Kudix Mug Holder of the MonthShe'll give you life changing advice and get you dancing, while sipping on her Whiskey Sours.

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.

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She’s a psychologist who likes her Whiskey Psours….oops…Sours, and if there’s a flashmob or impromptu dancing session happening at Toit, she’s probably the one who started it. A proper people-person, just as long as your don’t ask her to read your mind—say hello to Anshu, our Kudix Mug Holder of the Month.

 

We ask this of every KMH. Why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?

Because I’ve been coming here really often. In a week, they see my face at least twice. People are like,”don’t you have any other place to go?” Any occasion or  meet-up, whether it’s new people in town, it’s always “Toit, Toit, Toit!”

But you’re not a beer drinker, right? So how come Toit?

The thing is, my brother is the one who actually introduced Toit to me and the group. He’s a beer drinker. And this was when Toit first opened, and that time I was like “why can’t we go to a different place”, but then the whole group used to come here and I ended up coming too. That’s how it started.

But I drink a lot of cocktails here. So, as long as I have my cocktails, and they’re in good shape and taste, I’m good.

As long as I have my cocktails, and they’re in good shape and taste, I’m good.

Which is your favourite cocktail here?

The Whiskey Sour.

How many have you had in one sitting?

At least seven. That was the time when I wasn’t actually carried out, but I tripped and fell down the stairs and stuff. But everybody was like it’s your birthday, so it’s ok.

Are you based out of Bangalore? What do you do?

Yes, I am based out of Bangalore. I’ve been here for 14-15 years. I work for a company called UL, and I work as a training specialist & psychologist for them—I’m into training, workplace counselling, customised team interventions, learning and development, all of that.

But the company as such is into product security testing.

Is it a fun job?

I love my job!

So what do you do in a typical day of your job?

It’s two-fold. If an individual or team is going through a crisis at the workplace, and they need skill or personality development, then we customise an intervention for that team or individual and deliver it.

Or it could be someone who isn’t motivated at work, and they need someone to talk to, or direct them on the right path. It could be on a personal  level or a team based level.

I love my job!

Mental health today is a much more talked about subject than before. Are the people you work with willing to seek help, or does some sort of apprehension still exist?

It depends on the company and industry you’re from.

For example, in a manufacturing firm, the employees come with a certain mindset. They’re used to working in a certain way, and if I ask someone there to talk to the psychologist, they’ll think there’s something wrong with the person.

But then if the company creates an environment where the employees are open to seeking not just help, but also guidance, I see a drastic difference.

Today, people are more ready to go to a psychologist and say that there is nothing wrong with it, I am just asking for guidance. There is definitely a change in trend since I started five years ago and now.

How hard is it to give advice without letting your own personal opinions getting in the way?

It’s very hard. Initially I used to find it very hard, but then I took a lot of training, a lot of certifications to help myself be better at my job. Because it’s really tough when someone is pouring his/her heart out, and you do have an opinion. But at the end of the day, you cannot thrust your opinion on that person.

So how do you make sure you are neutral, which is naturally not possible? It’s just that over a period of time you get better at it, so the more you counsel people, the more you get trained and build your skills.

Also, coming from an Army background has really helped because we’ve stayed in all kinds of places and met all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds. It helps you deal with different people in the same way.

…coming from an Army background has really helped

Does this approach spill over to your personal life?

Not really. As a person, I am very opinionated and I have very strong opinions about things. But at work, I can’t afford to be that way. But with my friends, I let them see my weaknesses and that’s totally ok.

In fact, the other day these two random guys who were chatting with me asked me what I do, and I said I worked as a psychologist. And the minute they heard that, they were like “ Oh! Let me not talk to you! Are you reading my mind?” They think you’re judging everything they say.

I need to tell people that I’m off duty and a few drinks down.

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So you’ve been coming to Toit for 6 years now, what’s the craziest thing you remember happening here in all those years?

There are so many! But two stand out distinctly.

One was this flashmob we planned for this friend of ours, whose birthday it was. We blocked the entire middle section, and it was a surprise for him. But it didn’t pan out as we’d planned. What happened was, we’d planned to start from the stage and work our way to the middle section. The song was Happy. And total strangers ended up joining us and dancing along. It got random but that was the best part.

But the birthday boy had his back towards the stage. And there was one person with him who was supposed to make him turn around when it started, but for some reason she thought we were practicing and didn’t let him turn. Some miscommunication! So he missed the entire thing and only realised when we got to him. After that Sibi and Arun were like we should do more flashmobs.

…people from our group decided to dance in the rain.

The other memory is, when we were on the ground floor, in the smoking section outside. It started raining and we were all trying to cramp into a small corner. I don’t know what happened but two people from our group decided to dance in the rain. We weren’t even drunk! We just went and started dancing, and again, two-three people from random tables saw us and joined in.
So we were dancing in the rain until the waiters told us that it wasn’t allowed there. So we asked them to join as well! That was a lot of fun too!

We have a pretty huge group, and even though we go check out other places, we always like to end the night with one beer at Toit, otherwise it doesn’t feel complete.

So do you have a lot of friends, given that you’re an Army kid, and a people-person?

I do have a lot of friends, but they’re all in different pockets—one is the Army pocket, the other pocket is people I’ve met along the way through work and also outside of work. I drag everyone here, so people are like if Anshu is making a plan, it has to be Toit.

The pocket that my brother and I share, that group is about 12-15 members, and that is the most frequent group here. We’re noisy, we’re loud, and people do end up noticing us. It’s like Central Perk in Friends for us. We’re here all the time.

A Friends reference! Which character do you most want to be like, but who do you think you really are like?

I think I’m Rachel, or I want to be Rachel. But a lot of people have told me they relate Monica with me. I don’t do the cooking bit but I have a bit of OCD. Like if I’m making a plan, it has to be perfect, otherwise I just freak out!