The first time I went drinking with my bail lawyer buddy, I thought we'd be headed for a local watering hole. But he had more economical plans. He pulled up outside a take-out joint called Colonel's Kebabs, through his new SUV in park, and cracked open a bottle. There was no ice, it was 40 degrees Celsius outside so we had to keep the car A/C running, and we had to make do with somewhat warm soda. But you couldn't beat the price for the BYOB whiskey.
Turns out, it's a ubiquitous trend, I discovered later. Kebabwallahs all over the city are paying off the cops so their park-and-eat clientele can drink in peace, and some joints have even divided their informal parking space into "family" and "bachelor" sections (read "dry" and "wet"). But things are changing.... Sort of.
Consider this lead from the Hindustan Times' leisure section, under the headline, "Whiskey is the new wine."
"From being just a ‘hard’ drink kept aside for car-o-bar and post-wedding celebrations, whiskey is fast emerging as the connosieurs’ drink. In fact, whiskey can be called the new wine," writes Aaron Rohan George -- my new favorite Indian reporter.
Yep, there's an official term for it now, folks. "Car-o-bar" -- Hindi translation pending.