Kudix Mug Holders of the MonthSay hello to Anurag, Prakash and Aveek, our Mug Holders for June.
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.
What does a resort inspecting holiday planner, an IT guy with a passion for all things planetary, and a just-out-of-school freelance designer have in common? Beer, of course!
Say hello to Aveek, Anurag and Prakash, our Kudix Mug Holders for the month of June—a trio that loves long drives, good food and fresh brews.
Why do you think you guys got selected as the Kudix Mug Holders of the month?
Anurag: We’re here pretty often, ya. That’s pretty much it. High frequency.
Aveek: We’re here more often than the manager.
Prakash: Especially Anurag, he beats us on a scale of 1-10. Every one time we’re here, he’s here 10 times.
Anurag: No, no!
Prakash: Ok fine, 9 times.
I’m not here for the quantity but more the quality
Does he also drink 10 beers for every 1 the two of you have?
Anurag: No, I’m not here for the quantity but more the quality.
Prakash: So that would be your answer, the quality of the beer.
So, how do you guys know each other?
Anurag: Prakash and I are neighbours. We’re still wondering how we met Aveek.
He’s done a lot of creatives for the both of us, and his dad is a friend of one of my friend’s.
Aveek: Basically, it’s a long, old story.
You do creatives for them? So what do you guys do?
Prakash: I’m in the holidaying business. I provide services to members, by helping them expand their choices in terms of the destinations they want to go to for a holiday. So it’s an exchange company, like say if you’re a member of a club you have access to the five resorts that the club might have. I give them a choice of another three and a half thousand worldwide, where they could go and holiday.
Actually my primary profession is to drink beer, and on the side I pretend to design
Anurag: Let me sum it up, ya! He gets to go and check out resorts, and sometimes he lets some of us tag along. That’s the gist of it. All the three of us like driving and making trips, and trips with Prakash are nice because we get to stay in nice places. We’re like guests of honour over there. And I’ve got a boring IT job, yaar.
Aveek: Actually my primary profession is to drink beer, and on the side I pretend to design. I’m a freelance industrial and graphic designer.
Anurag: He’s just come out of school! He’s just so incredibly creative, that we don’t ask him any questions.
Are you all based out of Bangalore?
Aveek: I was born in Bombay. I shifted here in 2000, but man, I love this city.
Prakash: I’m from Kerala originally, but I’ve been in Bangalore since ’95. So, very much a Bangalorean.
Anurag: I’ve moved around because my dad was in the Army. We moved more often to Bangalore than other places so we ended up settling here.
How long have you guys known each other?
Prakash: About 8 years or so.
Anurag: We’ve been drinking together for the last 8 years.
He’s just out of school and you’ve been drinking for the last 8 years?
Anurag: He’s not really just out of school.
Aveek: Let’s leave that out maybe? But seriously, I get to do a lot of things with these guys that I wouldn’t normally be able to—I get to go on road trips, I get to drink beer in the afternoons and I get to rip on old people.
So how did Toit become part of your drinking equation?
Aveek: It’s the only place Anurag would ever meet me! He wouldn’t meet me anywhere else.
Anurag: Ya, you know it’s close by and it’s kind of like the old television series, Cheers, for me. That was aired possibly before Aveek was born. But ya, office and home are close by.
I came here once when they hadn’t started brewing and I abandoned the place—that was it. I’m fed up of bottled beer. Companies keep tampering and messing with it and it’s not consistent. Here, once they started brewing, I was on!
The beer is delicious. What can I say?! I’ve been to all the places and they make the best beer over here.
Prakash: Yeah. It’s the beer. It’s the distance also. Only Aveek comes from somewhere near Whitefield.
Aveek: The beer is delicious. What can I say?! I’ve been to all the places and they make the best beer over here.
Prakash: Fact of the matter is that we pass at least 35 different pubs and restaurants before we reach here, and we’ve checked out quite a few of those, you know. So it’s for the beer and more. But starting with the beer, that drags us here.
Any fun beer drinking related stories from the 4 years you’ve been coming here together?
Prakash: Very honestly, I’m not much of a beer drinker. I’m more of a whiskey-hard liquor guy. So this is probably the only place I come and drink beer. In terms of stories at Toit… (looks at Anurag)
Anurag: No, man! I’ve done nothing here. I just come and drink. I intervened in a skirmish once which just made me very popular with one of the waiters. Somebody was being rude to him and being aggressive, and it’s not like I got into a fight, but I just told them to chill and not be rude.
The only craziness that happens is when I come here with my boys.
Oh, so you’re here with family too?
Anurag: Yeah, I come here with my sons, who are 7 and 9 years of age.
Prakash: It’s actually very difficult to tell them we’re going to Toit. Because then they want to come along. Can’t bring them out on a school night. It’s just that if we need to meet someone, we’d rather meet them here than at a coffee shop.
Aveek: Yes, I do the same actually. A lot of my meetings, I hold here. Plus the added perk is that if it’s someone from out of town, then they get introduced to a nice place—they like the beer, which means they like me more! It’s actually really, really good for business like that.
Anurag: And unlike most other places, they play the music here on low, so you can actually talk, maybe except on Fridays and Saturdays. Other places, I don’t understand—they just crank it up, even at coffee shops.
Aveek is unusual. We’re not! He’s the one who makes us odd, ya!
Your group is an unusual one. Do you meet a lot of new people here?
Anurag: Aveek is unusual. We’re not! He’s the one who makes us odd, ya!
But I think in India, that is one fundamental problem. You’re sitting on this table and that’s it. You don’t chit-chat with other people. It’s very limited. It’s unusual to meet new people in a bar in India.
Aveek: That’s not true!
Prakash: Probably requires a personality like Aveek’s.
Do you think that the introduction of breweries has affected the drinking culture and approach to alcohol?
Aveek: Actually, I wasn’t much of a beer drinker until I tasted freshly brewed beer. I think the first time was when I was in Europe and they had a whole bunch of funky beers on tap. Freshly brewed beer is just delicious, and bottled beer has all these preservatives and stuff. I was pretty sick of bottled beer and switched to whiskey and gins. But this really does it for me. I can have this on a Wednesday afternoon, and it’s fine—it’s tasty and doesn’t get me wasted.
Prakash: Absolutely. We’ve tried a couple of places and we just come back here. The consistency here is very high, and this is true for the food as well.
Anurag: Yeah, not matter what time of the day or what day of the week, the service, and food is always spot on. It’s just really well run, the whole place. Right from the waiters to everybody, it’s got a very good vibe.
But when you think about it, anybody I know who goes to a brewery prefers fresh brew over bottled beer. I think it is affecting people—it’s affecting me and I know it’s affecting these guys, to the extent that I don’t drink bottled beer anymore! I want a brewed beer!
If we ever see someone with bottled beer at Toit, it’s almost funny, like we want to take pictures and all that. I mean, why would you drink bottled beer?
So what are your favourites here?
Aveek: Beer- The Basmati and the Tintin, and the Aam Aadmi Ale when it comes out. Absolutely adore it!
Food- The steaks! When I ask for a juicy and bloody steak, they actually give it to me like I want it!
Prakash: Beer- Dark Knight and the Weiss also.
Food- The Pizzas! We do a lot of Pizzas here. I miss the Shrimp and Orange salad though. It was an exotic one!
Anurag: Beer- Same beers.
Food- Steak and Pizzas.
If we ever see someone with bottled beer at Toit, it’s almost funny…
So when you’re not drinking or working, what do you do?
Anurag: Actually, we are starting a Space Blog. Basically we drive to Sriharikota and take pictures of the ISRO rockets taking off. And so we’re going to start a blog to encourage more people to go and see this stuff.
Aveek: Have you ever seen a rocket launch in real life? It is insane!
Anurag: Although the closest we get to the site is from a distance of 10 kilometres, the rocket itself is about 12-13 floors high, so while it’s still small in the distance, it’s still a magnificent sight. It’s a great drive and just something we like doing. It’s of course just a purely interest based thing, and we want more people to get out there and witness this amazing sight.