To be honest I didn’t know what to expect when I got an email from a friend asking if I wanted to go on a pub crawl with a bunch of unknown people. I’m conceited enough to believe that I don’t need any new friends and so I avoid all occasions which involve “meeting new people”. I was even cribbing while tying the red band around my wrist which signified my participation in this event: “How will they keep the randoms out?”
I’ve never been so happy so be proved a skeptical idiot. Sample this:
So my whining prevented me from noticing that the Organization was super efficient, right from the time you register, especially the “one night only” liquor licenses we were handed as we walked into Henry Tham’s at 8pm sharp (provoking several shouts of “what d’ya mean drinking without a license is illegal!?” from my companions). We settled ourselves at the bar and excitedly collected our drinks, and despite my cynicism I found myself getting to know a lot of new people, mainly the friendly folk at Best of Bombay. Though this was supposed to be an “IPL Pub Crawl” the match, which was playing on the large screen in the lounge, wasn’t the focus for one and all, and the non-cricket-crazy women were amply entertained by free shots in flickering shot glasses, and by Aditi playing MC with a few ice breakers for the crowd.
The crowd was young, hip and cosmopolitan – I loved the fact that there was quality control (which is a big deal, trust me) - there were lawyers and bankers and consultants (oh my!), lots of people new to the city and almost everyone new to the concept of pub hopping, Best of Bombay Style.
We waited impatiently for the first announcement for the open deck bus which was to ferry us from place to place. Leaving our male companions to fend for themselves (naah, not really, we had handbags to save place for them) we excitedly climbed the stairs like picnicking schoolkids on too many carbonated beverages. Through the bye lanes of Colaba, helpful co-passengers shouted “trees!” to prevent decapitations of their fellow partyers.
Enter Bootleggers – which is one of my favourite watering holes in Bombay – and deadly Blue Martinis and 80’s pop music made the interrupted IPL screening seem irrelevant. To help us on our way up, one of our charming hostesses gave us complimentary gulps of our lead Sponsor. What an Absolut Buzz!
This made our next rush to the bus rather lethargic so we took the lower part of the bus as we entertained traffic on Marine Drive. At Czar, which is the Intercontinental Marine Drive’s Vodka Bar, the Commercial Beats got the party going even harder (and their plush sofas a soft haven for those of us who were partied out). As we made the long drive home (we didn’t need the Party Hard Drivers, but it was a relief to know that they were available for our friends who had wheels) we knew that Sunday would pretty much be a blur, but it was so worth it.
Cheers to the Organizers and my only request is to not keep a limit on how many pub crawls people can sign up for, and in the same vein, is there a season pass?