Tag Archives: beer

Arrested Development 1

I owe my self-pity to my inertia. I owe my inertia to my indecision. I owe my indecision to my complete lack of inspiration. Amen.

-Adbhut Bhave

And now for something completely different. I just started a sentence with a conjunction.  Apparently I can do that. The last time when I tried this, the result was abysmal. I just googled that last word. I tend to do that. To look clever you know. Not that I’m not. At least I think I am. Well let’s just say on most days I’m as clever as I am on the rest. There, I did it again.

I have a chilled beer next to me while I write this. And I’m enjoying it. I also have Explosions in The Sky bursting in my ears. The song playing right now is called The Moment We Were Alone. Incidentally I’m alone right now. And as usual I’m bored. I’m out of TV Shows and movies to watch. I finished watching Breaking Bad, Coupling and The Wire in the last few weeks. I watched Kick Ass last night right after watching Gus Van Sant’s enthralling film Finding Forrester. I’m a mile away from inspiration. The Wire was a nice find. It’s a brilliantly crafted HBO crime drama that ended a few years ago. Nothing more to say about it other than WATCH IT BEFORE YOU DIE!

On the brighter side I made a remarkable breakthrough in my research today. I am a graduate researcher by profession nowadays. I now know what I’m doing/ supposed to be doing/going to be doing in the coming months. It’s good to know what’s in store for you. The sudden dip in uncertainty is a welcome change. Oddly unsettling feeling though.

Coming back to the only constant in my life-beer. I’m a beer bottle collector now. I have a collection of thirty six different beers (empty beer bottles). The legality of this collection on campus is questionable. Admitting it on the internet is not. This collection has been a combined effort between yours truly and a fellow beer enthusiast-my roommate. We split the fortune spent on beer each month. And trust me when I say fortune. The one I’m drinking right now is called Boulevard Wheat. It is a cheap wheat beer with a very nice bottle. The most distinguished beer in my collection till date is called Rasputin. It is a dark lager with a mild bitter taste but a bitter-er hangover.

The song playing now is Yasmin the Light. If you have stuck around till now, go ahead and check it out. It won’t disappoint you.

Anna Hazare broke his fast today. God bless that man. I wonder what he ate first.

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Filed under Absurd, Film, Non Fiction, Opinion, stupid

Let there be Beer….

[This is a post about beer. Inevitably, it contains a lot of beerhetoric. It does not intend to challenge anyone’s take on alcohol consumption nor does it promote alcoholism. It is a product of an unhealthy urban youth’s genuine fascination about beer.]


“A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it’s better to be thoroughly sure.” -Czech proverb.

My fascination about beer can be traced back to my childhood. When my dad used to entertain his buddies, there used to be beer in the house. My brother and I used to have a laugh watching all the uncles make their half-hourly pilgrimage to the loo- each one longer than the one before. That time I didn’t get why all of them kept on drinking this particular aerated beverage knowing fully well that they’ll have to ‘go’ again before grabbing the next one. It seemed so pointless. The whole exercise seemed ridiculous. It was one of life’s greatest mysteries for me. But in time when I started doing such pilgrimages on my own, some how life was simple again.

The truth be told- my dad bought me my first beer. Not a sign of bad parenting but purely awesome parenting. A fact my drinking buddies hate, as they have to go through an entire stack of mints before going back home, while I have to go through only half of it. My first impression of beer was- absolute piss. But like most Coen Bros’ movies, it grew on me. I’ll always remember the first pint that I actually managed to enjoy. A feeling of unfounded joy had washed over me. My jaws had clenched and unclenched with every sip. As the can in my hand started feeling lighter, so did I. It was the best 40 bucks I ever spent.

Most of the times, beer invokes extreme opinions among liquor enthusiasts. You either like beer or you don’t. And you can’t just like beer. You love it. A mild acquaintance with beer is like being half pregnant. It is impossible. Once you develop a taste for it, it has a power over you. It is not addiction. I mean I won’t sell my treasured watch just to get hold of a pint. Its just that every once in a while, the mysterious unsettling feeling that nags you day in and day out can be easily fixed by a chilled glass of refreshing beer. The feeling of guilt or rejection can be washed down just as easily. One can even cleverly say that a beer in hand is worth two in the fridge.

Now as you start drinking it more often, you start learning the finer nuances of the art of beer drinking. You can tell what variety of peanuts goes well with which brand. Which beer when served cold is best with rock n roll. The number of pints it takes to catch up with already drunk lunatics. It is almost an exact science. You can tell so much about a person from the way he drinks beer. If he gulps down the first couple of pints and starts looking for the basin- he’s a greedy rookie. If he doesn’t touch the cold sparkling glass for half an hour- he has recently visited a dentist. And if he steadily keeps the pints coming, we have a true pro. There are so many! I’ll save the others for my stand up routine.

One thing that I have expertly noted is that beer has never been out of fashion. Scotch was and always will be a royal drink. But it has had its share out of the limelight when the Russians brought with them the colourless and allegedly odourless vodka. With the tequilas and bourbons fighting their way up the liquor menu, beer has remained like an interesting looking regular at the end of the bar. This guy (the regular) is always on a first name basis with the bartender. And by one look at him you know that this fella is well travelled and has many a story to tell. This is a drink I can identify with. It is cheap yet rich. It is not pretentious or overtly ostentatious like most cocktails which I believe are lemon juice in different costumes. In its simplicity lies its sophistication.

Beer renders the drinker with a presumed sense of well being, which in some cases leads to a hilarious chain of events. Beer can cure despondence, shyness, overconfidence and even constipation. This brewed social lubricant is responsible for a sizable percentage of promotions, demotions, friendships, marriages and divorces. It can make a Yashraj movie almost bearable. It is known to start conversations wherein people actually talk a lot about nothing. A few pints later, they can be found quarreling over the same nothing. Too much of it however is not advisable. Overindulgence of beer in one sitting, most of the times makes the drinker profess his love for a nearby commode the next morning. I have a string of heartbroken commodes in my wake.

In my experience I feel that Kingfisher is a neighbourhood hero. Corona is a supermodel on the cover of a glossy magazine (complete with a slice of lemon). Khajurao, Godfather, Thunderbolt, Spencer10000, Haywards Black, Ambero, King’s, Canon 10000 and Tennent’s are thugs with a heart of gold. Heineken is an expensive consultant with valuable experience. Carlsberg and Tuborg are the cousins who are raised abroad. Foster’s, Budweiser and Tiger are regulars at the comic bookstore. Tsingtao and Suntory are my friends from China.

You see, I cannot write enough about beer. Beer amazes me to no end. I love beer. I have a waist pouch to prove it. And I don’t mind it. I think of it as a tattoo to remind me of the (too many) good times I’ve had.

Vote for Vijay Mallaya.

[Last weekend I missed an opening of a pub in Pune which has one of India’a first home brewing facility. As blasphemous as it sounds, I did not attend this and missed a great deal of fun and frolic. Bidi loves teasing me about it.]

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Filed under Lifestyle, Opinion

When Uncle Sam frowns…..

While writing my previous woe-is-me rant, I was ignorant of the numerous hurdles a dollar dreamer has to jump over to finally make it in the ‘Promised Land’.

After bidding farewell to Mr. Barron, I now find myself writing and replying in ‘Get–me-the-hell-outta-here!’ forums. I chat with guys/gals who sport names like newyorkhereicum, angelfuryinUSA or vegasbaby86. We share a common passion of exchanging trivial information like- ‘how cheap Texas is’ or ‘how expensive LA is’ or ‘how big USA is’. We indulge ourselves in debating who is the most likely to get admitted in which university and why. I am so far away that the line is a dot to me.

It’s the same for everybody else I guess. Every body is as clueless as ever. We pride ourselves of being a product of an Engineer Making Machine that is second only to the Chinese. We leave the safety of our college desks and hide under the ‘workstations’ in the companies who have the audacity to hire us. We sit tight, thanking God for the windfall on the day of the interview, when the interviewer didn’t get a joke and hired you. As the months pass and as our butt cheeks begin to unclench we realize a big con that we are in. We write programs, create websites, design (read copy) machines and invent more efficient toilet sprays to get that gift wrapped box of peanuts. We soon realize where the real paycheck goes- the dollar tax payer. The workstations around start getting replaced by new suckers as the previous occupants are off to do their MS’s, MBA’s, CFA’s and WTF’s. And before you know it, the ‘Acquired Dollar Deficiency Syndrome’ has you.

“….Actually the ADDS is not as harmful as it sounds. Studies have revealed that homo sapiens residing primarily in the Indian Subcontinent have a suppressed gene called ‘$4ever-A’ which remains dormant till a particular age. Experts believe that the males are particularly susceptible to trigger it at an early age. A bad salary hike, lack of job satisfaction or sheer boredom are known causes of trigger. The affected subjects have shown symptoms like- mood swings, excessive use of foreign lingo or consuming copious amounts of alcohol (especially the aerated variety). Females show different symptoms altogether. Females normally have shown excessive……..”
-From an article by Dr. Adhbhut Bhave, published in the Journal of Bullshit, dated 29th September 2004

The 90’s saw the first wave of ADDS. The second wave claimed many more than the first. The third however, has coincided with Lehman Bandhu filing Chapter 11. Some of my best buds were affected and are now in rehab-the US. Getting in is quite easy. Hopping on H1-Bs, applying for post grad, marrying another ADDS victim or jumping over the fence of US-Mexico border are considered the normal ways of entering the rehab. Once in, there are many withdrawal symptoms. The first being the habit of multiplying by a factor of fifty to anything after the sign ‘$’. They say time is the greatest healer. It is. Slowly the victims start using jargon like miles, gallons, cents, central time, credit history or Beyonce.

My college buds and peers who entered the rehab in the most respective way, are currently recovering from a recent epidemic of self-loathing and self-pity. I don’t blame them. No one could have foretold an apparently imminent economic downturn. But my mates are paying for it. Through their overwhelmed noses. One is sleepless in Seattle, one has taken an early summer hibernation in Buffalo, the Miami guy is wondering why his 3 liter car is costing him more lately and the one in Oklahoma is curious to know why the water is so still (you see, he lives in a place called Stillwater). Believe me-I’m not using their misery as fodder for my insatiable appetite of coming up with something witty. Well, maybe a little.

Then Mr. Obama comes into the picture. The crusader who is relentlessly pursuing to pass a bill in the senate that will wipe out ADDS. I hear that the rehab ‘coupons’ will be less this year as the affected victims are….well, too many! Another literal nail in the proverbial coffin. Not good news, definitely.

Most of the times, when the first guy jumps into a dark ditch, the second one calls for help. But here, we have a beeline to be the first guy, and I’m in it.

In my last appointment with the doctor (a friend) I learnt that I have most of the symptoms for the ADDS, except for the foreign lingo thing-need to work on that. I really need to get myself fixed early, coz my friend the doctor-he’s headed off to Alaska this fall.

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Filed under Non Fiction, Opinion