Mug Holder of the MonthSay hello to Amit!
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.
He loves his programming as much as he does his beer. Oh, and World War II literature too. Say hello to Amit.
We always start with asking this—why do you think you were selected as the Mug Holder?
Firstly, I think it’s because I’m such a regular customer at Toit.
And also, based on my track record, it will easy for anyone to understand that I’m a beer connoisseur.
These might be the two reasons.
Have you always been a beer connoisseur?
Yes. And I like the bitter beers at Toit a lot.
People say that a lot can happen over coffee, but I’ve found that maximum things can happen over beer.
In fact, I’ve made friends at Toit who have now become very good friends and that happened over a glass of beer.
Another thing I have found is that when people drink something (alcohol) they don’t have a mask. They like to open up about themselves. So you can judge a person very well when they drink beer.
But yes, I’ve liked beer for the longest time.
Are you from Bangalore?
I’m from Kolkata originally. But I work in Bangalore.
But the reason I became such a beer lover, has a bit of history to it.
I studied in Europe, I spent about seven years there, in Czechoslovakia. And they are one of the foremost beer makers in world.
It was my European friends there who taught me how to drink beer, how to judge it.
Earlier, people here used to just drink beer—they didn’t understand the difference between good beer and bad beer.
And the reason I always go to Toit is that it has one of the best selection of beers in Bangalore—actually, not one of the, probably the best beers. They’re just awesome!
When did you move to Bangalore?
I moved here a long time ago, in 2008. It’s been ten years.
Because of my job, I used to travel a lot.
See, Bangalore is the most beer-happening city in India, and that’s been a major reason for me staying here I’d say. It’s always been a very big part of my life.
You said you moved here for work. So what do you do?
Basically, I’m a software programmer. I used to work with a company, and now I’m just consulting.
It it fun? Or is it hectic?
You see, if you love programming, then it is fun.
A job will always be hectic if you don’t like what you’re doing. If you love the job, it’ll never be hectic.
I love programming so I’ve always enjoyed work.
And is programming something you’ve always been interested in?
If you think about it, each ad every individual is a programmer.
The brain is a very big programmer, people just aren’t aware that they’re constantly programming everything all the time.
Just this interview by itself is a form of programming—me thinking about what I need to say to you, and the words I am choosing to communicate, is a from of programming. The brain has given me this algorithm.
So, each and every individual is a programmer.
Also, I think all over the world, programmers like beer. I think so anyway.
I can’t speak for all programmes, of course. But all the programmers I know seem to be beer lovers.
What do you think is the reason for this correlation between the love for programming and beer?
You see, a good programmer always tries to have something good in their life.
Beer is kind of a drink of the intellectuals.
Not whiskey or wine?
No, no. If you really drill down the history of the drink, I don’t think any intellectual can defy beer.
It’s impossible. It’s an unavoidable call-of-the-wild almost.
I think it was Oscar Wilde who once said “I can resist everything except temptation.”
Beer is a temptation.
It’s happened so many times that I’ve decided I’m not going to drink beer on a particular day. But if I pass Toit, some force always pull me in. I can’t resist.
How often do you go to Toit?
I prefer going on Saturdays, so definitely once per week.
The thing is that I always drink alone. I don’t like drinking with a lot of people. Because whenever I drink alone, I can observe people around me. And each and every person is a story. Or you can just imagine a story in your mind about this person.
If people are around while you drink, they will disturb that thought process.
How long have you been coming to Toit?
That’s a fairly long time. So, the follow up question being, in the many years you’ve been coming here, does a particular incident or day stand out?
I can’t recall just one thing. Each and every moment there has been very memorable for me.
The thing is that generally at a pub, you can make friends if you sit at the bar counter. All over the world.
If you want to fall in love or just make friends, you should go sit at the bar.
Someone will come up to you when you sit alone.
And when you drink, and you observe someone watching you, you end up starting a conversation.
I normally read at the bar, and people always end up asking me about what I’m reading. From that starting point, long conversations happen and they become friends.
Apart from programming, and drinking beer, is there anything else you enjoy doing?
I’m an avid reader. I read all kinds of world literature.
I know German very well, and I can also speak Czech and Slovak fluently. I read a lot of German literature as well, so my reading world is very vast.
But I am predominantly a history connoisseur and my passion is World War 2. I love reading about the WW2 history.
How come? Is it just something you’ve randomly developed a liking for? Or is there a reason behind it?
I think I get it from my father, who was also very interested in learning everything about the second World War.
So some of that trickled down to me, and I’ve been reading about it from childhood.
When I went to Europe, it was as if all the history I had been reading about was there in front of me.
It was a very good coincidence that I loved World War history and ended up in Europe.
I think I have a passion for language also. I mean, I love Bengali literature also because it is my mother tongue.
I believe that if you really want to understand someone’s mind, you need to speak their language. And people end up being more open with you when you speak their language.
Do you mean that you’re able to understand the subtler nuances?
Translations and the original thing are very different. There are a lot of things that can’t be translated. If you read a book in the original language and then a translated version, you’ll understand how some of the wit and humour can never be translated.
A translator tries their best to help people understand the essence of the original text, but sometimes you just can’t capture it.
Another unrelated thing that just came to my mind is that, people say they don’t like beer because it is too bitter. I try to make them understand that once you break past the surface, beer is like mathematics. Once you get into it, once you cultivate the taste for it, you fall in love with it. And then there is no coming back.
Since you’re from Kolkata, but have been here in Bangalore for ten years now, is this a place you’re looking to settle down in?
I don’t mind settling anywhere in this world. I don’t belong to any country or city or language or religion.
That is the reason I can stay anywhere, and also the reason I can make friends very quickly.
I don’t have any inhibitions and try to understand other people. Because that’s my interest, my passion.