India's First Wine, Food and Hospitality Website, INDIAN WINE ACADEMY, Specialists in Food & Wine Programmes. Food Importers in Ten Cities Across India. Publishers of delWine, India’s First Wine.
Skip Navigation Links
About Us
Indian Market
Wine & Health
Wine Events
Retail News
Contact Us
Skip Navigation Links
Wine Tourism
Book Review
Photo Gallery
Readers' Comments
Video Wall
Media Partners
Ask Wineguyindia
Wine & Food
Wine Guru
Gerry Dawes
Harvest Reports
Mumbai Reports
Advertise With Us
US Report on Indian Market Released
Top Ten Importers List 2015-16
On Facebook
On Twitter
Delhi Wine Club
Blog: A Tale of Two Universities

Posted: Monday, 29 October 2012 17:19

Blog: A Tale of Two Universities

October 29 : A few years ago, at a private function at one of the dorms of IIT Delhi, we were not allowed to serve wine whereas in a public concert on the lawns of a college in Greater Noida across Delhi, not only was a vodka brand advertised freely but it was served openly and practically pushed down the throats of the special invitees who like the fiery water. It might be a sign of the changing times or an exception but I hope it is the former.

Barely a few years ago, it was a reunion for our batch of engineers from my alma mater, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. The celebrations were scheduled at one of my favourite hostels, Shivalik. I had spent 5 years of my youth in this very building and like all my batch mates was quite excited about the event. Following the speeches and sharing of nostalgic moments would be dinner for which some friends requested me to sponsor wine. I was more than delighted to take a couple of cases from my personal cellar- if nothing else, I could hope to convert a few of my whisky drinking old friends to try a glass or two of the fruity, easy drinking wines that I had selected.

We started with a bubbly and in a quick succession I supervised opening a few bottles and started their circulation among my grey haired friends. Suddenly, within minutes the service was stopped and the waiters sheepishly rushed back, bringing the tray-full of wine. What happened??!!

The dean of students apparently had found out that 'alcohol' was being served and was furious. 'How can you serve alcohol on the campus? Don't you know it is against the rules? For God's sake, there are students staying in the hostel!' he roared.  True, the hostel housed the post-graduate students who, by definition would be over 22-23 years of age, I reasoned In any case, this was a private function on the well covered and isolated lawn and they were not going to be eating with us. We were serving only wine, no hard liquor! No, and a big no, was the firm decision.

The wine had to be fed to the plants and bushes and the sealed bottles were rushed back to my car. Very disappointing and frustrating because I knew most of our friends and perhaps the staff drank alcohol in some form or the other-and it was their private business. I did vaguely remember a few of the students drank beer and liquor on the sly in their room even in those days, during my time at the campus. Of  course, I had been a confirmed teetotaler then.

Fast Forward to 2012-October. In fact, yesterday! I had gone to listen to the Santana concert that followed the F1 race. The venue had been a local engineering college (that did bring back memories of my college days at IITD) in Greater Noida. Since we had bought the high-end ticket costing Rs.10,000, the entry was through a special alley that took you through a hurriedly erected temporary lounge and then out in the open balcony constructed for the evening.

Walking through this temporary alley, we were greeted by signage on both sides that I remember vaguely as reading 'Bloody War'. Was it a new mineral water label, I wondered? As we entered the lounge the mystery was solved instantly when we saw a few young girls in white t-shirts smiling and coaxing the guests to try the new flavoured vodka from an Indian stable. People were enjoying the bonhomie and banter. A few were also holding a glass of red wine-I didn't have the time or inclination to check which wine was being served since the beautiful music from a Nagaland Band was playing enthralling music and I was in a mode to enjoy the music.

Quite commendable, this was right in the middle of the college lawns. Should I compliment the UP administration for allowing it?  Surely, there were cops all around. For a few minutes a truckload of commandos rushed in and threatened to ruin the musical trance with the king guitarist, Carlos Santana. Mercifully, they left shortly, leaving everybody to continue drinking their 'bloody war' and the bloody wine! Perhaps, the organisers were given the status of Vatican City within Rome? Was it allowed because the concert was a part of the F1 calendar and a special permission was given? I don't have the answer but I would like to believe that there is an awakening and the politicians and bureaucrats are keeping their nose to the ground (one would like them to keep it to a glass of good wine with fine a bouquet!).

The youth today are well informed and I doubt the 'oldies' having a glass of wine with dinner these days would be scandalous-in Greater Noida or in New Delhi. I hope the tale of two universities becomes one and the same  and soon.

Subhash Arora


Want to Comment ?
Please enter your comments in the space provided below. If there is a problem, please write directly to Thank you.
Generate a new image

Type letters from the image:

Please note that it may take some time to get your comment published...Editor

Wine In India, Indian Wine, International Wine, Asian Wine Academy, Beer, Champagne, World Wine Academy, World Wine, World Wines, Retail, Hotel


Copyright©indianwineacademy, 2003-2020 |All Rights Reserved
Developed & Designed by Sadilak SoftNet