Let’s Take a Minute, Dear Girls of Old Monk


Let’s Take a Minute, Dear Girls of Old Monk

Illustration: Sushant Ahire

ast night, WhatsApp groups began to get flooded with a forward on the passing of Kapil Mohan, the creator of the drink that has launched many a boozy night – the venerated Old Monk. The Padma Shri awardee who created the celebrated dark rum, passed away at 88, a teetotaller.

Attached to the newsclip that was circulating among my groups was a single-line message, “Let’s take a minute, boys”. And all the boys clubs of WhatsApp, made up of old college mates, school mates, and mates of any kind, forwarded it with gusto. “Let’s take a minute, boys,” was a perfect little homage – it was respectful, reinforced nostalgia, and established group identity.  

As staunch Old Monk loyalists, the instinctive reaction of a handful of women in these predominantly male groups was outrage, but we held it in check. After all, we’ve always known that the known and unknown, real and imagined legends of the drink have been intensely masculine. A piece by Ashish Shakya in the Hindustan Times a couple of years ago gave us a run-down of these rum legends. According to him, the drink may or may not have been brewed by an actual monk. It’s the drink that may or may not be made from the moustache hair of an army officer. It’s the drink fermented out of the tears of every engineering student who has ever been dumped or never been laid. And that bottle? Surely that weird bloated shape cannot be anything but a giant fuck you to the ideal feminine figure.