Are you a beer drinker?
No. I don’t drink beer, but I like coming here because initially when I came to Bangalore, I felt the Margaritas were different. But somehow I really loved the Margaritas here, and I don’t know if they’ve changed it to my taste or I’ve become accustomed to it, but now I can’t drink them in any other place.
What’s the most you’ve had here in one sitting?
I think 10 maybe. *laughs*
Tell us more about your jewellery business back in the States.
We did gold and diamond. There it’s more 10 karat and 14 karat jewellery and we did diamonds too. Solitaires as well. It was mainly catering to the African-American community. They’re the ones who really spend on the bling-bling!
I was in St. Louis, which is Mid-West, so we had a lot of these NFL players and rappers like Nelly and Chingy and all those guys. They were all local boys before they went big.
Have you met Nelly and Chingy?
I’ve not met Nelly, but I’ve seen him before he hit big-time. He used to be one of those boys, and his mom used to work at the Hardy’s in front of my store. Once he hit platinum, I remember her coming and telling me that he bought her some $ 300,000 home, and that she was moving.
But Chingy I’ve met because he used to come and shop all the time. The rappers are in their own trip. I don’t know how to put it. But one thing I’ve noticed is that if they live in a particular city, and they stick onto that city, they’re very loyal. They’ll come back and give their orders with you, if they want watches or even grills. I used to do grills all the time!
But Chingy I’ve met because he used to come and shop all the time.
Explain how grills work! They’re just braces with diamonds right?
Yeah. But when you do the cast, you do it exactly like dentists do. You have the mould, and then you make it. Once you take it out, you cast it in gold, and if they want diamonds, you set them on it.
Most of those people, they came out with a few songs about grills and stuff. So once these songs went big, I think every kid wanted it. It was a big thing then, I’m not sure it is anymore.
You think grills have a market in Bangalore?
I don’t think so. Rappers are really out there with their bling, so they’re used to it. I don’t think people here are like that—maybe Honey Singh or some shit. But the bling, maybe the chicks will like it. Not grills.
How did Toit happen?
I just walked in here. I mean, I’m the sort of person who can drink at unearthly hours, so if it’s after 11 am, I’m like “Ok, I’m not an alcoholic!”
I came here once by myself, around 12:30 pm, and it was one of those days that wasn’t crowded. Initially when I used to come, I would come from Ulsoor and make sure that I was here on Sunday afternoons.
I don’t have too many friends, but the few that I do have, I make them all come to Toit. And then, about a year back, I moved right behind Toit! When I looked for a place, I needed one to be near Toit. Now I can just walk.
And the one thing I love here is the service—from the managers to the owners, the waiters to the bartenders, they’re the nicest human beings. They’re very sweet. And I know them all very well. Like for Christmas, I made sure I came and gave them all cake.
You did your schooling here then?
I did my schooling and PUC here. And then after that I left. Did my undergrad in the States.
How come you ended up moving to the States? For higher studies?
So, I’m a single mom. My daughter is 23. I got married when I was 17. It was an arranged marriage, and I moved to the US soon after, because my ex-husband was a US citizen. I had my daughter pretty much when I was 18, and then I got divorced fairly young too.
So, I’m a single mom. My daughter is 23. I got married when I was 17.
My daughter works in New York now, but she’s not really in touch with her dad since we got divorced when she was 6 years old. But when we got divorced, I stayed back and put her through school and stuff. So it was hard being a single mom. But I have no regrets. I’m not one of those who plays the victim card.
What’s the hardest thing about being a single mom?
I think it’s very tough because you have to work, and take care of the kids. And with me, because I’m a Catholic, I’m a very convent bred kind of a prude.
The problem comes when you’re raising a kid, especially a girl, as far as your dating and social life goes, you pretty much don’t have one. Because that was a personal decision—I didn’t want her to think that was ok, dating different people after months. I think I did the right thing, and there are always certain dues you have to pay.
But my daughter is very centred. In fact she’s the most sober one. Because out here, you keep hearing from your relatives that “Oh! Broken home, broken home! Your daughter is going to be messed up!” But this one has turned out so good. Maybe it’s God’s grace. I pray a lot. Amidst all this boozing, I pray too! *laughs*
Apart from taking care of your dad, what do you do in your free time?
My routine? I go to the gym, manage a little real estate of my dad’s, and then Toit. And if I’m not at Toit, I’m at church.
I’m a very religious person, and those things are very important to me. I think it would be very difficult for me to date somebody out of my religion. Not because of anything else, but just that if I like someone and date someone, I want him to go to church with me. I respect all religions though!
Oh. And I also love watching football. Growing up I always enjoyed watching sports but I love watching football!
Is there a team you support?
Barcelona! *proceeds to show her tattoo* I’m a huge fan! I started following football after coming here. I’ve always been a sports buff, I follow Tennis, Basketball, and Ice Hockey and stuff. But one of my friends here introduced me to football.
I’m a very religious person, and those things are very important to me.
I watched La Liga and I started supporting Barcelona. I follow football in a very committed way. Now I’m learning Spanish because I googled, and it’s easy for American Citizens to get jobs in Barcelona. And I don’t want just any job in Barcelona—I want a job with football club Barcelona!
Who’s your favourite player?
All my Barca boys are my favourites! I’ll pick my Messi, Neymar, Suarez maybe.
Has it been hard to move back? Since you were there for over two decades?
Yeah, it was very hard. I was there for 21 years. It was hard in the sense, because your friends here, they’re all married. And I was single. And the married clique kind of are a group together, you know? So it’s very difficult in that way.
Especially when you’re single, it’s very hard to date as well. I think here, I’ve given up on guys! And I think I also evolved as a person, so my views are kind of different. Maybe I’m not that Indian in my thinking, because you grow there and adapt. It is still hard for me.
But that way, I have that drive. I like to make my own money, don’t want to depend on anyone to foot my bills. I’m a hustler.