Kudix Mug Holder of the MonthSay hello to Kudix family—Afsha, Abhijit & Arvaan!
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.
It’s special enough when you’re a Mug Holder, but it’s even more special when you’re a family—with an adorable baby!
Say hello to our Mug Holders, Afsha and Abhijit. (with honorary baby Mug (of milk) Holder, Arvaan!)
Why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holders?
Afsha: We don’t know! I think it’s because we come here every Sunday, it’s sort of like church for us. And every time we come, our son Arvaan is always asleep in a pink pram, and I think people find that really adorable.
Maybe that’s what gives us some recall value.
Abhijit: Also, I think we’ve been coming here for almost five years and we know pretty much everyone who works here, so maybe that’s a possible reason.
So it has nothing to do with the amount you guys drink?
Afsha: I wish it did!
Abhijit: We don’t drink enough, we’re actually embarrassed.
Are you guys from Bangalore?
Afsha: No, we’re from Bombay originally. We moved here five years ago.
Abhijit: I think we moved here for Toit. *laughs*
What do you do here?
Afsha: I’m a writer, and he is…what do you do?
Abhijit: I run my own startup. It’s my fourth startup now, and it’s about technology, AI for banking and we do both B to B, and B to C products for Financial Services companies.
Afsha: I am a freelancer. I used to actually work with a bunch of newspapers in Bombay, like the Indian Express, GQ, Hindustan Times, and when I moved to Bangalore I was their online editor.
I quit, and I’ve been doing freelance work for the last three and a half years. I write for pretty much anyone I want to right now. It’s a pretty good deal.
Is your son your only child?
Afsha: Yes, we have one kid, our son.
Abhijit: I’m the other kid!
Afsha: Our son’s name is Arvaan, and he’s going to be three on the 18th of September.
Since when have you been bringing him here?
Abhijit: Since he was born, really.
Afsha: I remember I was five months pregnant when I came here.
For his first birthday, we took him to Oktoberfest in Germany. So he’s like a beer baby.
I hope he grows up and becomes a brewer, because if he starts brewing then we don’t have to leave our house!
How did Toit become a part of your lives?
Abhijit: I’d been to Bangalore before we moved here. We actually moved here because we’d always been in Bombay, and I was in the US for a while. And when we got married, we said we’ve only lived in one city, let’s just explore Bangalore.
The weather seemed fun and there are enough breweries here.
I started coming here about six to nine months before we moved.
Weather and breweries being the only reason for you guys moving here?
Afsha: Yes! Two massive reasons. When you move to any new city, things get tough. You’re sort of out of your element, and you don’t have that many friends. But the breweries in Bangalore really made it very happy for us to be here.
Abhijit: I had friends. She doesn’t have friends. *laughs*
Afsha: Ya, I still don’t have friends. I just hire people to make me look cool by hanging out with me.
No, but on a serious note, it definitely is tougher when you get to a certain age and move to a new city, it’s tougher to make friends as you get older.
But I think I’ve done fairly well. I mean Bombay is Bombay, in the sense that it’s a very social place and everyone is really connected.
Bangalore’s got a different culture like that. I really like it here though, because I feel it’s more real.
That’s surprising—a lot of people who move there find it hard to move back because they find the pace here very slow in comparison.
Abhijit: It is. At least for me.
Afsha: It’s something we wanted though. Like I said, in Bombay everyone knows everyone, it’s a very social scene, constantly networking.
But then you get to a point in your career where you don’t need that kind of socialisation. You need to take a step back and assess yourself and what you want to do, who you really are. And I think Bangalore is the perfect middle-ground for that. It’s still social, and great, and happening, but it’s not as fast, not as fickle as Bombay.
Abhijit: I prefer Bombay.
Afsha: I love Bangalore.
Who’s winning now? Think you’ll ever move back to Bombay?
Afsha: I’m winning! He can move back and we can have a long-distance marriage.
But really, the schools are great and my son is having a good time, and there’s so much greenery here.
Abhijit: Ok, I’ll admit it has better beers.
Afsha: It has amazing beers!
Have you guys always been such beer enthusiasts?
Abhijit: Ya! We moved to Bangalore and realised that there is so much more to craft beer than we knew, and that’s the beauty. That’s what we’ve been working towards, trying to understand our beers a little better.
And what kind of beer do you both like?
Afsha: I like pretty much anything, but my favourites are wheat and stouts.
Abhijit: I have a big range, but I like the IPAs. I’m very experimental.
In the time you’ve been coming here, has anything particularly memorable happened here?
Abhijit: You know what’s the easiest thing about Toit? It’s the easiest place to tell people to come meet you, because no one complains about it.
You ask someone to meet you at Toit, and I’ve never had anyone say no. It’s never happened. It’s just the most convenient place to meet someone.
Everyone we’ve met in Bangalore, and by that I mean the few friends that I have and she doesn’t, this has been the place.
So I have memory associated with Toit with almost everyone I know in Bangalore.
Afsha: Yeah, nothing crazy as such, just small instances. Like this one time where my son went and lay down right outside the pizza section on the second floor and he refused to get up. He just wanted to lie down over there.
We took a picture and put a caption, something along the lines of “when you drink too many beers and they cut you off’, because he looked like he had just passed out on the floor.
Abhijit: He knows this place better than us.
Is this a place you find easy to get Arvaan, and your family in general, to?
Afsha: Oh ya! I mean, no place in the world is like a 100% baby-proof but that’s where parental responsibility comes in. I mean, yes I have to follow him around and make sure he doesn’t put his head through the railings and all.
But it’s like really nice here, everyone is really nice to us, and really nice to him.
I see a lot of other people bringing in their kids, and that’s something I never really saw in Bombay. People don’t take their kids to bars, but in Bangalore, they do. And I think that’s another reason why I like Bangalore more than Bombay.
When you guys aren’t working, or drinking beer, is there something you like doing?
Afsha: There’s a place that we go to with our two dogs. We’re always trying to look for nice places to go to which are big, open, dog-friendly and baby-friendly. We keep doing these little short drives from Bangalore, and this has become a sort of hobby for us.
Abhijit: It’s been less since he was born, but now that he’s grown up a little, we get to do this more often.