Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Counter Shots at Lavanya Bar

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this exotic concept (you unlucky souls) - please, allow me to explain:
Counter Shot (pronounced "counter shaat") is a popular socializing technique used by adult men across the length and breadth of this great country of ours. 
In the simplest form of this technique, one parks his vehicle in front of the No Parking signboard outside the wine shop on his way home from work, enters the shop, asks for a '60' of Rum/Whiskey, mixes it with water (and in some rare cases, soda), drinks it in one or maximum two gulps, hands over the money to the shopkeeper, returns to the vehicle, spits on the footpath after a long gargle, and gets on his way home.

Sounds Dull? Cheap?
Heh! You could not be more wrong, my friend.
I was like you, pretending to be sophisticated, pretending to despise these places. But somewhere inside my shirt, my heart wanted to give them a 'shot'. So I went to two of the more alcohol appreciating buddies of mine at work and asked them to help me experience this bliss I'd heard so much about. They gladly obliged. (Their exact words were "Wokay maams, tell us when").

After referring to the latest 'panchaanga' to figure out when the raahu kaala ends, we decided that yesterday evening was the most auspicious time. The Place? Hmm.. this was tricky, since we'd all seen our share of dingy spots while commuting, but in the end the choice was unanimous. It was 'Lavanya Bar and Restaurant' in Audugodi.
a) This is one place we'd see every other day while coming to or going from office, and the fascination for it was just too much.
b) It was an enigmatic place. For the untrained eye it looked too classy to be a Counter Shot place. On close observation though, one could see the 'fast food' counter outside the bar sold 'chikan manchuri' whose spelling kinda gave away its classiness.
c) Look at the Name man!!

So, with some potato chips to appetize ourselves, we boarded an Auto and started our journey, during which my buddies gave me some valuable tips I'd never heard before, such as:
a) Never take a girl along for Counter Shots.
b) Don't drink it all in one gulp. ('you dont have that capacity yet magaa')
c) 'Let us order for you this time. There are a lot of fakes in circulation. You'll get conned.'

We finally reached the place. Before entering, we took one look at each other: Formal Shirt & Pant - Check, Formal Shoes - Check, Laptop Backpacks - Check, and finally, Company ID Card - Check.
Yes, we were all set indeed.
We entered the shop, struggled through the elite crowd to reach the counter and asked for the nostalgic favorite of many - 'Old Monk'. Much to our dissappointment, he said 'we dont stock Old Monk sir'. So we went for plan B - Smirnoff. Nobody looked up from their drink, people were just going about their business. Its not like properly dressed folks never come to places like this. Most of the IT hotshots buy their liquor in these shops and then drink at their classy parties or at their homes.

It was when we said 'parcel alla, ille guru' (to drink here only, not for parcel) that people suddenly looked up, starting from the guy behind the counter, who had a half-stunned expression on his face for about 5 seconds. We took the drinks, stood by the counter and started drinking.. slowly.
In about 5 minutes, we realised that this place is a little too classy than we imagined. There were tables around where he served omelets and we heard some guy speaking English inside the shop. (English??)
Our fears were vindicated when we asked for 'touchings'. (which is a piece of pickle kept on a small coaster for you to lick with your fingers in between your sips. And by the way, the licks are not exclusive to you alone). The guy said they don't keep touchings, but he'll give 'mixture' for 2 rupees. We took them anyway.
We mustered up the courage to order an omelet from the kitchen which looked like it was last cleaned for diwali.  It was surprisingly good, although we suspected the oil used might be from 'Kannada Rajyotsava' days.
We tried to strike some interesting conversations with a couple of strangers, but they just minded their business. We asked the waiter (read: underage kid) to turn on the music, but he said they turn it on only for 'special ocassions'.
After 20 minutes, we gave up and walked out. We weren't really drunk. Not even properly buzzed to be honest. Just to keep the evening's spirit going, we smoked a 'King' outside for 5 minutes while we bitched about office politics.

Thus ended an interesting but uneventful evening at Lavanya Bar. By the end of it, we vowed to make the next one a more memorable affair. We've selected 'Famous Bar' near Woody's Jayanagar for it.
And when its over, you can be rest assured that you'll hear about it.
I know you're trembling with anticipation, dear reader. 


narendra shenoy said...

Enjoyed immensely! Blogrolling you right away!

Shetty said...


We call it counter attack. I tried it in JD wines (Majestic) waiting for my bus

silk smitha and disco shanti said...

anna bondu...namdu same case...but 5 frnds..had been to a kananda movie in woodlands...had been there a lil counter ge hogi...standing alli "sir...5 DSP black kodi" andbittu...sides ge waiter na..kadle puri iskondu...adanne baachkond bachkond thinddu....picture nodkond bandiddu...nothing beats that...!!!

Anonymous said...


Anna Bond said...

@shenoy: thank you saar :)

@Shetty: counter attack! sounds dangerous man!

@silk: DSP Blacka.. adu swalpa jaasti level agoytalwa guru? raja whiskey try madbekittu :)

@Avisha: Thanks!

anoop said...

I recently went to such a shop, with guess whom... rohit.. got a small bottle of golconda wine, went to middle of nowhere spot in bogadhi, parked car and drank peacefully with the silence and chamundi hill in the distance for company. must say, the 30 re for the bottle was decent :).