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.
Ever got smashed at a brewpub and decided to pack up your whole entire life and shift to another city? Our Mug Holder Shivaram did exactly that, with his dog Max in tow.
Let’s start with our opening question—why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?
Why do I think I was selected?
Oh, I come here way too often I think.
It has nothing to do with your beer consumption?
No, no! Not the amount of my beer consumption, but the frequency of my beer consumption.
So I’m here several times a week and that is the reason that Toit was a catalyst for me moving to Bangalore.
I proceeded to get completely smashed and that’s when I decided—why don’t I just move to Bangalore!?
I was in Bombay. Well, I was in Bangalore ’99-’02 and then I moved to Bombay, that’s where I’m from. I was in Bombay till 2014.
I had come to Bangalore once on work and a couple of meetings of mine got cancelled, and I had a lot of free time.
So like a good soul I landed up at Toit and I thought it was a great place to kill time. I proceeded to get completely smashed and that’s when I decided—why don’t I just move to Bangalore!?
That’s what triggered your move?
It was probably at the back of my mind, but that day, just sitting here for several hours, I realised I don’t do this in Bombay, and Bangalore is a great city.
I mean, I had memories of it from a bygone era but it still is a wonderful city. So yeah, that’s when I messaged my friends telling them I was moving to Bangalore and that I’d discovered my love for Bangalore again.
And within two weeks I was here!
I rented a place here, drove down with my dog, and that was it. Good fun!
I have been a finance professional for the last 20 years. That’s what I did in Bombay, that’s what I do now. Except that I now help individuals plan and manage their finances. Basically, I’m a wealth advisor.
How did the whole process of deciding to move here workout?
It was good fun. It just seemed like the right thing to do when I was getting drunk.When I got sober, it still felt great!
I was working with a small firm, and they were sweet people and they would have been happy to have me in Bangalore anyway, so that worked out pretty quickly. And it was just me and my dog, so it was pretty easy to move.
It’s been three and half years since we moved.
So you have a dog!
I have two dogs, and a cat now! Max is my nine and a half year old Lab, the one I moved here with. And then I moved in with my partner who I met in Bangalore, and she came in with her cat Miu, and then both of us added a dog, Soju, a two year old Indie, to the mix.
What’s interesting is that most people who move from Bangalore to Bombay can’t imagine coming back here. And yet, here you are.
It’s a phase. When you’re much younger and your career is going well, fast paced works for you. And Bombay is great. Once you get used to Bombay, it is a fabulous city.
I have two dogs, and a cat now!
I got old there and I decided, hey, I need a bigger house, better things to do, an easier lifestyle and a slower pace of life. Oh, and great weather!
Of course it is slower here, and it’s nicer for it being slower. Who needs to be on a treadmill all the time?
What’s the biggest difference?
Apart from the weather, it’s a whole bunch of things.
I think South India is a gentler place to be than the rest of the county, on an average. Sweeter people, nicer people, easier pace of life. All these small things add up.
You have awesome real estate in Bangalore, you can never dream of doing half the things in Bombay, would cost you five times as much. And that impacts every facet of your life.
You’ve been coming here for a decent amount of time. Have you always been a beer drinker?
Strangely, I’ve never enjoyed drinking beer anywhere else as much as I have in Bangalore.
When I was in Bangalore in ’99-2002, I would do only beer. And then I left and I could never really enjoy the beer in other cities. Maybe it’s just the culture.
When you’re much younger and your career is going well, fast paced works for you.
Bangalore is such a beer city, and no other city is.
You go to microbreweries in Bombay and they’re busy doing Rum and Vodka. Even in a brewery. No one really drinks that much beer.
How much of Bangalore’s old charm still exists anymore?
Compared to what it was 10 years ago, sure, it doesn’t exist. But when you compare it to other cities, it’s still there. It’s there in pockets.
Might not be as charming and easy-going as it used to be twenty years ago, it is getting crowded and noisy and traffic is crazy. Far too many people, too.
But despite all of that, it’s still better than a whole bunch of other cities.
When you’re not working or deciding to shift base to a new city, what do you do for fun?
I used to cycle a lot, but a bunch of my buddies left the city so I gave up cycling. But luckily I’ve gotten into golf. I’m a serious golfer, out there at least a couple of times a week. And Indiranagar is the perfect place to be because there are three golf courses around. It’s brilliant.
Would you say to someone looking to slow things down a bit, that Bangalore is still an ideal option?
Of course! Compared to Bombay and Delhi, definitely.
So many places to head out to around Bangalore too. In Bombay, there’s really nowhere to go.
Might not be as charming and easy-going as it used to be twenty years ago…still better than a whole bunch of other cities.
There’s stuff happening in pubs and malls there, but once you tire of that, you can’t just go for a trek or a drive.
Do you still cycle?
I cycle to work. But I spend more time working in Toit, than in the office.
My work is to meet people and so I meet them here all the time.
My clients are more than happy to meet me here than at the office.
What’s better than meeting a wealth advisor and chugging beer, right?
Do you know that Toit is opening in Bombay now?
I know! Where Blue Frog used to be.
My clients are more than happy to meet me here than at the office.
Are you going to go there and drink and decide to move back?
Of course I’m going to go there and drink.
But no way am I going to move back there. I can’t afford Bombay anymore.
Besides, my partner won’t move there, and there’s no way I’ll get a house big enough for two dogs and a cat, with a garden at the prices that I’m getting here.
And I can’t move without them!