Tag Archives: Delhi

Horrible Benders

I wrote about how I went sober (But eventually failed to maintain it), I wanted to reflect back on some of the worst benders I have been through. Why? Maybe just to remind myself why I shouldn’t drink like that anymore.

Below are some of my worst benders over the years:


man in white long sleeved shirt on red window
Photo by abhishek goel on Pexels.com

Most of my engineering days were about booze. And since I was young, the benders were not that bad. However, there are some incidents I remember.

  • This was when I was living with my senior roommates. For some reason, one day we decided to drink whiskey at 9 AM in the morning. I have never had a good relationship with whiskey, so after many pegs, while I was at Sandeep Kalia’s house, I puked in the toilet. His kindly grandmother (We called her aaji) was very concerned what was happening, but the others told her I had eaten something bad.
  • One time we went drinking at PP’s garage pub and drank too much vodka. While others were puking, I was puzzled why I was lying awake in bed and not able to sleep. This was one of the first times I realised that alcohol affects my sleep so negatively.
  • One time we were returning from a drinking session at one of the dhabas and my motorcycle got tangled in a high tension electricity cable hanging on the road and launched into the air. I remember passing out, but luckily I was back to normal next day.

Delhi & Gurgaon

grayscale photography of bottles on top of table
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Our time in Gurgaon was the first time we had freedom to do what we wanted and we had money to spend because we were earning. Sood sahib was my roommate and very frustrated with his job. So, almost every evening, he and his degenerate colleague would come over and get drunk. It didn’t help me that I worked night shifts and went to work drunk many times. However, this was not the worst part.

  • I remember we gathered together with Chatur after a long time and started pub hopping at Saket. He came all sophisticated in a car, dressed in a suit, which we found funny, but probably helped getting us into fancy places. So we got drunk on cocktails and not being satisfied enough, drank at 2 more thekas over the night. Eventually, Chatur passed out and we somehow got home. Again, I couldn’t sleep all night while Chatur was puking in a pizza box.
  • While working night shifts, it was very common for us to go drinking after our shifts. One morning, after our shift, we went drinking with Amar sir, who was famous for making “lauly (Lovely) pegs”. We were standing on the road outside DLF Phase II Central Arcade (Less than 100m from where my parents were sleeping). Since it was peak winters, we all got drunk on dark rum. My body doesn’t react well to dark rum & I don’t remember getting back home. Next afternoon, I woke up with my knees bruised and vomit all over my bathroom. Somehow, I cleaned everything up before my parents saw but felt terrible. All afternoon I drank water and Gatorade, but there was hardly any pee and it burnt when I tried.
  • We once went on an office party and Karkose (who incidentally doesn’t drink himself) suggested I drink beer buster, which is beer mixed with tabasco sauce. It felt fun drinking it then, but I couldn’t sleep all night because my chest and stomach were burning. Horrible experience.


Baijiu at Zhongshan Road, Xiamen
Baijiu at Zhongshan Road, Xiamen

I was drinking Baijiu at Zhongshan road with my office colleagues. It was very cold, so instead of sipping it like the others, I did shots non-stop. Big mistake! I couldn’t sleep because my chest and stomach were burning all night. I puked many times and next day the pain in my stomach was so bad, I had to see a doctor at the airport (I was travelling back to India). The doctor told me the 60% alcohol volume Baijiu had stripped my stomach of its lining and likely made ulcers. I couldn’t eat anything other than simple rice for at least a week afterwards.

I am just glad I didn’t puke in front of my colleagues.

São Paulo

happy diverse friends clinking bottles on terrace
Photo by Kampus Production on Pexels.com

I was at São Paulo for the second time and me and my colleague went drinking Caipirinhas at Eu Tu Eles. Now, Caipirinhas are one of the most deceptive drinks I have ever had. They are sweet and tasty, so it is very easy to have too many too fast without realising it. Anyway, I don’t remember how I got back to my hotel and what happened later. But next morning I woke up to find my hotel room smelling of vomit and my brain feeling like it was in a vice. I used many of the hotel towels o clean up the vomit and then hid the towels behind the AC unit on the balcony. One of the most shameful things I have ever done.


Once we moved to Bangkok, I discovered how cheap and easily accessible booze is. But since I have absolutely no friends here, there have not been many social occasions for me to go on benders. There have been just 3 incidents, all with office colleagues. Unlike the other incidents, I drank too much not because I was having fun, but because of peer pressure.

  • I was just visiting Bangkok and it was my farewell party. 6 of us finished many crates of beers within a few hours. I don’t remember how I got back to the hotel.
Stacks of beer bottles
Stacks of beer bottles
  • We (the wife, the kid and the dog) went to the kid’s friend’s house, whose parents are north indian. He doubted from the beginning, if me, as a Bengali would be able to drink much. To prove him wrong, I got shit-faced. Soon, I proved him correct by missing my step in the dark, losing my balance and falling into their building fountain. Again, I don’t remember how I got back home. Next day I cursed myself and promised I will never get into such a situation while out with the kid or the dog.
  • The last and most recent incident was when I went out to drink with my colleagues. 3 of us went through 8 bottles of wine in 6 hours. I came to, next day covered in bruises and my room smelling of vomit and me still drunk and stumbling about. Unfortunately, soon, the AC servicing guys came and saw the state the bathroom was in. I have never felt worse in my life than that day. My nails, my room etc all smelt of booze and I felt sick. It was truly the worst day of my life & the day I decided to give up alcohol for good.

I am still not at a stage where I can look back at all this and laugh about it. But just the act of typing all this out has strengthened my resolve to not get drunk ever again.

Raja Rasoi aur Anya Kahaaniyan

What is Indian food? If you ask a Caucasian, he would probably say Chicken Tikka Masala and Butter Naan. But the real answer is, there’s no one thing called “Indian Food”. How do you define it, then? That’s the question that the TV show Raja Rasoi aur Anya Kahaaniyan tries to answer. I mentioned this show briefly in my list of favourite TV shows of all time and believe that it now needs its own post.

Raja, Rasoi aur Anya Kahaaniyan is probably the most comprehensive look into what Indian food is. Each episode takes a look into a different part of Indian cuisine, divided carefully using state/region or cities. They discuss the following parameters for each of these cuisines

  • History of the cuisine
  • History of the various produce being used in these cuisines, along with their country of origin and when they came to India
  • Which meat is used where and why
  • The evolution of the cuisine over centuries
  • The role of royal families in preserving these cuisines

My favourite episodes over 4 seasons, in chronological order are the ones below

My Favourite Episodes

  1. S01E01 – Jodhpur and Jaipur
  2. S01E03 – Delhi and Rampur
  3. S01E04 – Jammu and Kashmir
  4. S01E05 – Amritsar and Punjab
  5. S01E08 – Lucknow and Mehmudabad
  6. S01E11 – Gujarat
  7. S02E01 – Hyderabad
  8. S02E04 – Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
  9. S02E05 – Pondicherry
  10. S02E06 – Kolkata
  11. S02E07 – Mangalore
  12. S02E08 – Goa
  13. S02E09 – Maharashtra
  14. S02E15 – Mumbai
  15. S02E19 – Uttarakhand
  16. S02E20 – Madhya Pradesh
  17. S03E01 – Bikaner
  18. S03E02 – Bhopal
  19. S03E03 – Kochi

Overall, it seems that the only Indian cuisine I don’t love is Eastern and North Eastern.

The narration by Manwendra Tripathy is very good and I really enjoy the appearances of Pushpesh Pant in most of the episodes.

Pushpesh Pant in Raja Rasoi aur Anya Kahaaniyan
Pushpesh Pant in Raja Rasoi aur Anya Kahaaniyan

I am watching the entire series again for the second time and really enjoying it. If you like Indian food and interested to know more about it, I definitely recommend this show. Streaming on EpicOn (All Seasons), Netflix (Only 1 season) and Discovery+ (First 3 seasons).

Also, fuck the Nagas for eating dog meat.

Durga Puja

Durga Puja (Worship of Durga) is the ultimate festival of the Bengali people. Although you cannot deny the religious nature of Durga Puja, it is as much a cultural and a social festival as it is a religious one; which explains my interest in it. Being an Atheist, it is the cultural part which draws me. It is my favourite festival of all time and is something I look forward to, all year, every year.

Durga Puja is celebrated in Autumn, on a date decided by the Hindu calendar, either in late September or early October. It coincides with the North Indian concept of Navratri, but unlike Navratri, we don’t punish ourselves by restricting our diets or eating vegetarian food. Unlike Navratri, Durga Puja is a time to meet people, feast like there’s no tomorrow & gorge on your favourite food, mostly meat.

Durga Puja
Durga, PC: Indiatimes

The Origins (For me)

My memory of the festival from when I was young is that I had no interest in leaving my house to go and see it. In fact, when I lived in Panchkula, one of the Puja committees even awarded me a prize (Set of Sherlock Holmes books, which I treasure to this day) for academic performance. I refused to attend and someone later brought it home for me.

The first time I remember attending a Durga Puja in earnest was when Ritwik Mandal took me to one in Nagpur. I remember he insisted that we have the puja lunch (bhog). They didn’t have cutlery; you were expected to eat rice with your hand. I was struggling and an elderly couple sitting next to us started making fun of me in Bengali, not knowing I could understand them. I took the higher ground and didn’t abuse them.

Slowly, as I attended more and more Pujas, my interest went up. I remember going to the Maddox Square puja once with my cousins when I was in Kolkata. We reached the venue well past midnight; still the atmosphere was electric. There were thousands of people there, chatting with family and friends. The smell of food being prepared wafted through the air. I hung out there for a few hours and headed home. I had not seen anything like it before.

Regular Patron

Eventually, I became a regular patron of Durga Puja, when I moved to Gurgaon and my parents moved there, too. My father had no interest in it, so me and my mother explored the city in search for new Pandals. After marriage, I drew my wife into the mix, too. Slowly we developed our favourite Pandals, although we would go Pandal-hopping to all the major ones in Gurgaon as well as Delhi. When our daughter was born, we got her hooked, too and we developed a predictable schedule.

  1. Few weeks before the start of the Pujas, we would go to Slice of Bengal in CR Park to begin our shopping. My wife and daughter would both get Bengali sarees and other clothing.
  2. We would attend the pre-Pujo fest at the Chittaranjan Park Bangiya Samaj.
  3. On day 5, we would go to the Pandal at Kashmere Gate, see that it is not ready yet and return home disappointed. By next year we would forget this and do the same thing again.
  4. On day 6, we would cover some of the Gurgaon pandals.
  5. Day 7, we would go Pandal Hopping at CR Park in the morning (Including Navapalli, my daughter’s favourite), then go to Oh! Calcutta for lunch and then return home stuffed. In the evenings, we would go to some more pandals in Gurgaon, including my favourite at the DLF Phase 1 community center.
  6. More of the same on Day 8
  7. On the 9th day, we would go to all our favourite ones once again and then bid a tearful goodbye till next year.

I much prefer Delhi & Gurgaon Durga Pujas to Kolkata ones (which are complete carnage).

Disappointing 2021

Durga Puja in 2020 was a subdued affair because of COVID, but there was something, at least. This year’s Durga Puja was a big disappointment. Normally there’s one Bengali group organising it in Bangkok, but this year, there’s nothing. There are no Bengali restaurants in Bangkok either (There are Bangladeshi, but its not the same). So we are sitting at home, watching it on TV.

Hope I am able to enjoy my favourite festival next year, again.

What is my Hometown?

When I was making a Facebook account recently, it asked me what my Hometown was. I thought about it for a while, but didn’t have an answer. Looks like I have had such a nomadic life, I don’t have a Hometown.

Here’s a list:

1985-1985Bhubaneshwar, Odisha<1 year
1985-1985Kolkata, West Bengal <1 year
1986-1989Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh~3 years
1989-1990Dhani, Madhya Pradesh~1 year
1990-1990Dewas, Madhya Pradesh <1 year
1990-1994Indore, Madhya Pradesh~4 years
1994-1997New Delhi, Delhi~3 years
1997-1998Durgapur, West Bengal~1 year
1998-2002Panchkula, Haryana~4 years
2002-2007Nagpur, Maharashtra~5 years
2007-2008Kolkata, West Bengal~1 year
2008-2021Gurgaon, Haryana~13 years
2021-CurrentBangkok, Thailand
Nomadic Lifestyle
Not my hometown
Sucks, indeed

This list just covers the cities I have lived in. Even within these cities, I have sometimes lived in up to 3 different places. What is my Hometown, then?

Bhubaneshwar, because I was born there, but lived only a few months?

Kolkata, because that’s where my parents are from, but lived only a year?

Gurgaon, where I lived the longest and have my own place but don’t ever plan to return to?

Thankfully, I am off Facebook, so don’t have to answer this question anymore.

Hyundai Creta is the new Suzuki Swift

There’s a word used in and around Delhi and most of North India. The word is “Lafandar”. It basically refers to a class of teenagers (but could also extend to people in their 30s) who have a lot of free time, whose fathers have a lot of money and whose favourite past time is driving around the streets from evening till late night in their pimped our cars. Also, they do not contribute to society in any way, except by occasionally crushing pedestrians under their cars, keeping this country’s burgeoning population in check.

You can easily spot them at a distance; they are the ones driving aggressively, changing lanes unnecessarily and cutting others off.

Till a few years ago, a vast majority of these “Lafandars” were driving Suzuki Swifts. It never made much sense to me, as the Swift is a middle class car and not a show-off worthy car.

Now that the swift has fallen out of style, most of these people are now driving Hyundai Cretas.

When you spot a Creta at a distance, you can be reasonably sure that if you drive too close to it or overtake it, the owner will cut you off; hence it is best to keep some distance between you and them.

Different types of “Rockers” you might encounter at a Rock concert in Delhi

Well, going to different Rock concerts in Delhi for more than 3 years, I have noticed how peculiar the crowd is, that comes to these concerts. I have divided them up into the following categories

  1. The Posers:- These are cool Delhi dudes whose main aim in life is to impress  girls and would go to any extent to do so. They come to these concerts impeccably dressed up, cool glasses, hair done up using copious amounts of hair gel. To give themselves the “Rocker” look, they wear things like scarves on their elbows, bad-ass gloves, chains hanging from their pockets etc. To complete the wannabe impression, they talk loudly in fake accented English and address each others as bros/homies/fellow-rocker. Before the concert starts, they would keep shouting things like “We will rock tonight” and “Rock my brains out” etc. It need not be said that their idea of rock music ends at bands like Linkin Park, The Rasmus, Green Day etc. They are mostly accompanied by rocker chick(s) (to be covered later) whom they explain the band’s history in detail and the songs to look out for. They are also apparently friends with at least one of the band members and would try to meet him in front of his friends to prove this to them. During the performance, they would frequently break into fake air-guitaring bent backwards. Why do they do all this? So that they can update their facebook profiles with their photos from the concert so that everyone can know how cool they are.
  2. The Rich:- These are men in 40s from areas like Vasant Kunj, Defence Colony, New Friend’s colony etc. They would come to a concert in their Mercs/BMWs/Jags, dressed in expensive suits with their socialite wives and crap-spoilt-fat children. They would keep checking and replying to e-mails from their smartphones (Blackberrys 2 years ago, Androids these days), “sit” at the back (so that no one steps on their expensive suede shoes) and pass the whole concert without any expression. The children would play games on their iPhones. They would  also look at distaste at the poorer crowd and leave some time before the concert gets over, so as not to mix with the poorer crowd.
  3. The Clueless:- These are mostly Jats & Bhaiyas with a lot of money but no culture/class/education. They would be passing by the venue (in their open air jeep) when they would see a crowd gathered and since they have no jobs or anything else to do, would buy tickets (not without haggling) and come in. Inside they would be clueless as to what is happening and would ask young folks “Yo kay chal rahya se” . Once the band starts performing, they would laugh at the type of music being played and also laugh at the headbanging audience and say ”Inme to bhoot chadh gayo”. But since they paid money for the tickets, they would stick around till the end, abuse everyone and leave.
  4. The Rocker chicks:- I should start off by saying that 99.9% of Delhi girls should not be allowed to enter rock concerts at all. They are an insult to the band as well as they fans. These are upscale Delhi girls. Their idea of being a rock-chick is to apply heavy makeup and wear small clothes (or Lady GaGa T-shirts). They would let their boyfriends (see: The Posers) haggle with everyone to let them be at the very front of the crowd, have the boyfriends (see: The Posers) bring a chair and sit and watch the concert. They would frequently ask the boyfriends (see: The Posers) to muscle their way through the crowds and bring them drinks. After drinking a little, they would dance to the solo of Comfortably Numb with their fellow rocker chicks while their boyfriends (see: The Posers) keep others away lest someone touches them and derives them of their virginity. Needless to say, the sight of such women makes my blood boil.
  5. The Dopers:- These are mostly Delhi University students. They drink and dope before turning up for the concert. They have long hair (if any) and thin emancipated bodies. They are mostly dressed in black with all-star sneakers. Their favourite genre is Death Metal. The louder the music and more incomprehensible the lyrics, the happier they are and more furiously they bang their heads. Between bands, they go to the corner to smoke some more dope (hidden in their socks or underwear) and then return for some more furious headbanging. After the concert is over, they stand clueless outside the venue with no idea of how to get back home. Surprisingly, this is the least dis likable groups of all the above.

PS: Thanks to Papa tere Papa of Baytay for the Haryanvi text.

Why Delhi/NCR doesn’t deserve Metallica (or any other band)

After the Bryan Adams fiasco and concert cancellation in February, here I am, spending another disappointed night at home. Metallica’s first concert in India, one I was looking forward to for months was cancelled. I don’t agree with what most of the news channels are saying; here’re the events as I saw them myself from the venue

  1. Gates were to be opened at 3:00 PM. The security personnel/organizers didn’t anticipate people queuing up since morning. By the time it was 3:00 PM, there was a huge dis-organized crowd, almost 30,000 strong, impatient to get it. The security personnel should have started organizing people in queues from the very beginning (Hats off to concerts I have seen in Mumbai; excellent organization and obedient people)
  2. Before the gates were to be opened, the security staff shouted at the crowd that unless they get into proper queues, they won’t open the gates. A 30,000 strong crowd (especially a metal concert crowd) can’t organize themselves in a queue just like that.
  3. After failing to form a proper queue, the security personnel just opened the gates. The crowd mass directly in the front of the gate surged forward, the ones on the left or the right, sensing that they aren’t making much progress, started pushing the whole crowd. This was sheer torture. For almost 40 minutes, we had to almost suffocate in the unruly crowd and risk being stampeded if we fell down. The ground was uneven. Many girls almost suffocated and had to plead with the crowd to let them leave.
  4. During entry, the security staff failed to keep up with the massive crowd surge. Not all tickets were checked and frisking was a joke.
  5. Once in, the people right at the front rushed towards the stage, banged against the barriers separating the stage from the crowd and broke them. Slowly people settled down and the crew members noticed that the front barriers were broken
  6. Crew members politely asked the crowd to move back a little so that the barriers could be repaired. The crowd did nothing
  7. Another crew member asked the crowd to do the same. They just kept standing like they couldn’t understand what was said to them.
  8. Another crew member called the crowd ‘buttheads’. At this point, the crowd started abusing back (but still didn’t move)
  9. Another crew-member politely told the crowd that the concert cannot start unless the barricades were repaired and that cannot happen with the crowd still pushing against it. Still, nothing.
  10. This went on for some more time. They also flashed the text on the screens which said the same thing. The crowd just laughed, abused and threw bottles towards the stage
  11. The crowd waited till around 18:30 when they were told that the show was postponed till tomorrow because of technical difficulties. At this point, the people standing towards the front went berserk and passing the already broken barriers, climbed up on the stage. They broke microphones, monitors and speakers.
  12. A few people gathered a banner and set it on fire.
  13. While I decided to leave, my last view was of a group of people trying to pull a huge speaker (towards the middle of the ground) down. There was not a single policeman to witness the whole event
I think the following factors contributed to this disaster
  1. The organizers/security personnel had little or no experience of dealing with a Heavy Metal concert crowd. The failed to ensure order from the very beginning. They didn’t anticipate such an early turnout and didn’t make arrangements for queues.
  2. Press says that the organizers were facing technical issues with sound, I cannot comment on this because I don’t know this for sure, but they did goof up big time. They failed to control an already unruly crowd and kept them waiting for too long before breaking bad news
  3. I feel the crowd was the biggest factor. Most of the people were unruly, already drunk/high and very different from rock/metal crowd you see in cities like Mumbai and Bangalore.
I see reports coming in now that the gig won’t be held tomorrow either, but will instead be scrapped. I understand that a band needs some rest between subsequent gigs (Metallica has another gig in Bangalore on Sunday), but the unruly behaviour/vandalism by the crowd ealed their fate. Metallica will not risk performing before such a crowd. Here’s a video

The people of Delhi/NCR don’t deserve to be rocked by Metallica (or any big band for that matter).

Bleak night

No, this is not a futuristic laser weapon. It’s my bike’s headlight. The way it looks like this is because it’s trying to penetrate the thick fog before dying midair before managing to reach the road. Fog conditions here were at it’s worst tonight with visibility down to a few meters. The journey back home from office which usually takes a few minutes took almost 20 minutes. I couldn’t drive faster than 20kmph lest I bang into someone or a truck mow me down. When i did reach home, my clothes were soaking wet. A fun experience after all riding like that. The uncertainty of what lay ahead and whether you’re still on the road drove into a ditch.

The Rock Scene in Delhi sucks…

Today I got my relocation refunds back from office and decided to do what I used to do in Nagpur and Kolkata and never did once in Delhi. I decided to go to some awesome rock pub and listen to awesome music and have some awesome beer. With Goru with me(He even wore a Ramones T-Shirt for the occasion), I drove all the way to South Ext. from Gurgaon to look for the much Hyped “Cafe Morrison”. Someone had told me that live bands played there. After an hour of trying to find South Ext. and then half an hour to find Cafe Morrison, we stood below the Huge sign proclaiming “Cafe Morrison” with the words “Hard Rock” written below it. This indeed looked very promising and as we were entering, the manager stood in front of the stairs. Here’s the conversation

Manager: Yes Sir?
Me: Hard Rock Cafe.. We’re 2
Manager: I’m sorry only Couples are allowed
Me: What??? Couple entry?? In a rock pub??
Manager: Yes sir, only couples are allowed on the floor.
Me: Floor?? What floor? Dance floor?
Manager: Yes sir!!
Me: Shit man!!

This was the end of the grand evening I had imagined for myself. What rock pub would allow only couples inside and what would it do with a dance floor? I was disgusted with the place and immediately left. I called a friend of mine to find out if there are any more pubs nearby. He recommended me to Defence Colony market. I went there and looked for pubs everywhere but could find none. All that was there were Restro-lounges. Thinking that my friend must have been talking about one of these, we made our way inside the nicest looking of them all, the “Moets” The interiors were tribal inspired and the music sucked big time. When we entered, they were playing some pop numbers. The DJ soon shifted to hip-hop shit after that which prompted us to leave our beer and request him to play some “Rock”. The DJ made such a disgusting face as if I had mentioned something horrible to him(You sonnwabitch, Himesh cocksucker). After that, all he played was Black Eyed Piss and we obviously had to leave.

I remembered a place in one of the malls in Gurgaon called “Ruby Tuesday”. Thinking, it must be inspired from the Rolling Stones song of the same name, we left for it. We asked the manager what type of music they play and he answered “Imported”. Unfortunately, the music, even here sucked a lot. The only thing connecting this place to rock was a picture of Jim Morrison on the wall. Upon requesting him to play some Rock music, the guy quickly changed the song and we could hear the starting riffs of Smoke on the Water. But after a few seconds, we realized that the song was a remix by some unknown artist. So were Summer of 69, Hotel California, Eye of the Tiger, Another Brick in the wall and then everything all over again.

Frankly, I am hugely disappointed by the general Music scene of Delhi. I should I have known this beforehand because I have almost never heard of anyone from Delhi listening to nice rock music.

Someplace Else is the only thing I miss about Kolkata. Atleast it satisfied my musical needs.