The Beer Army About To Attack

Kokanee Beer bottles line up like army soldiers or a pieces on a chess board.

Velocity Bar

One of the most hip bars in town is the Velocity Bar & Restaurant. Located near the High Court Junction, just before the turn to Marine Drive, its easily accessible to Cochin’s thirsty dwellers. Since I live just 10 minutes away by road, it’s a place that you’d think I would go to a lot! Not really and you’ll find out soon enough as to why!

The place is great, the ambiance is great, the lighting is moody & dim. They have the place set up a bit like a race track (which explains the name) with alternating bright & dim lights built to the floor.  The wallpapers are brick styled with posters of some movies, classic drinks like Jack Daniels and some other stuff. They serve their customers with drink specific glasses, like the image above is for vodka, gin and cognac. The beer is served in these really long glasses which I think is appropriate and I didn’t miss the classic beer mugs at all.

What I don’t like is the fact that they let their customers smoke in there – last Saturday, I was struggling to breath for a few minutes as there were 5 tables with people smoking nearby. I just hate that. They also have a tv in there that blasts one of the lame-ass Hindi music channels all day long and I think it does not go well with the decoration of the bar.

Next is the food – it’s just too expensive. Everything is priced way too much. The food is good but not worth the Rupees that they are charging. But I must admit, they give a free small packet of mixture.

Overall, a place I would go to once in a while, as long as I don’t plan on eating a meal there as well and if I’m just going for drinks.

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Hanging Out With Anil & Madhu

Saturday morning came late for me, as I spent a good portion of the night watching Friends on dvd. I woke up late, had coffee and took a long shower and went out for sometime. I didn’t have any particular plan, I was just roaming in the cds & dvd stores on MG Road. I bought a movie & the new Joe Satriani cd (review to hit this blog soon) and then went in for some coffee. While I was sipping a chilled mocha, Anil called me and said that he & Madhu would be coming in to the area and that we should meet @ Marine Drive for a few drinks @ 2 pm. It was just about 1 pm when he called. I said ok and checked with Madhu as to when he would be there and then went to get some cash at the ATM.

2 pm rolled over and I headed out to Marine Drive and waited outside Coffee Beanz, our meeting point for the day. Anil arrived within the next 2 minutes and excitedly informed me that he had got the offer letter from the job that he had interview for recently. The job is in Delhi and although it was for a very important designation, it didn’t show in the salary package that they offered him. I said that we should hold our discussion for the while and find a seat. Since Coffee Beanz was crowded, I suggested we go find a sofa in Barista and off we went.

Madhu was duly called and informed about the change in venue and pretty soon we were there on a couch, sipping cold Raspberry Ice Teas and discussing Anil’s options. Living in New Delhi on the salary that they had offered wouldn’t be that easy, since it’s a new & bigger city and he is going to have expenses to meet. We’re not young anymore and with his 34th birth coming up, Anil shouldn’t be heading for uncertainty in the Indian capital. Madhu was very vocal about Anil speaking to his potential employers and negotiating a better pay.

We soon wanted to drink something stronger so we looked for some place that would serve us beer. I forgot to mention that it was a very humid & hot day. So after checking out a couple of places, including one that was a shithole, we headed for Velocity. There we ordered some Kingfisher beer, chilly pork, chilly fish, chilly gobi and french fries. We talked a lot about stuff, getting quite animated at times. By 5:15 pm we wound up our talks and Anil said that he would foot the bill, as this might be his last time with me & Madhu. So we said our goodbyes and I headed for home and crashed on my bed.

My New Fav Drink – Apple Kiz

I’ve been wanting to try out this brand of vodka for a long, long time now. Ever since I first heard about it sometime mid-last year. MGM India, based out of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, has some knock out vodka according to some who have tried it. And I am always on the look out for different brands of vodka. My usual brands are Smirnoff, Shark Tooth, Romanov & Muscovy out of which I have Muscovy & Romanov a lot, as they are very common and my fav bar stocks them both. Muscovy does not have much going on in the taste department. And I have only seen one brand of Smirnoff. What gives?

Today I was at my regular bar and I asked them what brands of vodka they had – they just happened to be trying out MGM’s Apple Kiz (solo pic not available; it’s the second bottle from the left) so that’s what I ordered. And man, the people who have been raving about this vodka weren’t kidding. Ooh sweet!

The taste of sweet green apples with a little citrus ting to it, this is a sweet drink that leaves you wanting more even as you drink it. And its not even a bit bitter. It went down so smooth, once you get used to the citrus sting, which will be very quickly. Before you drink it, you have to take a whiff of the potion (I mixed it with Sprint) and its smells heavenly. And its lip-smacking delicious. And it’s priced at Rs.290 a bottle, which is quite affordable, so what the hell are you doing on your computer? Go get a bottle now.

Beer & Crab

I can’t put into words how tired I felt yesterday. Just getting to the shower was taxing and my head felt like there was a Slayer concert, that usually happens in an area, played within the confines of my cranium. At their loudest!

I managed to get to work but my brain can’t tackle anything at the moment and I am reminded that I need to take a vacation and recharge my batteries. More on that later.

Anyways, by 6:20 pm I was ready to take my leave from the office after arranging for some stuff to be sent during my absence and said bye to my team members for the next week. I wanted to spend an evening with Anil & Madhu but Madhu was caught up, so it was just Anil & me. We met at Penta Menaka. While I waited for him to reach there, I had a 7 up and bought two rings – nothing fancy, however I like them. We went to the atm and then went to our favourite bar – Malabar House Roof Top Garden.

We started with vodka for me & brandy for him and we had some tiny fish fry and then the waiter told us that the specialty for the day was crab curry. I haven’t had crab in ages and neither had Anil so we order a plate, which was a whole crab surrounded by delicious masala gravy. Oh it was heaven, the crab was tasty and it was enough to shut us up. Cause we were too busy eating. We switched to beer, since I told him that I felt that beer was better with crab. We ordered some french fries and another plate of crab, which was much bigger than the first one. By 10 pm we were ready to head back home, having had some lovely grub and drinks.

French Fries With My Drinks

Last evening, just after I left the office to head for home by 6:30 pm, Anil called me up and inquired as to where I was. I asked him if he would come for some drinks, so we arranged for me to meet him at the turn towards MG Road and we set off on his bike to Malabar House. He also said that he had some news.

As we sat and ordered some drinks and food, he told me about the girl he had spoken about earlier, the one he wanted to marry. He said that through his relative who knew the girl’s family, he came to find out that she wasn’t interested in marrying him because of the age difference, 11 years, and she was just leading him on. Now he couldn’t wait to get out of the company where they both worked. That was not good news to hear.

We had ordered beef roast by mistake and some chicken; the former turned out to be too spicy, with lots of thick gravy, for us to enjoy and the chicken was tasteless. We ordered a fish thingy and pork but the rescuer turned out to be french fries. Yes, french fries! I never have had fries with drinks but it seems to be ok. We ordered two plates of the tasty stuff and enjoyed the evening till 10:30 pm and then left for home.

Return Of The Trio

Yesterday was not a good day for me at the office, because I could not do what I had set put to do as other things came up which needed my attention. I was getting pissed off with the little things that some people do that seem so annoying. Are they doing it on purpose? Ofcourse not! This is just their little fucking style.

Anyway the further the day went, the more I got upset until about 5:45 when I was having coffee with Kiran, my cell phone rang and I got even more pissed off because of what the caller had to say. I am not looking forward to it at all. This was the final straw. I was so upset that I was in mood to go for some drinks with my buddies Anil & Madhu. But then, our get-togethers happen just once in a month or so, therefore I just had to go. We had planned for me to treat them to drinks & dinner yesterday and although I was in no mood I just had to go.

The rain had slowed down a bit as I was leaving, so I didn’t bother to take my umbrella but as I walked to the ATM, it started to pick up in intensity and I got thoroughly wet. What a great day! But I got an auto and collected some cash at the nearest ATM and then headed for Park Regency where Anil & Madhu were waiting for me. We got into a corner seat and order – the usual – 8 pm whiskey for Madhu, Bijoys brandy for Anil & Romanov vodka for me. We ordered some chilly pork, chilly fish, some chicken, some beef & some salad to go with it.

Then Madhu hit me with the news that Anil is getting serious about approaching the girl’s (who he liked and who, surprisingly enough, likes him back) parents and that was the only thing standing in the way of him getting married soon. Anil states that if everything goes according to plan and her folks decide to disown their youngest child and give her hand in marriage to a loser like him, he could be getting a wife in 4 to 5 months! Yikes, that will leave me as the lone bachelor among the most sexiest trio in India! Well, I shall be the lone lady-killer in this trio then. But I would be so happy for the asshole that Anil is if he would get hitched.

Just as we had sat down, Vinitha called me from Bangalore and we shared some news from both sides of the company and I was so glad that she had called. She actually put me in a better mood, along with the company or my two amigos ofcourse. Then I went back in and we laughed & joked and ate & dranked unitl the wee hours of the day or 10:45 pm to be exact. Then we had to find a way home!

Well, Madhu bough his bike and he lives just a couple of kilometers away but Anil & I had to  go all the way to the city to get to our respective homes. So we waited for an auto and it took us almost 20 minutes before we could hail one and he took me & Anil to SRM road and to Kacheripady respectively. I made my way to my apartment, washed my self and then crashed on my bed until 9 am this morning. Once again, thanks to Madhu & Anil, I have had a great evening.

Until next time!

Pukefest 2008

I just can’t believe it!

Ok, let me fill you in the story. I was hard at work yesterday, arranging things for the session that our clients are going to take all the employees of my company through. Its a 4 hour session and the person from the client will be coming for 10 days and take a session each. We have around 420 staff in our company and so it isn’t the easiest task to organize things. Since my boss is away in Bangalore for a few days on official business, I tried doing everything I can to keep things ready for Monday. I got almost everything organized, and the two minor things left can wait until Monday morning. I sent all the mails and lists and stuff.

A couple of the newly promoted guys wanted to treat 3 of us, so they waited until 7:15 pm when I finished and we headed for the bar at Hotel Sea Gate. We ordered some vodka, 7 up and soda and one guy had beer. We had some beef to go along with it. After a few drinks, I was unsteady on my feet and headed to the loo to take a piss. A couple of minutes later, I puked all over the wash basin there.

Another guy, the host, was also sick and we then went down to catch an auto for Neil & me to come back home. It must have been past 10:30 or so by then. I puked a little on the ground while waiting for the auto and then puked twice more on the way home. Each time ofcourse, the driver stopped by the side so that I could puke properly. I felt like crap. I reached home and fell right into bed, after taking off my clothes and washing myself ofcourse. I slept fitfully until 4 am when I ran to the bathroom and puked again. I tried going back to sleep but it was of no use.

I puked a total of 10 times last night and today combined and by the end it was just water. I tried drinking some soda as I was building gas in me but a few sips brought forth another round of puking. Finally I got some medicine prescribed by an uncle who is a doctor and the security guard of my building got it for me. The meds calmed me down and I slept the entire morning away. In the afternoon I took a little ‘kanji’ (rice & water) and about 90 minutes back I had two dry toasts as I have feeling hungry. I am so tired and I had a nasty headache as well. I’ve never puked this much before and it was terrible. I think it was probably food poisoning or something.

Argh, I never want to go through that again. Not for a million bucks!

Bong Vodka

How cool are these designer bottles? Designed by some very talented artists, the bottles are of Bong Vodka, made in Holland. Bong Spirit Vodka is only the first product of a new collaborative, the BONG SPIRIT COMPANY. Bong Spirit is a lifestyle that represents self-expression, individuality, with a big nod to the creative arts. It’s about hanging out, listening to your friends perform, spinning records, landing big maneuvers, meeting new people, traveling to new places, all in the name of having fun. The vodka in the bottle comes from a Dutch family that has been producing spirits in Holland for over 150 years. They had previously never distributed it outside of Holland.

The Holy Grail

The rules of drinking Vodka Russian style are :

1. Vodka is to be drunk always as a shot, never sipped.
2. Vodka is to be drunk always in company, consisting of at least three persons (called a troika, I believe).
3. Vodka is to be drunk with a proper toast preceding the shot, by which we mean that the toast should be a narrative, the more elaborate the better; it is unacceptable to simple state: “cheers” or any such vapid niceties.
4. The drinking of vodka must be follow with a bite of food, preferably a piece of blini or a pickle.
5. Finally, when one person proposes a toast, nobody is allowed to refuse to drink.

Shark Tooth Vodka

I decided to try a different brand of Vodka today to add to the ones that I have tried (White Mischief, Muscovy, Romanov, Absolut & Smirnoff). So after my shopping, I went to have a couple of drinks & lunch at my usual bar. They had Shark Tooth vodka and I was itching to try it. I do not like their dumb ad (since you can’t advertise any alcohol on Indian television, they are calling it Shark Tooth cassettes & cds or something) but the name of the brand is so like something that I would name an alcoholic drink if it were up to me. Shark tooth is a smooth vodka, a little heavier on the alcohol percentage (not sure how much as there is hardly any info online about the drink and I haven’t seen a bottle up close yet) but it still packs a potent punch. It goes down smoother than the very tough Muscovy & White Mischief but its no contest to Smirnoff or Absolut. Still its good enuff and I will try it again soon. Cheers!

Reunion Of The 3

It’s been a while since Madhu, Anil & myself have been able to get together for some drinks & dinner. When Anil called me while I was at the office, I was unable to answer at first since I was kinda busy. Three calls later I answered and he reminded me that we had spoken a couple of days earlier about getting together. I wasn’t sure if I could get there in time but I just had to see my best friends. By 7:40 pm, I left the office and headed out to the Executive Bar in Park Regency Hotel in Kalamassery.

There I met Madhu, who was standing outside the entrance with his helmet in his hand. Anil had reached earlier but had gone to the ATM a kilometer away. We chatted outside for a little while until Anil made it back and the headed in. As usual it was 8pm whiskey for Madhu, Bijoys brandy for Anil & Romanov vodka for me. We had a lot of snacks – peanuts, 2 chili beef & 2 chili pork. Man the pork was light and crispy and very, very tasty. As mentioned earlier in my blog, I rarely have pork but this was so delicious. We chatted a lot as we drank & ate. The main topic was the girl who has come into Anil’s life!

Madhu filled me in on the details – there’s this girl that Anil & Madhu have known for around a year. She works at the same office as they do but is a bit younger than Anil. She is a quite sort, not very vocal and Anil mostly speaks to her over the phone. From the description, she sounds like very sweet and has good morals. Perfect for a life partner. And she has stated that she is interested in Anil. Which is the surprise part! How can that asshole get a nice, decent girl like her?

Anyway, he likes her too and is interested in marrying her. He has spoken to his mother about it and she has even seen & met the girl. His family is eager to get Anil’s hairy old ass married but this bugger is too chicken to seal the deal, so to speak! He is afraid of what if it won’t work out, when he approaches her folks! She is interested and he is interested but he is scared of going to the next step and getting things sorted and ready. He says he needs 4 to 5 months!

And this is the same jerk-off who keeps pressurizing me to find a girl and get married, every fucking time we speak on the phone or meet in person!!!!!

Now the tables have turned butt-face, you on the other side of the barrel. Madhu & I will see if we can get you married and settled in a couple of months. Watch out, your days as a carefree bachelor are numbered, my friend!

Ice Beer

Why is it that you can’t or you never add ice to your beer? Why can you do that to every drink that is there on this world except beer? I mean, I remember once that I was about to add three huge ice cubes into my glass of beer which had become lukewarm and the reaction I got from my friends was as if I had pissed on the bible or some other holy book! They told me under no circumstances was I to add ice into my beer, so my options were to either put the beer into the fridge or to drink the damn thing lukewarm! I chose the first option.

But why do we not add ice into a glass of beer? If it melts in it, just stir it and the taste will be the same. I mean you do it to your whiskey, brandy, gin, vodka, cognac & others. So why not beer? And is that the same for wine? I don’t get to drink wine here but I think that the situation is the same – you don’t add ice in your wine glass. You can drink it chilled if you want to but no ice! What kind of a rule is that?

Cold Cochin

I woke up by 7:30 am and watched the movie that I had just started to watch last night but fell asleep after 12 minutes – Star Trek : Nemesis. Since I was watching a copy of the movie on a dvd, I could watch it later. I just felt like watching it for the last few days and so I did. Can’t wait for the new Star Trek movie to come out; it had better be good!

Weather wise it is actually something more to what I like. It’s a bit cold, you don’t sweat as much as the air is cool. It has been raining a lot the last two days. Last night I got caught in the heavy downpour while heading home from work. As I sat in the bus, it started to rain and increased in intensity. By the time I reached Kacheripaddy, it was almost a storm and I was wet thoroughly as I braved the wind and made my way home.

Today morning as well it started raining almost as I woke up and I was feeling like going back to sleep with the sheets wrapped around me. But I watched the movie on my computer and then had coffee and breakfast. I took a hot shower and went out later to Cafe Coffee Day, where I oggled this pretty girl who was chatting with her 3 friends. I went to Planet M and got a movie; the cd selections are leaving much to be desired. Lunch and vodka followed soon after as I relaxed & read 4 chapters of John Grisham’s The Broker, which I bought at the second hand book store near Padma. I also got a copy of Stephen King’s Hearts In Atlantis.

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Then it was back home for a little nap and more reading. I woke up by 6:30 pm and went to watch some football on the telly. I also watched a movie which I shall review a bit later. Overall a nice day, I’m liking the cold weather and it feels so good to relax in my room.

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A Couple Of Drinks

It’s been some days since I last had a sniff of a drink. Illness ensured that my favourite vodka and I were miles apart. Last Sunday I was supposed to go out on a trip with a bunch of other cats and have a booze party. It came to naught since other guy and I were not feeling all that well. By Sunday evening I was feeling all fine & dandy and raring to go. Yesterday evening, while coming back home I thought of having a couple of drinks to quench my thirst but I came home without drinking. Tonight it was different though. I was quite busy today and by 7 pm when I was leaving the office, I thought of having dinner out. Then I thought, why not have a couple of drinks? So I got myself to a bar near the bus stop at Kacheripady and had some vodka before I had some dinner. That felt good! Smirnoff is Russia’s gift to the rest of us.

Rain In My Drink

Today was a a tough day at the office, me being too busy from 9:30 till 7:20 when I left the damn place. We had the new Manager for training & quality for our center and another center, for the very first time. The DGM was also there and she was pleasant enough; we will be having a 4 hour session with her tomorrow that I am actually looking forward to. She has had a lot of experience with Motorola and another company and I am guessing could give us a lot of useful download. I had to do a lot of work today and I am hoping that tomorrow’s session with help me in dealing with my usual work in the forthcoming months.

On a damper note, Livi was leaving for her 2 week vacation and although I think that she deserves it and that I wish she would have relaxation & fun, I am gonna miss her. That much is sure, I am very fond of her. I can’t wait till she comes back. I also had to sit with two other people for some project that our clients gladly dumped unto our laps. I was so sleepy and tired during the 2 hours+ that we sat in that room.

Anil called me up around 6:15 pm and we decided to go for some drinks and a little dinner. By 7:15 I was outta the office and in a bus headed for Lisie Junction, where he was waiting for me. Once I reached we left on his bike to Malabar House, making a short stop at the ATM for some cash. It was raining cats & dogs and no doubts a few cows & goats! We reached the bar wet to our toes and went to their roof top garden bar. The rain continued it’s heavy onslaught on the streets of cochin, as we had our drinks and ate some light but good food. By 11 I was home, soaked to the bone and dried myself.

Song for the day – “Bad Seed” – METALLICA

31 Going On 13

I just turned 31. So here I am a 31 year old man…with a ton of regrets and a whole lot of ‘if i could only do…’! Well for just this day, maybe I can forget about all of these things and just have a little fun. Vinitha was the first person to catch on in the office about my birthday, since she saw the pop-up in Orkut. So she sent me a message last night. Also my beloved Cathy called me at 12:30 am to wish me before she went to bed. That was sweet!

I didn’t want a big fuss for today and wasn’t even planning on letting people know that it was my birthday, cause it’s 31st and not my 21st. What’s so ‘happy’ about it? But since Vinitha already knew about it, I thought ‘ok’! I bought some chocolates and gave it to people in the office. I got a card and they got a cake for me. Imagine the embarrassement of having the women fuss over some silly birthday. I was decorated with the multi colours of my cake. I also spoke to my beloved Asha before she had to start her work shift.
Evening time rolled over and it was time for me to take leave of the office and go drinking! Anil & Madhu were due informed two days in advance and we met up at the Executive Bar @ Park Residency in Kalamassery. Brandy for Anil, Whiskey for Madhu & Vodka for me. Two rounds of drinks & food and as usual making fun of each other, chatting about old friends and women! More jokes, more drinks & more food followed by lots of laughing. In the end we had to leave and go home as they both had an early day and I wasn’t off from work tomorrow. So, I am now safe & secure in my room, having braved the cold winds, rain & terrible road conditions on Anil’s bike.

Goodnite everyone! My world grew older by a year!

Song for the day – “What A Good Boy” – BARENAKED LADIES