For a city that loves partying as much as it does, when you really get down to planning outrageous dos — outside your homes — there really are few options in Mumbai. And this is where the potential of pub crawls comes in. I’m planning one next week for a friend’s birthday. Having previously organised some very successful crawls — in Colaba and Bandra — I’m a bit more confident about the concept. That’s why this one involves five pubs, all within jogging distance, and a theme!
What do we intend to achieve?
A false sense of purpose and a chance to meet random new people. From past attempts, I’ve learnt some things. So if you’re planning one (and it truly is fun), here’s what you need to know:
Eat at 8, drink till late: The first stop, usually a cheap place (or a dive) is for people to warm up and tank up to prepare for the drill. Eat, so you can hold your booze (and not hold up the queue outside the loos at pubs later).
Be punctual: Stand by the 40-minute-at-one-bar thumb rule like you would stand by your drink in a crowded bar.
Bring the gong, not the bong: Get access to a loudspeaker, a big bell or even better, a gong. Make someone in charge of ringing the life out of it every 39 minutes. At which point, all pub-crawlers must guzzle their drinks and immediately head to the next place. Stun strange people with your speed and urgency = interest them to join the fun.
Pick bars within walking distance: Drinking and driving is uncool. Waiting for valets, parking and re-parking even more.
Keep a theme: When your group, in Zorro masks and capes, for instance, walks into a bar, everyone will pause and judge you for being weird. Then they’ll ask you if they could borrow your masks, followed by where you’re headed to next. Keep extra whatever-your-theme-costume-is for people joining. They always do.
Plan for an after party: Someone’s house nearby should be stocked with ice, alcohol and mixers. You don’t want to be left high and dry at 1.30 am.
Thankfully, most pubs in Mumbai are concentrated in localities, leaving us with enough and more reasons to plan these crawls. Change the selection of the bars and the theme of the party each time. Andheri’s Versova and Yari Road, Phoenix Mills in Lower Parel, Colaba and Bandra’s Linking Road are great spots to implement the plan. In Johnnie’s honest words, keep walking!