Thursday, 23 November 2000

Club Zendra, Chicago

923 W. Weed Street,
Off North Avenue.

In Chicago nite life begins on Friday at the mystical hour of 12 midnite, when all manner of creatures looking for revelry creep out of their holes where they have been lurking for the week. In anticipation of these predator groups that emerge at 12, lesser mortals are allowed free entry until the hour of 11. After that, ladies entry is a $10 and gents is $15 at the club Zendra.

Club Zendra is located in the downtown area. Actually this particular block where it's located has at least 8 pubs on its circumference. Here jeans is not normally acceptable dress code at most pubs and bars. More (less in case of women) smart outfits r the norm. Wearing jeans makes u feel totally like the "Out" crowd. 1 rum and 1 coke (for my non drinking jr whom i bumped into at Chicago downtown station.... thats another story, another time) cost us $9 if u feel like converting that was approximately Rs 405 for which I could have got a whole 750 ml bottle of my fav Xian bros back home.

This place had 3 atmospheres. Lower floor, upper floor and pseudo open air. There is a bar counter on the lower floor and the upper level. Both have the sexiest bartenders I have ever seen. Yes they are female. The music downstairs is listenable and dancable altho i couldn't recognise any of the artists (MTV out here has chat shows, serials, movies but hardly any music) The music (if u can call it that) upstairs can tear your eardrums apart and drive u insane or back to your whole for another whole week of recuperation.

Party nites r Friday and Saturday. Oh !!!! how could i forget the dancing styles they have out here ? They have so many varieties and basically they all look like the couples (male-female, male-male, female-female, menage-e-trois or group dancing) are fornicating with their clothes on. Seriously it's an interesting display of the pre-mating rituals of the homo-sapiens. Crowd is basically yuppy, You have to show id proving u r above 21 years of age before you may enter. They are very strict about this.

The bouncers here would give king kong a complex. No food, no snacks served (at least at Zendra) a drink is a drink. altho they garnish even a plain old R&C with a cherry, wedge or lemon or orange or an olive. After all those candied cherries i have been having with my Pina Coladas back home it was a real pleasure to see a fresh (ok ok maybe pre frozen) cherry with its stalk intact. Had fun, and survived the trip to see another day.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2000

Lady Victoria, Ohio River, Cincinnati

Lady Victoria, Ohio River.

In most US states except Las Vegas, gambling is illegal and casinos cannot be built on US state land. Ingenious entrepreneurs, opened casino boats which would float on water so technically were not on US land (I am not too sure abt the water bottom tho) I have heard that there is even a place in Indiana where they constructed a man-made lake to have a boat on it for gambling. Anyway, Lady Victoria is a casino boat. It touches the shore every hour. Its open from 9:00 Am to 4:00 AM. They need the 5 hours to settle the days accounts else they would be open 24 hours.

It isn't the only casino boat around. There are a couple of others too, but they require you to pay an entry fee. Lady Victoria has free entry. It is located kind of in the Tri-state area of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana on the Ohio River.

If you go there regularly, you can apply for a member card and use this card whenever you play the machines. This gives you credits for all the dollars you are throwing away which can then be redeemed against food and drink.

Water and soft drinks aboard are free. They also have a wide variety of drinks. AS usual I stuck to rum and coke and declined from throwing away good money. The friends I was with just about managed to walk away even. Ambience is great. You have all these great and aspiring gamblers around you. Dress up could be jeans, tights or even a suit if u r a high roller. Waitresses (or hostesses as they prefer to be called) walk around in stockings and skirted leotards. They bring drinks to your table if you are among the big spenders. Otherwise you need to go to the bar yourself.

It was an experience to see people throwing away their money in the hope of netting the big one. There were people around us winning a $1000 or more. But they were definitely spending around that amount in the 2 days it took them to get that money back. Recklessness abounds !!!!!

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Friday, 15 September 2000

Drinking out in San Antonio : Durty Nellie's reviewed

Texas, the second largest state in the United states (next to Alaska) is 1/4 the size of India. Home of the original Texan rangers, it evokes images of handsome cowboys. Well thats what I thought I was in for when I planned my trip to San Antonio. Well San Antonio is just 3 hours from the Mexican border and was originally part of Mexico. So majority of its poulation is hispanic and not nomadic cowboys.

The San Antonio river winds itself forabout 5 miles around the city, passing below the Hilton and a few other such famous buildings. But the main attraction on the river bank is the pub hopping. The river bank (other than the places where it is actually flowing under public roads and buildings) is covered with pubs and eateries.

We went into Durty Nellies to begin with. Now this is basically an Irish ambience pub but any indian would feel totally in place out here. Snacks are on the house whther u drink or not. And snacks are unshelled monkeynuts or timepass. The funda is that u eat as many nuts as u want and u can drop the shells wherever u please. The floors the tables the chairs are all covered with moongphali ke chilke.

They claim that they have 490 tons of peanuts shelled so far. and the floor seems to give testimony to that fact. They have live entertainment personified by an irish gentle man ??? who plays the keyboards and belts out the raunchiest numbers possible with all the "meaningful" blanks filled in by the inebriated crowd.

As usual in the US, action hots up after 11. And too many drinks could land you in the drink literally since theres hardly 1/2 a metre of distance between the pubs entrance/exit and the river with no barricades between the 2 other than the crowd. 5 varied beers and a nutty irishman (kahlua, irish baileys and cream on ice or on coffee) brought our bill up to about $25 which is a reasonable amount given the prices in Chicago.

Action songs, ballroom waltzing or dirty dancing... anything goes. Dress is casual jeans, ties and suspenders or even business suits. You will see all kinds, and no one is uncomfortable no matter how much or how little they have on. Visited a couple more places along the river walk but didnt feel inclined to have anything more than an ice cream after the ambience of Durty Nellies.

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Wednesday, 23 August 2000

Lafayette Brewing House, Purdue

Well as soon as I set foot in the University town of Purdue, Indiana, my friend took me straight to the Lafayette Brewing House popular to all students as the "Brew Club". Now this place serves beer beer and only Beer. Never being much of a beer drinker myself, I let my friend order, because I couldn't even pronounce the names of the varieties they had, forget figuring out which one would taste better.

The beer is each of a varying percentage of alcohol, a different color, a different taste. Anyway I was happy to let my friend do the ordering. We tasted around 3 varieties of beer, they were ok, but for me nothing can beat a chilled UB Lager. All the beer here is supposedly freshly brewed but since we were sitting in corner, I couldn't really tell.

The nice thing about bars here is that they have a smoking and a non-smoking area. Of course the student crowd is in the smoking zone, so there's more "happenning" out there.

This place is called the beer club becos of a cute funda that they have. A student can pay $3 and have his name engraved on a mug. You aren't allowed to take the mug home, but each time you come back here you can drink from your "own" mug. Gives a kind of elitist feeling to the regulars. They have a very informal atmosphere out here to cater to the student crowd. With singing and dancing whenever they feel like it. Music is whatever is requested, if they have the CD. You can play your own CDs too. A cool place where you can really do your own thing.

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Tuesday, 2 May 2000

Socializing : A Career Development Strategy


© Rajat Sinha
© Shirish Wadivakar
© Karishma Pais
© Supreet Singh

Introduction :

Socialisation is the process by which a new member learns and adapts to the value of system, the norms, and the required behavior pattern of an organisation, society or a group.

Socialisation is the process of "learning of ropes", the process of being indoctrinated and trained, the process of being taught what is important in an organisation or some unit thereof. It occurs in school. It occurs again and perhaps most dramatically, when the graduate enters an organisation on his first job. It occurs again when he switches within the organisation from one department to the another or from one rank level to another. It occurs all over again if he leaves one organisation and enters another.

Socialisation dose not include all the learning, but only include learning of norms values and behavior pattern that from an organisations point of view expected from an employee. This learning is defined as the price of membership.

Such a value system, norms and behavior pattern could include

  • The basic goal of an organisation.
  • The preferred means by which these goals should be attained.
  • The basic responsibilities of the member In the role granted to him by the organisation.
  • The behavior patterns required for effective performance in the role.
  • A set of rules or principles that pertain to the maintenance of the identity and integrity of the organisation.

Socialisation as a process is also found in colleges in the form of ragging, in schools in the form of rules, regulations and the models to emulate and in the society by confirm to the constitution of the land and the customs. Upending experiences are deliberately planned or accidentally created circumstances that dramatically and unequivocally upset or disconfirm some of the major assumptions new employees hold about themselves, their companies or jobs.

Socialisation can take place in various ways, for example;

To provide assignment so easy or trivial that they carry the clear that the new employee is not worthy of being given anything important to do. The assignment could be so tough that the failure is a certainty, thus proving that the new employee is not smart.

An interesting example would be of a company in which the manager would ask the new employees to examine and diagnose a particular circuit, which violated a number of text book principle but actually worked very well. The baffled new employee would check and re-check the circuit and pronounce the circuit as faulty. At this point the manger would confidently show the new employees that the circuit works

The speed and effectiveness of the Socialisation determine employee loyalty, commitment, productivity and turnover. The basic stability and effectiveness of the organisation therefore depends on their ability to socialize the new members.

The success of socialisation would depends on two factors,

  • Initial Motivation- If the initial motivation of the individual is high then he will tolerate all kinds of uncomfortable Socialisation experiences.
  • Interest generated- The degree to which the organisation can hold the new member captive during the period of Socialisation.

To invest much time and effort in the new member and thereby build up expectations of being repaid by loyalty, hard work, and rapid learning. To make a series of small behavioral commitment he can justify, that only through the acceptance and incorporation of company value.

In some instances socialisation is considered a negative process questions are raised as to if the company is on the ethical path to change the very behavior and values of an individual without his consent. The fact remains that Socialisation serves a very definite function in an organisation that of standardisation. As we see later on in this paper socialisation uniforms process and removes ambiguity. For example if an employee knows that promotion will be performance based he will spend more time in producing rather than politicking.

The information on how to conform to the accepted norms can be given through,

Official literature,
Examples set by key models,
Instructions given by trainers, coach or boss,
Example of seniors who have been in the organisation for much longer periods
Rewards or punishments given to the new employee for his efforts, and
Experimenting with new values and behavior.

How do organizations socialize

To facilitate the understanding process of Socialisation in as usually carried out in companies the process can be broken down into 7 steps. Each step is explained with suitable examples.

Step One: Careful selection of entry level candidates
Trained recruiters use standardised procedures & seek specific traits that tie to success in the business. It is at this point that a well-informed applicant would deselect himself if he feels that the organisation does not fit with his personal styles and values.

Entry into an organisation includes the period of preparation and training on the part of the individual, the recruitment & selection process that occurs prior to accepting a job, the actual hiring decision and the initial job placement.

The kind of education that an individual opts for goes a long way to the deselecting process. In the sense that if an individual opts for engineering after his 12th then he has effectively deselected himself from being a doctor, an accountant or a lawyer. This is deselecting at a very basic level.

In order to find the right job, it is necessary for a person to develop a realistic appraisal of his talents, needs and values. This self-concept also needs to be continuously reappraised because a persons map is always changing.

The concept of "anticipatory socialisation" is well worth looking into at this point. This when an individual prepares himself for his early career by developing what he considers to be the attitudes and values necessary for succeeding in his chosen occupation. A businessman would be committed to a profit motive, a social worker to a service motive and so on. It would be therefore better for an individual with a Holland score of artistic to go in for an organisation, which holds premium on creativity such as Advertising agencies. It is when an organisation or an individual makes a misinformed choice and is not able to fit in the culture and the process of the organisation do problems like turnover frustration etc. arise

From the organisations point of view this step would be a failure if any of the following occurs:

  • A high-potential recruit does not accept a job offer.
  • A high-potential recruit joins the organisation but leaves soon after because of disillusionment or disappointment.
  • A high-potential recruit joins the organisation but loses motivation & becomes a marginal performer.
  • A seemingly high-potential recruit joins the organisation but turns out to have low talent, low motivation or values incompatible with those of the organisation.

In order to avoid these kind of failures, an organisation should have self-insight. Which would mean that the recruiters should have a very clear idea of what jobs need to be filled, what the characteristics of those jobs are, how those jobs would change over time. In short the selection process should be designed in the same way as the organisation works. If it is then, in screening interviews there is a greater possibility of accurately describing to the recruits what they will be doing both in the short & in the long run.

The recruitment/selection system must be able to diagnose long range growth potential in a person as well as short range potential. Its selection procedure should be congruent with the requirements and the organisations value system.

This selection process is one of the primary bases on which a candidate forms his impression of the company. The organisation should therefore be careful not to project something that they are not, because this could cause a candidate to deselect himself. This would be a loss to the organisation esp. if the candidate is a high-potential performer.

Finally, organisations must make more of an effort to integrate the recruitment/selection activities with those of job placement and early supervision. Because, lack of congruence at this interface, would run the risk of producing early disillusionment & turnover.

Involving line mangers, the new recruits’ immediate boss, in the process, can do this. If the number of people to be recruited is too high to involve all the line managers, then there should be frequent contact between the recruiters and the line managers.

P&G has a lengthy form that all aspirants have to fill. Based on this form they shortlist people. The shortlist candidates then have to go through 3~4 sessions of interviews, which are mostly "Behavioral Event Interviews". Suppose an MBA student has done his summer project at P&G, then after he has completed his summers, his guide, other people in the department and the VP sit together and discuss whether the concerned person would fit into the organisation or not. The emphasis is not on the persons’ work but on whether he will fit in. P&G focus a lot on minute details and this is evident in its application form. We have live examples of students in XL who have not applied to P&G because their form was very long & meticulous, this is a good example of deselecting.

Until now HLL used to have two Group Discussions. One would be case based and the second would involve a 1 minute presentation by each shortlist candidate followed by a GD on the same topic. This would culminate in a 30-min interview. People who have done their summers at HLL would all be called to a major city for a long drawn interview, where there would be atleast 2 directors on the panel. The questions asked are mainly theoretical or academic. This year HLL has introduced the component of the written test which checks for theoretical knowledge as well as application skills. The questions span all areas of management.

Step 2: Humility -Inducing experiences:

Consider this- A management graduate from XLRI joins ICI and on landing there declares-"I would like to formulate the new IR policy of ICI" This happens most of the time. Management graduates with their new found knowledge think that they can change an organisation overnight. Considering the ground realities their ideas being implemented is hardly practical.

A new trainee has much to learn not only will his idea be thrown out of the window if he is not accepted in the organisation but also has the new trainee learn how the organisation operates such as the political wheeling dealing, the power-centre how to sell his idea to a group etc. To learn all this way adopted by the organisation is to make a trainee on jobs, which they would perceive as unimportant. This has repercussion as the new inductee learning the ropes of the organisation, getting a feel that they for the organization and not the organisation for them.

Step 3: In the trenches training

Companies would ideally want that a MT should be able to put his theory into practice for the benefit of the organization. But for this the MT has to know the ground realities. To get the trainee in place most of the companies follow a rigorous one to two year training probation period. This would ideally consist of short stints in all the functional areas and a longer stint in the MT's specialization area.

For example as Pepsi's probation period for their marketing department trainees consists of the trainees not sitting and formulating strategy for a product but going with the delivery trucks to the vendors and taking stock of the situation. Going to small vendors such as paanshops in small town and cities and convincing them to keep Pepsi at an observable position in the shop for the ease of the consumers.

Step 4: Adherence to values

The new trainees have to perhaps go through a lot disillusionment , personal sacrifices( missed occasions with family and friends over the week end) and adjusting to the vagaries of the organization by changing the labile self. This is compensated to a certain extent when the organization gives something in return. A quid pro quo of sorts. For example the employees of Delta airlines accept the fact that during hard times the company will stand by them even if the industry is laying of their employees, the employees of Sony, Mitsubishi accepts the fact that for his dedication he has got life long employment. This gives a sense of security to the MTs in a New World. And even they then try to give their best to the organization.

Step 5: Rewards & Control Systems

Rewards and control systems are meticulously refined to reinforce behavior that is deemed pivotal to succession the market place. The employees who don’t adhere to the Cultural and Behavioral Norms of the Organisation, due to the dissonance between the Values of the Individual and the Values of the organisation; are given a clear warning to either shape up or ship out.

The IBM way of a Penalty Box, is a very apt example. In India, the PSU’s have a habit of shunting away their "mis-fits" to assignments and other jobs which take them away form the organisation’s mainstream. These are the Siberian Postings in the companies.

Step 6/7: Reinforcing Folklore, Consistent role models

Folklore is used as a reinforcer to make the employees behave in a certain way that helps the organisation. This creates a culture in the organisation.

Take the example of 3M. The culture of 3M articulates thus—

Our corporate culture encourages a lively exchange of concepts and information across different areas and functions. You're expected to be creative. To share your knowledge, freely and often. And to demonstrate a ready willingness to solve problems, act on your initiative and motivate others.

In 3M the legend of Founder member like Francis G. Okie still lives on. His ideas like using sand paper instead of razor to rub a man's face smooth is taken as an example of thinking wild. Or if we take the story of how the scotch tape was invented to service only one customer and for which alternate uses were found and which finally grown into a $750 Million business. The story is reinforced in 3M to force its employees to think creatively. Folklore reinforces the culture of an organisation. It is often seen that the culture of the organisation is influenced to a great extent by the personality of its founders. Nearer home could take the example of the TATA empire which is influenced by J R D Tata’s (not its founder) personality of being a highly ethical and caring organisation or the case of Reliance which carries Dihrubahi’s mark. OF being aggressive and a workaholic organisation in the competitive world. Legends and folklore in the organisation reinforce the culture in the minds of the new recruit as he acclimates to the culture.

Why do companies socialize:

Why do the companies go to such extents of molding their employees in a mould and run the risk of making them robots, killing creativity, risk making them into administrators rather than entrepreneurs. There is a good reason for this. The reason being that Socialisation creates order and consistency. To control and bring about order to the organisation there are two ways either we have formal controls such as rules for every move an individual makes Or we impose informal controls which can be imposed through organisational culture which is build through ages and is passed on to the next generation through Socialisation.

Companies, which have a strong culture and socialise effectively eliminate a lot of ambiguity and free up time for the executives to do more of productive work. For example in 3M it is assumed that you will not be punished for your failures if you are trying out a new idea or a concept so one can go ahead and take risks. You can afford to have a Nelson’s eye to the boss. Because the organisation reinforces that culture. On the other hand you try something like this in a PSU the employee will be shown the door.

But companies should realise the fact that Socialisation should only be carried to a particular extent after Socialisation will be counterproductive.

Negative Effects of Socialization

The new inductee’s stable and labile self are the two things that are likely to get affected by the induction program. On can imagine The Labile self as a flexible covering and the Stable self as the strong core, around which the covering exists.

Normal Induction of the company can be described as a mesh. The individual’s flexible covering has to be adjusted to the shape of the meshed holes yet the holes must be significantly larger that the stronger core inside the flexible layer. This is the process of induction happening correctly. At some times the Induction process may not be as self-controlled and can be compared to forceful pressing of the labile self into the shape as desired by the company. But shaping as to not touch the strong inner Rewards and control systems are meticulously refined to reinforce behavior that is deemed pivotal to succession the market place. The employees who don’t adhere to the Cultural and Behavioral Norms of the Organisation, due to the dissonance between the Values of the Individual and the Values of the organisation; are given a clear warning to either shape up or ship out.

Problems start occurring when the company’s induction program puts so much of pressure on the self that not only does the Labile (Flexible) gets distorted, but the stable self is also pressed and tried to put into shape.

This kind of induction program kills the individuality of the person. This can be very dangerous for the organisation as the personal creative talent dies out. More personality and mis-fit problems are seen to arise form this effectively.

The Future

We believe that a company should have a strong culture and also must be reflected throughout its ranks. These cultures should also help the company to remain flexible and keep up with today’s rapidly changing business environment. This can only be done if the culture promotes creativity and innovation, full and duplex, yet informal communication throughout the organisation, enough autonomy to the employees and other such things.

In line with what we were saying: these are some of the Induction Practices of some new and progressive MNC’s, in India for entry level inductees. These companies are trying hard to build cultures that promote openness and innovation. The data has been made available through Eicher Consultancy Services, who have developed and implemented these strategies, hence the client names are not disclosed.

Treasure Hunt:

Here the inductee team is broken up into small groups of five ~ six inductees. They are put at different parts of the city (in this case Mumbai), and like a treasure hunt, they are left with a set of clues to try and reach the "treasure". Each group has a co-ordinator, who is a employee, he/she sticks along and travels with the group as a city guide. The set of exiting clues sends them to the corners of the city (they are given enough mobility), and also tests their ability to "think on their feet", besides providing them with lots of fun and excitement.

The hunt "successfully" ends at the company HQ building where they are welcomed and then introduced around. The team members have already learnt enough about each other and the company during the Hunt as the clues also keeps informing them about the company’s who’s who and other information.

This organisation is a very young firm and even most of the senior executives would fall in the 30~35 age group.

With the Boss: at his home

This is a company, which is a basically deals with Corporate Finance Management. During the induction of their new Treasury Officers; one weekend is left free for this special program.

Here their immediate boss (Sr. Treasury Officer) invites the team of the new junior traders the weekend to his home. Where the new team of four ~ five inductees spend the entire weekend with him and his family, talking, going-out and doing a host of other activities with the boss and his family.

This leads to a very different way of "learning the ropes", and a very unique and "close" way of socialising.

The Lonavla Retreat

Here the company is a fast up-coming FMCG, based in Pune. The new inductees are taken to Lonavla a hill station very close on the Mumbai – Pune Highway. The company has its training division based at a farmhouse near Lonavla.

A weeklong induction program, covers the company specific information and a host of aptitude assessments. Some days are spent with their immediate bosses for half-day hikes, and over night adventure camps.

These activities are basically directed towards the building of camaraderie between the boss and his future team. The week at Lonavna (generally in the rains) is enjoyed buy employees and inductees alike.

The Boss-a-Day Experience

This company deals with Financial and Business Consulting. Here the inductees are previously given six months of lecture-room induction ad training. But after that the difference is seen in the way the conclusion of the induction is done.

This company deals with Financial and Business Consulting. Here the inductees are previously given six months of lecture-room induction ad training. But after that the difference is seen in the way the conclusion of the induction is done.

In the last week, the inductees are assigned to the various Consultants and Sr. Consultants and they are made to take over the superior’s role. They do all the activities their boss does in those days. And it’s really serious, they are to make independent decisions. The Boss stays with them but he can only suggest if the inductee asks for advice, or is stuck up with some contact.

This is done pretty seriously in the organisation and at the end of a week a rigorous review is done jointly between the inductee and his/her boss.

The Mud Fights of this Company

This is an upcoming IT Company in the Western region of the Country. They have an equity partnership with a world-wide IT Company based in Germany.This is an upcoming IT Company in the Western region of the Country. They have an equity partnership with a world-wide IT Company based in Germany.

Here the inductees, during their initial days of the 24-week induction process, have a mud and water fight. The company books an amusement park space for a day. The inductees and their immediate intended superiors engage in battle. The different groups protect their space in the park using water pistols, water balloons and mud balls as the only weapons. There is an actual "war – planning" that goes on before the fights take place.

The fight works out very messy and loud, but the results of the socialisation are very easily tackled.


  1. H. Schein Edgar pg.83 Sloan mgmt review, Organisation socialisation and the profession of management.
  2. H. Schein Edgar The individual , the organisation, and the career : A conceptual scheme.
  3. Richard Pascale "The paradox of corporate culture ": reconciling ourselves to socialisation.

Monday, 21 February 2000

Toms, Bangalore

Brigade Road, Next to All Saints Church,Bangalore
Timings: 8:00 am - 3:00 pm & 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Ph: 5361175

Tom's is a favourite haunt of the Anglo-Indian ladies who come in here for early lunch and gossip almost everyday. But the only reason I would go back to Tom's is because it is the only place in Bangalore that I know of that has Christian Brothers on its menu. How the rest of the pubs can keep this king of rums off their menu list while pushing Old Monk and Bacardi is beyond me.

Other than this and its prices, Tom's doesn't have much to recommend it. Bob index is around 0.6 Drinks are all reasonable - between rs30 and 60. This is a place you can go to if you want to drink, drink, drink.

It's an ordinary restaurant. No cocktails. No Mocktails. Just hard liquor. No music either. So if you are inclined to drink in silence or listen to long winded friends when drinking, you would like this place.

Tom's has no ambience to speak of at all. Seating is reminiscent of a typical hostel mess. Stiff chairs and tables arranged in not so straight lines. No music. Not much crowd while I was there. To describe it in a word: Tom's is colorless.

Some of the food is decent. The fish fry, (45/-) if it is fresh, is worth a try. They managed to ruin the sannas (a manglorean type of idli prepared with rice instead of rava) which is like ruining rice or boiled water. The chicken dishes were passable. I've heard their steaks are good. But steaks aren't what you want to eat after a good drink. The tastes aren't complementary. Maybe I'll go back to taste the steaks some day.

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Tuesday, 25 January 2000

Ten Downing Street, Pune

Gheera Plaza
Bob : 1

TDS is one of the older pubs in Pune and among the happening crowd, a visit to TDS is mandatory on an evening out (which is almost daily) even if it just for 15 minutes. They have some kind of an entry fee on weekends which was waived because of the excellent company I was with.

BOB is a little more than 1. They have some excellent cocktails out here. The bartender will also oblige with special requests for regulars. A couple of items are not mentioned on the menu but are prepared specially on request, like the vaquilas (vodka+tequila shot.)

The B52 that is priced around Rs220/- is excellent here. Don’t leave without trying this one. It is a layer of Irish Baileys, a layer of Kahlua, and a layer of Cointreau. This shot is then set afire and a straw is provided. The trick is to drink it before your straw melts. The sensations that it sets off in your throat as it goes down continues till it reaches the stomach and the after effect believe me is extremely pleasant. Cocktails are priced between Rs150/- and Rs.220/- Snacks are decent.

I heard they had some kind of dance floor one floor above, but someone who had already checked it out told us they were playing hindi numbers which we weren’t in the mood for on this day, so decided to skip it. The music was by Public Demand. The DJ would play whatever numbers were requested of him, if he had it and he seemed to have a more than decent collection.

Oh, this piece wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning the ladies loo. I was quite taken aback when I saw that ladies had to ascend a couple of steps inside the loo to reach the WC, kind of gives you perspective on why its sometimes called the throne.

Most Puneites prefer to have at least one drink at TDS before proceeding to the newer and more happening places in town. Since the decor is warm and comfy, lighting not too dim and music at an almost conversable volume, I can see why.

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