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The Legend of the Old Monk

If anyone asks you , which is the truly Indian alcohol brand that is also popular overseas , what will you reply ? Of-course the legendary Old Monk Rum !! And this is my tribute to Master behind the Monk , Padma Shri Brig. (Dr.) Kapil Mohan VSM .

Old Monk in the Hills
Old Monk in the Hills

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Man behind Old Monk Rum

Kapil Mohan was known best as the Director of the Mohan Meakin group of industries which manufactures a lot of food products and beverages including the Old Monk Rum. He had taken over the charges of the group after he retired from the Indian Armed Forces with a ranking of Brigadier. He had also received the Vishisht Seva Medal during his service and the prestigious Padma Shri, which is the 4th highest Indian civilian award.

Introduced on the 1954 under the bearings of Mohan Meakin Ltd . , the Old Monk Rum is one of the highest selling alcohol brands in India. This was probably the first brewery in India and was the producer of the Hercules Rum for the armed forces of India. Apart from India , it is also exported to Russia, United States, UK, Germany, Japan, UAE, Estonia, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Singapore and Malaysia.

Probably the highest selling IMFL (rum) brand in India(quantity wise), it has many nick names. Out of which Buddha Sadhu Army Wala Daru  and Laal Chai are quite popular.

Stories of the Old Monk

Old Monk Rum is not just a brand or a drink for its lovers. Its more of an emotion, an attachment which nothing else can replace. Here are a few of the stories related to the Monk!

I still remember my first shot at the Monk. It was the winters of either 2005 or 2006,the place was somewhere in Rajasthan and we were suffering in the beating of the fierce winters of the desert. One day this friend of mine brought a long flat plastic bottle (which he had stolen from his brother working in the army) which was labeled Old Monk Rum. We both dint have any experience at all about any Rum before that, so we did what we used to do with Whiskey. And then we realized that rum did not go well with cold water! The next day we asked a more experienced friend of ours, who gave us the idea of hot water. And since that night, Old Monk with warm water has been my choice during the winters.

 

Old Monk Meme
Popular Meme from the Internet

We all meet a lot of people during our journeys. I have met quite a few people during my long train journeys. Trust me there is nothing better than getting a fellow passenger from the Armed Forces. First of all they are all very helping and generous, secondly the dignity they maintain is hardly found in any other profession and finally they all (mostly, if not all) love the Old Monk Rum! And then the conversation flows …

Breakfast with Old Monk Rum
Breakfast with Old Monk Rum

Travelling has been an activity of great interest for me since a long time, specially in the mountains. And nothing keeps you warm like a glass of hot water with the Old Monk Rum sitting next to a campfire! Not only does it give energy, but also helps me to get a sound sleep.

Old Monk goes well with everything
Old Monk goes well with everything

Everyone becomes an expert in some field of the other after a few drinks. I become experimental with my drinks, and my companions generally deal with it (sometimes without much happiness)! Few years back we were in Shillong for a weekend in winter. I do not remember who gave the idea, but all of us wanted to have cocktails. The best thing about the Old Monk Rum is that it goes well with everything, and that is what we realized that night. We used all possible ingredients ranging from Mint and Rock Salt to Honey and Lemon, but none of it turned out to be bad.

Old Monk with the Books
Old Monk with the Books

Towards the middle of 2017, I took a road trip to Khardung La. Entering through Shimla and exiting through Srinagar, this trip was not possible without the blessings of the Old Monk. By the time we reached Keylong, we were almost half dead. A few drinks of Old Monk with steaming hot water, followed by a long comfortable nap was what got us back in running mode the very next morning.

These were some of my encounters with the legendary Old Monk Rum . Drink Responsibly!

Note : This article is based on personal experiences and is not aimed for any advertisement or endorsement .

#OldMonk #OldMonkRum

 
Local Rice Beer and Spices @ Shillong Beer Festival

Shillong Beer Festival

The Shillong Beer Festival

There is no such thing as a bad beer. It’s that some taste better than others.” – Bill Carter .

Fried Chicken and Rice Beer @ Shillong Beer Festival
Fried Chicken and Rice Beer

This was exactly the first thing that came to mind when i entered the Shillong Beer Festival yesterday . Hosted or the 4th time on the 21st of October , it took place in the scenic Orchid Lake Resort with the very beautiful Barapani Lake in the backdrop . Sitting on the wooden platforms on the lake and sipping beers with your friends is always an awesome feeling . If only the weather was better , it would have been a much better event .

Mahau Beer @ Shillong Beer Festival
Mahau Beer

Multiple national brands like Magpie and Savage were available alongside international brands like Budweiser and Mahau . But what was special about the event were the local rice beers from various parts of Meghalaya . Served in bamboo tubes or tumblers , these are the drinks that you normally don’t get to buy in wine shops !!

Local Rice Beer
Local Rice Beer

My favorite turned out to be a local rice beer which they mixed with red chili powder and salt before serving . The taste was really nice and totally unexpected from a beer , specially a locally made one . It also provided a welcome change from all the branded beers which were available in the event .

Local Rice Beer and Spices @ Shillong Beer Festival
Local Rice Beer with Spices

Apart from the beers , a lot of food options were also available during the event . It included multiple local recipes of chicken and pork . Some guys had also put up a stall to serve chicken and pork satay . Rice and gravy options were also available for those who preferred to eat heavy .

Pork Satay @ Shillong Beer Festival
Pork Satay

Shillong isn’t called the Rock Capital of the nation without reason . Any event happening in and around the area generally accompanies live performances and the Shillong Beer Festival of this year was no exception . However the continuous rain played spoilsport and dampened the spirits of organizers , participants and enthusiasts alike . And now we have to wait for one more year for hopping for an even bigger Shillong Beer Festival !

Beer Dispenser in the Rain @ Shillong Beer Festival
Beer Dispenser in the Rain
 

The Wanderer …

rain drops

Not all those who wander are lost. ~ J R R Tolkien

A day out of out hectic monotonous mechanical life is something most of us can just dream of. A five (sometimes six) day a week work schedule has taken its toll and made all of us lazy , hence I took a decision. Not to give in to the pressure of work , family , relationships etc. etc. etc. and give myself some time (whenever I can) .

What better way to re-energize than spending time in the arms of mother nature . And what better way to do that than to wander , in the company of music and nothing else at all.

Wanderer ( /ˈwɒnd(ə)rə/ ) has been defined as ” a person who travels aimlessly or a traveler ” . But how can anyone enjoy the particular moment if he always has an aim in mind ? So i suggest you , my reader ,  to give yourself some time , some space and wonder at everything you see when you wander . I am sure you will never be disappointed .