Monday, May 15, 2006

More censorship and beer problems.

This blog has taken to cross-referencing in a big way, however I have to refer back to my last post because of some of the comments that it generated. And just talk of a precautionary tale for the writers of a particular blog mentioned - no, not Pradyuman but rather a website called delhigossip.com, which began with a very nice concept. Or so they thought!
They wanted to be Page 3 online, this was back in 2000 - the dot-com boom and all (when I worked at Indiatimes - how dumb I was!) and they even hired some writers from some big papers in Delhi to run the place. It was all about eyeballs and such - no-one cared that there were only some 250,000 internet connections in India and less than 5 million users - most geekly 18-25 year old guys looking for women/porn. Hey, come to think of it, that is still the predominant category among desi net surfers even today.
Now, what that site became was a bitchboard - kids from Delhi's top (hah!) public schools started spreading stories on each other. Kids from MSVV/MSBK/DPSMR/DPSRKP wrote about what happened in their bathrooms and the kids from the single-sex schools (SCS/CJM/CC/LC/FAPS) were as bad. It was lunacy out there - and 99.99% of the stuff was gibberish. Much like the comments section of the blog I'm talking about. Heck, come to think of it, the kids who commented on DG have grown up now and it seems they have joined the news channels. Which is why I would rather watch movies with such amazing titles (it is rather irritating that such gems of Indian cinema never play on the mainstream multiplexes or the mainstream cable channels) than Rajdeep TV or UndieTV - because they're staffed by childish idiots.
And - why does Indian beer suck so much? I mean, why must a bottle contain 50% glycerine?
Now, the Indian beer market is quite unique - the weird tax laws in India for alcohol mean that a brewer effectively sells in 30 different entities rather than one - VAT be damned. The lack of a smooth logistics system means that it takes a week for a bottle of beer to make it from Aurangabad (Fosters) to Delhi. Now given that beer trucks don't have cooling in India - the glycerine is added to ensure that the beer stays drinkable. Which means the best beers (like Kings in Goa) with low glycerine content only get sold in limited areas. This also means that instead of a large single brewery - India has tens of microbreweries - Kingfisher is brewed in some 20 different places and tastes insipid from each one of them.
Now, Vijay Mallya has actually canned some of the other brands in the UB stable - like Kalyani Black Label - or ruined the concept - like Ice which began life as a low alcohol content, crisp beer
and now (at least in Kerala) feels heavy and strong. Smaller (sometimes nice like Kings) brands without national coverage cannot compete with UB (they don't own breweries across the country) so VM continues getting richer and we keep on getting bad beer.
The other problem with beer in India is that the concept of nice, light beers don't seem to exist. The objective of drinking - beer - of all drinks is to get wasted as fast as possible. Therefore, we have the rather unique concept of 'Super Strong' beers in India - such beers are supposed to have only 8.25% by volume. But, believe you me, I've drunk beers (and not too much of them) which have left me pissed drunk very, very fast. Not the standard Thunderbolt, Godfather, Haywards 5000 stuff - I once picked up Kala Titar (aka Black Patridge) at Surajkund and by god, that must've had 25% by volume alcohol. Four grown adults in my car were demolished - I prefer the Bong term dhongsho - by one 650ml bottle of hard-core Haryanvi beer. Tequila I can handle lots of, but this is the bomb!
And now, the problem is that judges in the SC make observations that the government should work really hard in implementing Article 47 of the Constitution. I'll leave the country if that happens! I mean they let people like this into our Supreme Court - I'ld rather have the people Bush nominated anyday! Judge laws people, not morals.

5 comments:

Grazer said...

I came late so thanks a lot for throwing some light on the root cause of WFN's content.

By the way can you just make a list one day and name all the organisations you have interned and worked with. Just curious.

And since the later part is about beer I can't help placing a comment.

When we drink beer in Delhi we lace it with lot of ice-cubes and regain an unique flavour. Try it with VM's Kingfisher both versions.

'Zingaro' was the name that we named one of our friends for he kept on drinking that for the whole beer-drinking season.

It starts from March and continues till November first week. Then it is time to shift to Vodkas and Rums. Only March and April's are good for Whiskey's.

Beer is the only thing which shows that God Loves us. (read it somewhere)

Beer is the only drink that gives me a sense of being young and daring. Rest of the liquors are just for the sake of drinking.

K said...

And it costs 65 freaking bucks for a Kingfisher in Bombay now - believe that 65 bucks. I can get TWO bottles of the same beer in Daman for 64 bucks.

thalassa_mikra said...

Aah the Haryanvi thekas. Once a friend and I stopped at one of those Faridabad "resort" bars to ask for directions and the barman was drunk at 9:00 a.m.! Needless to say, we got some very garbled directions.

Blame our dear Gandhiji for the abomination that is India's alcohol moral policing. I mean dammit, even countries like Laos and Vietnam have good beer!

Kaj said...

I actually remember that website, Wasn't it started by some ex modernites? It used to be fun but then it got totally outta hand with CJM bitching about SCS bitching about everyone else.. ha ha ha.. but had it's moment!

K said...

Ya, ya, blame us Columbum's for everything!
What do frustrated young boys with severe hormonal imbalances do? I mean we produced characters... Scary!
The girls across the grill weren't that great - even though some of them have bloomed post-CJM.
;-)