Friday, July 2, 2010

Doolally - An Interview

We visit India’s first microbrewery ‘Doolally!’Situated in the heart of Pune, and started by two IIM-B graduates Suketu and Prateek, this is a place to get one of the finest, freshly brewed beers in India. The name comes from a place called ‘Doelali’, near Nashik, where British soldiers spent time merry making waiting to be shipped back. Thus ‘Doelali’ became synonymous as Crazy Time. So today we have Suketu with us, who will tell us what made them leave their enterprising corporate careers and come and set a microbrewery in India.

Q. What is a Microbrewery and how is it different from a regular brewery?
A. As the name suggests, it is a miniature brewery. In terms of scaling, our one year’s production equals kingfishers half a day’s output!
Larger breweries are highly process driven, human intervention is lot and flavors are standard to cater to the masses. The character and taste of the beer are traded to make it cheap and in large quantities. In our microbrewery, beer is completely hand crafted, made using the best raw materials exported from Germany. Flavor, aroma are kept intact and one can find interesting notes of personal touch in it. Also, as the production is less, we get to experiment a lot with our beer. As we discuss, there is a mango flavored beer fermenting in one of the tanks! In our upcoming flavors, we have one made with wild berries as well.

Q. What was the genesis of the idea? Was setting it up a problem?
A. Prateek and I used to work for Proctor & Gamble in Singapore and used to visit a microbrewery called ‘Brewerkz‘ very often. That taste of fresh beer was so satisfying, that we thought of giving up our jobs, come to India and set up our own brewery! Prateek worked at Brewerkz for a couple of months before joining me here. Getting a licence for the brewery took us one year and raising funds for it another couple. We met out 'Brew Meister' Oliver, who helped setting up the brewery, and after about four years of toil, we finally opened it in October '09.
Q. ‘The Beer Meister’!
A. Yes. We met Oliver through mutual friends in Singapore and the whole idea clicked. He has been brewing since the age of 16! The whole brewery was setup by him personally. We have a special Oliver brew, which houses his special flavors.

Q. Tell us about the beers you brew.
A. We have brewed 14 different types of beer in last 7 months. 80% of our beers are ales. All the beers are 100% hand crafted. We have seasonal as well as special beers for festivals like the Christmas special had a touch of cinnamon. Oliver looks over the complete beer making process. Any time you walk in, we have 4-5 different beers served fresh from the tap.

Q. What are your future plans with the brewing industry?
A. We plan to open breweries in 5 different cities across India in next two years. After that we may opt for bottling of our beer.

Q. Tell us about the pub ‘Doolally’
A. Doolally is where we serve our brewed beer. It is run by the Corinthians management and we look at the brewery part of it. The pub is open all 7 days till late in nights, all special sporting events are aired and the pub closes only after the presentations end! We have live bands playing at times and encourage anyone who plays music to come and perform with us. We have ‘all you can eat and drink’ Sunday brunches which go on till 4 in the evening.

Q. Parents say drinking alcohol is unethical. As an owner of a brewery, how do you defend your stance?
A. The whole idea of unethical drinking has grown from irresponsible drinking. Consumption of alcohol has been going on since ages; having alcohol in moderate quantities have a lot of documented benefits. We strictly promote responsible drinking. Minors are strictly not allowed in the pub. ID checks are done. If anybody is found tipsy, we provide cab services for them.

Q. How do you plan to market your brew to the fairer sex?
doolally33.jpgA. We have a special Apple Cider for ladies and till date, any lady who has walked in and tasted it, has not left without appreciating it!

Q. Are any beer festivals planned by you?
A. Yes. We have a full fledged Oktberfest planned with authentic German beer, live bands from Germany and much more. The festival would go on for 2 continuous days non-stop!

Q. If Nashik is 'The Napa Valley of India', are you planning to make Pune 'The Bavaria of India?'
A. Sure. Beer awareness is spreading in India gradually. In next two to three years time, the beer culture would pick up and people here will appreciate it more.  

Q.What is your biggest reward of owning a brewery?
A. When someone walks to us and says that this is the best beer he has ever tasted, there is nothing more satisfying than this.

So all you folks now know where to head for want of some quality beer and a jolly good time.
The Corinthians Boutique Hotel
Nyati County, Nibm road,
Kondhwa, Pune

(Images taken from the internet)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Flashing beams do daze his feeble eyen - Spencer

Daze. It's what you get into the very next moment on receiving the nightmarish news you have been apprehensive about. It's the moment when you just realize that your dream will now only remain as a dream. A moment right when you hear the thud of your world crushing down. Thoughts, beliefs, judgments learnt through all those years of your life whirling in your mind, trying to tear it apart. 'Pick me, and act upon', they shout, but you do not know what to do. A moment when you get the first of many slaps from your father. It's a moment when your doctor calls to say tests were positive, a moment the new born doesn't cry and a moment when a mother gives her last advice. Crashing your new car or a loss of a limb leaves you dazed. A few sleepless nights, constant stress at work, lack of social life are enough for that feeling which stirs up a constant numbing pain in your brain. It also leaves you dazed when your life-partner calls it enough, while playing that game you reach to the final showdown only to lose your last virtual life. It takes away your breath.

It's a moment when you step out of that car with a thousand flashes in front of you. It's a moment when you lift the universally coveted award on the dais. The first sight of her, his first touch can be quite dazing. It's a moment when you realize the bullet missed you just by a whisker. It is on receiving your acceptance letter, on hearing that 'Yes', on hearing his first cry that can leave you dazed. It is a moment when you find the lost treasure of your childhood memories, a moment when you find a match to lit that last cigarette of the night or the moment of your first encounter with the hidden pleasures of this world. The happiness gives you an orgasmic high, that you are left with tears on your lids, heart throbbing hard against the wall and your palms sweaty and legs shaky. A jump in the air, a little gig, that glow on your face. It takes away your breath.

Heaven or Hell, wherever you may go, you are going to be dazed. Dazzling, isn't it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Wind Chime: A poem by me . .Followed by a friends poem.

The Wind Chime

I sit on warm patio
Facing the setting Sun;
You look in opposite oblivion

Would we talk again?
Will you ever be
Mine again, I think now

Why it matters so much?
The hollow promises
Would I love you anymore?

White waves kiss the shore
Light breeze drafts 
The wind chime kinks merrily

Your bewitching touch I long
Fingers in my hair
Smudged kohl of your eyes

Sublime divine wind chime
Your slow poison smile
Where is it now lost?

This ache in your heart
Your falling tears
I would have always stopped 

Strong gush of wind befalls
Chime it takes along
Crumbled pieces lay around!

Tensed, thoughts scurrying
I pick the broken chime
Will it ever play again?

Has our affair ended
Like the silver chime
It played blissfully in harmony

Just then on my back
I feel your hands
Your head resting on me

Our souls unite
I clutch your hands
Turn around and embrace

Your love engulfs me
Hearts beat in unison
And play the sacred chime

--by Pankaj Goyal

At The Other End of The Porch (the girl's side of the story)

This sea wind is
fanning the flame
Of anger within me;
I hate its humid
calm contrast against
my dry hurt feelings.
Sitting across me,
Immense ocean
Reinforces my reality!

Reality of loneliness
In this vast
Unknown unforgiving world.
I shudder, shudder
At this thought
Of life without you!
With a sigh
I tilt my head
On our porch pillar.
Yes, ours it is!
Like this place
We call our home.
This pillar feels
weak at the thought
of your shoulders.

Your brave shoulders,
Bathed in my tears
Each time I cried.

Your tender shoulders,
I leaned on
Laughing at your wit.
Either occasion, when
I raised my head
To meet your deep brown eyes,
I saw the infinite
Diamonds, reflecting
Multifaceted light of your love.
The corner wrinkle,
Promised me that
With age grows our love.
Then, sudden gush
Of wild wind
Snaps me back to present.

Turning towards you,
Your tense back
Makes me wonder what happened.

This distance - 
Painful, agonizing.
Ur sadness – intolerable, excruciating.
Each step towards
You is genteelly
Vanishing my marks of anger.
Now, as I hold
You within me,
My cosmos has achieved nirvana.
And as you
Engulf me back,
The world is spinning right once again.

--by Ashni Patel

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ravish Me

This piece is from a virgin's heart. How in this modern world a girl is still worried about her inner insecurities.

Shackles, the invisible ones
I lay trapped in clutches of keyless locks
Morals, Ethics, Traditions they say
Keeps my wings bound by shame

Where are you lost?
Your images I have conjured in mind
I long for a tactile touch
On this chaste heart that resides
In my pure abode

Feared I am, I might lose it all
My white soul is my only wealth
Like time, once gone it won’t be back
My mind pleads for that surety
which rests in unwavering hands

Pain, I know comes with it
Ready I am, to go through
Come and free me of this oppression
Liberate me of these heavy chains
that lie deep within myself

I am a river yet to meet its ocean
A flower yet to blossom
An un-carved wood
A pristine fruit to be eaten

I seek for you, my worthy God
To embellish the temple of my body
Embark hither and release me
I want to melt in thee
Come now and ravish me
Come now and ravish me

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ah . .The Smudged Kohl

I turned my face
Toward her, she took
A sip from the glass

Smudged kohl on eyelids
Arched brows, Mascara lashes
Looked deep and lustily

Her glossy lips hide
Some mystery, her smile
Gave it all away

Cheeks were blush pink
Smeared rose, dimpled chin
Was angled down naughtily

Her unruly hair curled
On neck, tingling she
Swiveled them a bit

Earrings stirring nape of
Her neck, slipped sleeve
Bared shimmer on shoulder

Her hands were aloft
Like ballet, nails shone
Bright under the light

Sinuous gown hugged her
Tender waist, she lifted
Silk touching the ground

Her imprudent step showed
Tender heal, like a
Babies warm untouched feet

A casual tread brought
Her near, her arms
Dropped on my shoulder

Bracelets clinked on fair
Delicate wrists, her perfume
Filled my heart completely

Her curved back sensed
My hand, I drew
Her close to touch

Dark eyes gazed me
Pleading, I closed mine
On her smudged kohl

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Journey with the unknown

Going to unknown places with unknown people by unknown means has an unknown pleasure, which I came to know on Saturday.

A group of like-minded people came together from the company bulletin board and decided on hiking the unknown locations. The agenda was travel/adventure, spend minimum money, know the local places and forget the luxuries. Where the company of the people is important and the journey, not the destination, plays an important role.

On Friday evening, a meeting was organized and about 12-14 people attended it. We decided to kick-start with a short trip to a nearby place. This would give an opportunity to know each other and know the energy levels of the group. With a consensus, we decided to travel towards Matheran, a small hill station where there are no roads and no vehicles are allowed. Also, as it is situated amidst a forest on the hills, it would be cool and shady.

Around nine to ten people confirmed their travelling plan. We all met at the Shivajinagar railway station at 07:00hrs after people started calling each other from 05:30hrs! It was a pleasant surprise that all those who had confirmed, arrived. Mohit, Sanket, Vivek, Gajanan, Akanksha, Deepali, Ravi, Ashwani and I boarded Shayadri Express at 07:20hrs to Neral, which is about 100kms from Pune. The train journey we had would always be a memorable event for every person present there. We all had just met, but it seemed we are a bunch of langotiya friends! Everything under the sun was discussed, cursed and laughed upon. We had an enlightening experience with Eunuchs! At 10:15hrs we reached Neral.

There is a toy train which runs between Neral and Matheran. As we couldn't get the tickets for the same, we decided to use the cabs which ply between Neral and Dusturi. This journey took about 20 minutes through some high slopes. The vehicles are only allowed till Dusturi, from there we started walking towards Matheran. It is a 2km walk through dusty paths and forest trails. On way we helped some cart pullers, had refreshing lemonades and cracked some hearty jokes. We visited a couple of Valley Points too.

On reaching Matheran, we discovered it was a small and peaceful village, and the main market is commercialized to cater the visiting tourists. I talked to a few locals to get more information about the place. By 13:00hrs, we all were famished and tried some local/wild fruits and had the customary lunch. After that we started walking towards the lake through some dense forest trails. We spent some time there and visited a couple more of beautiful valley points before we started walking back towards Matheran railway station, determined to get the tickets for the toy train. And we were successful. The train started at 16:25hrs and boy! Was it beautiful! Through the mountains, forests, on tiny tracks, we had some really good time after the exhaustion. We reached Neral at 18:15hrs and had some refreshments.

From Neral we boarded Mumbai local to Karjat at 19:00hrs. From Karjat we took Shayadri Superfast at 19:40hrs. The general couches were overwhelmingly filled with people, so the troop decided to get in the sleeper coach, but me, being an enthusiast of travelling in general coaches in India, pushed my way into one. And I was even lucky to get a seat, on the steps of entrance. Cool wind in my hair and legs dangling out, it was a really nice feeling coming towards the end of the trip. We reached Pune at 21:40hrs, from where we bid our goodbyes to each other and proceeded towards our destinations.

Sometimes we remain confined to our comfort zones from the fear of unknown. In doing so, we never realise how much we miss on life! Sometimes, venturing out would not be such a pleasant affair, but this one, was sure a memorable journey with some sweet unknown people.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Fluorescent Tube Light

Sitting in the corner of the room, he was staring into oblivion. Hands folded around his knees and chest pressed against the thighs, his eyes had a fury in them. Under the fluorescent tube light, the spider webs hung loose, as if to give an impression of being abandoned. Small insects and moths look up to the twinkling stars and have the idea of reaching them. Heat is what they are looking for on this cold night. In a desperate move, they come and flock around the fluorescent tube light to warm the cold blood running in their bodies. The playful ones fly hither-thither, displaying their new learnt flying skills to the group. Little they know, the loose threads of cobweb hanging are not just un-swept dump.

The cunning spider, with all his patience is waiting under the fluorescent tube light with razor sharp instinct running in all its legs. As soon as it notices the unfortunate fly, it darts towards it, spitting the life wriggling web, spinning the soul out of the playful creature. Its eight legs captivate the fly and its venom pierces deep into the fly's cold blood.

He looked up and saw what just happened. His own life's reminiscences came in front of his red, watery eyes. He saw the similarity between him and the fly. He cannot take it anymore. He got up to his feet, walked towards the fluorescent tube light and smashed the damned spider who until now was taking the pleasure of its fallen prey. He squished it until all that was left of it was just a wet mark. His tears were dry and they vowed never to come back.