An article in the TOI yesterday by a certain Mr. Patel really raised my shackles. Well, firstly his very words that my favourite and loyal drink was ‘living on a prayer’ didn’t go down very well with me and of course hordes of loyal supporters were up in arms at his very suggestion or as I put it... a very misleading fact. It was interesting to read the reactions on social media wherever the article was shared especially since hardly anybody agreed with the writer’s sentiments.

What really drove the nail into the coffin was his arrogant statement that Old Monk is a man’s drink... Seriously he needs to remove his MCP rosy goggles and open his eyes wide and bright. He then goes on to state that women tend to drift towards wine and cocktails and white spirits that are diluted... Good Lord! Which dark tunnel does this man live in? It doesn’t stop here... He then states that women ‘NOW’ go to restaurants, bars and clubs...!! Say what!! Then it gets even worse as he rambles on to say that dark rum was something that parents drank in front of the television and that was not cool. This man needs serious help in ‘coming’ out of the dark ages and facing reality.

No no, it doesn’t end... In fact it gets worse. There is no stopping Mr. Patel. According to him, “Old Monk still remains popular with a certain class of people, mainly painters, journalists and those struggling in the performing arts. Many of them drink it because they like the taste, others because they can't afford Scotch. Old Monk tastes great sitting on plastic chairs in a barsaati in Delhi or on a beach in Goa with close friends, late at night with smoke from something illegal floating in the air. It is more Press Club of India drink than an Oberoi Hotel drink. Always was.”

Well, Mr. Patel: I am not struggling in the performing arts... Don’t you think that is quite a derogatory statement to make nonetheless! I am not a painter... I can paint my house walls... Does that qualify? I am no journalist though I do write articles and stories... There are too many who feel targeted right now with your views. But let me once and for all tell you that it is people like you who allow the ‘class’ system to thrive in this country with your small-minded thoughts and beliefs. I can ‘afford’ to drink Scotch but I ‘love’ to drink Rum. And I know enough women who do and enjoy it... And not because we belong to some ‘class’ created by a figment of your imagination. Plastic chairs have also seen whisky drinkers... Scotch has been spotted in plastic glasses too... A beach in Goa would be where you find cashew and coconut fenny most often than not and I’ve drunk ‘Old Monk and Coke’ in Taj... Oh but you did mention the ‘Oberoi’ Hotel... Does the ‘Oberoi’ home count? Let’s de-classify all this I say!

Mr. Old Monk who for decades has warmed the bellies of the Indian soldier and yes, I proudly say... Of the ‘better halves’ too... We find your article and your thoughts most distasteful and wonder if you have done your homework at all?

It may not be the No.1 Rum but yes it is a strong contender in the top five and Old Monk is here to stay whether you like it or not. Indians do love their rum and if I am not mistaken, we do consume the maximum amount of rum in the world. Edward Dyer must be shaking in his grave ever since your evil thoughts were put into words. I am sure the ‘Mohans’ have a lot to say to you as well.

I recently spotted Old Monk at the Duty-Free arcade in T3... Old Monk is what I gift all my cousins and friends abroad... It has more weight than Gold... And I have seen the brightest smile on the faces of friends abroad... I speak here of ‘foreigners’ when gifted with the ‘one of its kind’ shaped bottle. At the end of most parties, there is a line of Old Monks that have been consumed and the odd Scotch or Vodka or Wine bottle... Are these not tell-tale signs?

I write this while I sip my Old Monk + Coke + Tons of ice cubes... Cheers!!