Mug Holder of the MonthSay hello to Vipin!

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 Mug Holder of the Month is our little way of celebrating our customers, and their unique stories.

He loves his beer so much so that he decides where to live based on his proximity to his favourite brewpubs. Say hello to Vipin, our Mug Holder of the month.

Why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?

I come here quite often to have beer. I don’t drink anything else apart from beer because I think beer is the only alcohol that comes in a mug, that might have something to do with it.

Is it to with how frequently you come here or the amount you drink?

That depends. I normally just have 3 litres and go back.

My wife says that the only liquid I drink in one go is beer. 

I think I drink only one glass of water the whole day, but beer is something I can drink litres of in one go. I can stand for two to three hours and just go. I don’t even eat anything during that time.

Have you always been a beer lover or is this something that you’ve developed a passion for recently?

I think this started in my college days, about ten years ago.
I used to not drink alcohol otherwise. I was very scared of my parents. So when they sent me out for studying, the first thing I picked up was drinking alcohol with friends.

Your scores come down, and your friends direct you to a chilled beer to help things settle down. So that’s what I did.

Beer was just easier for me to consume. I didn’t start drinking stouts until I went to New York on a tour with my office in 2013. 

That’s when I got introduced to Guinness, and that’s when I developed a taste for stouts.
After that I kept looking for good stouts in India, and in 2014 when I randomly ended up in Toit, I tasted the Dark Knight and it is the closest thing I’ve had to the Guinness till date.

I believe that no one makes a stout like Toit does, and I tell Jeffin this a lot.

Where are you from?

My native place is Kerala, but I was raised in Muscat and then the later part in Mumbai.

I moved to Bangalore in 2014 for a year, for work, and then went back to Mumbai. I was working with an audit firm here.
And then I came back in 2017, for work again.

But I think Toit also has something to do with my decision to come back to Bangalore. Not going to lie.

My wife also knew that this had something to do with it.

What exactly do you do?

I’m a financial analyst, there’s a small segment in the financial markets that we cover, so I do analysis of these products.

Is it a fun job? Or is it hectic?

It’s a fun job, and you’re making money, but the only tension is that because of your working hours, your personal life takes a beating. 

I have now moved into a bank, doing a role similar to what I was doing earlier, but banks aren’t as aggressive so the nature of my work is different. I get to enjoy more of my personal life.

You live here with your wife, right? Is she also from Bangalore?

Ok, so there are a lot of stories connected to Bangalore that bring me here.

I met my wife Neetu here, in 2014. When I left for Mumbai is when we developed a relationship.

Bangalore is a great place for you, then! When did you guys get married?

In 2016. By the way, she’s a Christian and I’m a Hindu so it was a tough task to get the families together.

Do you want to tell us that story?

We met in the same office, she’s also a financial analyst. 

At the time, we didn’t speak so much, just professional interaction.

When I was leaving the firm is when we started chatting with each other. And that transformed into something else and led to us figuring out that we had a lot in common, especially our aims and ambitions. 

We thought we should give it a shot. I never proposed or asked her out, I directly asked her to marry me. Within like three months of us interacting like this.

And she said yes?

Actually no, she didn’t say yes. But she didn’t say no either. 

I mean I’d faced rejections a lot in the past so I was pretty good with handling it. I told her I didn’t want an answer immediately, and asked her to think about it.
I told her to forget about the religion bit. In her head head, this seemed impossible. But I still had hope.

And it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
Maybe I spoke well with her father, because when I spoke to him, he didn’t say yes, but again, he didn’t say no. Which gave me even more hope.

Slowly, things changed, and as soon as her father said it was fine with them, I didn’t waste any time and married her.

All this happened in a period of seven to eight months.
In November I told her how I felt, in Jan she reciprocated, and in March I spoke to her father. We were married by June!

How come you guys decided to move to Bangalore from Mumbai?

To be frank, I’m a greedy man. If someone offers me a 30% hike over my previous salary, I’d just go for it.

I rejoined the same firm I used to be a part of in 2013, because they wanted to work with me again.

And then I thought of the other possibilities that could happen. If I move to Bangalore, I was going to stay in Indiranagar and that would be close to Toit.

When we were searching for places to rent, one of the criteria was their distance from Toit. 

And I ended up getting a place nearby, thanks to a relative. So there was nothing to think about, we just moved here.

When you guys aren’t working, what do you do when you have some free time together?

Well, we both are lazy. But in our free time, we try to learn how to cook new things because both our mothers are fantastic cooks. She’s more inclined towards desserts and I am good with non-vegetarian dishes.

We’ve definitely gotten better over the years. 

What about the future excites you?

I’ve been chasing the people at Toit to let me inside the brewery.
I said I will work double the hours, and for free! All I want in return is a few mugs of beer in the evening. 

I’ll come here all my holidays, and I’m not afraid to pull a muscle hauling sacks over my back.

And what does your wife have to say about that?

The best part about her, is that when I started dating her and told her that I love her, I happened to mention that she’s not my first love—beer is.
And she was fine with that. So it all worked out.  

Every weekend, I come here for a couple of hours, have a few beers, and that’s my ‘me time’. And she’s totally cool with it.