I don’t even know where do I start the story of the beloved Old Monk from. From the modest fat and short bottle that is always affordable, or from the seamless blend with ice giving a heavenly taste or from the absence of a hangover even after several pegs resting in the belly quietly. You just mix water and coke and leave the rest to the wise old monk.
For almost last decade, Old Monk has held the prestigious title of India’s best-selling rum and one of the best-selling spirit brands in India. As many as 8 million cases were sold every year. However, like many of us, our old friend also had a bad year in 2014 with its sales dropping down to just 2.1 million cases. In other words, Old Monk sales contributed to just 5 percent of the market according to a market research agency, Euromonitor.
The decline of Old Monk has been paving the way for many rivals including McDowell’s No. 1 Celebrations which has become the best-selling rum worldwide. Nonetheless, the loyal fans friends of Old Monk will consider it a grievance if they had to gulp down even a sip of any other rum.
With Old Monk taking its last few breaths, here are a few things that every loyalist should do:
1. Know it all
You need to know why the vicious sales are going down. It is because most youngsters don’t understand the value of this precious drink. They think it’s their dad’s drink while they, on the other hand, are cooler with their Mojito (damn you, white rum). Since it is a hard drink, it can’t be mixed in cocktails and hence it is low in demand comparatively. With the sales sinking drastically, the brand is not financially viable to continue its sale for long.
Yes, now you may shout at the top of your voice, “Sales be damned, don’t let the old friend die.”
I know a few people who are going to stock up as much as they can. They are going to spend their whole salary or even sell their kidney if it comes to that to save and savor their precious Old Monk. If you are among one of those loyalists then you should be doing the same. Get as many as you can, as fast as you can, and never let it go!
Invite a few fellow loyalists home (only the ones who are true fans, dare you invite a McDowell’s fan, you don’t want that kind of negative energy around you). Play some blues and jazz, switch to classic rock as the night falls and enjoy the charm of your favorite spirit. Your old friend deserves it.
Did you know that Old Monk has never advertised? It was there, like a loyal friend, never leaving your side. And you know what you can do for this old friend? Keep the memories close and the bottles closer. Collect whatever you can, to have something to remember it by. You need to have a whole closet dedicated to the legend that left an impression so strong that no other can replace. Believe me when I say, your collection is going to be priceless one day.
The winters in Delhi are never going to be the same, the rains will come and go and the empty glasses will sit clean and sophisticated on the shelves, the shopping list will miss the mandatory cola and soda, and the heart will have to do without emotions because there won’t be any Old Monk left to drown it in. Remember my friend, the incredible moments that were built around this drink and keep them close to your heart.
It’s a rum apocalypse for the true fans. The world without monk is devoid of wisdom. The world without monks is like a doctor without tongs. The world without monk is like a stoner without a bong. Cheap rip off of Old Monk will rule and we don’t want to see that happening. It is okay, let your emotions out, break a few useless beer bottles, shed a few tears or cry a river. Let it all out. There, there, I know how you feel.
There is no mid-way to this situation. A lover cannot just be not affected by the situation and act cool. You have to be an extremist this time. Either you believe that Old Monk will rise out of the ashes like a phoenix and take over its enemies, or you quit drinking, go to the Himalayas and wait for nirvana. Because what’s the point in living like this anyway?
You only miss the sun when it starts to snow. And that’s exactly what is going to happen now. The true value of this priceless gem shall be known to the selected few, who will narrate it to the generations to come.
A friend shared this eulogy with me, I am sharing it with all the Old Monk lovers out there:
The bittersweet love for every drop
The good old times with wise talks
I will remember the joyful walks
When you rob me of the monk
*there’s something in my eye, I can’t type anymore*