May 7, 2012

Club Class

My brother is a member of the wonderful and old-world Delhi Golf Club. As non-golfers, the rest of us have only been to the club for their Sunday lunches, which are an extravaganza of people and food and avoidable at best. He rolls his eyes in exasperation whenever we suggest going to The Pub there, blaming his closest friends (who drag him there every weekend) for his boredom with the place. This time though, we hold our own, making sure we are at the club on Friday, brother in tow, ready for a long and happy evening. The DGC does not let us down.
The Pub boasts a lovely veranda that overlooks the greens. It’s a beautiful view at dusk, the sky lilac above the ruins of Mir Taqi and Sayyid Abid’s tombs in the distance. You find Burrah-Sahibs in golf attire sprawled on deck chairs, knocking back their drinks as inviting smells from the freshly fired barbeque greet your nostrils. Near the door sit a trio of ladies in pastel-hued chiffons and pearls, sipping their wine, smoking their cigarettes and ostensibly playing cards. I want their life, but my brother reminds me that they’re probably over 70 with little else to do. Even so...
Inside the pub is more fun. There’s beautiful wooden furniture with brass fixtures. Smiling waiters rush to greet my brother, giving us ‘the best’ table. It’s near the door with a good view of the happenings outside. I’m handed a call bell and a menu. I have to ring that bell, and as soon as we’ve decided what we want I’m ringing it, pinkie raised. It may be soft but it's highly effective - we're waited on within minutes. 
As night falls, people start trickling in and before we even realize it, the place is full. The oldies have been replaced by 30-somethings looking to tank up on the extremely affordable drinks before hitting the city’s hot spots. The atmosphere gets louder, more raucous and more smokey. All the while, the waitstaff in their black and white splendour calmly walk from table to table supplying more food and more drinks. Generations of youngsters who probably weren’t allowed in The Pub as kids are now living it up here with their own friends. I love the idea that in some small way you grow into the lives of your parents, doing what they did but with your own little twist.
The old and the new collides around you at the club, subtly but surely. It's like a blast from the past that you can keep going back to any day of the week.


  1. Will take you to the Delhi Gymkhana Club too if you wish for some more old world charm!

    1. Haha thank you, would love that.
      Old world charm + cats :)

  2. When you going there next? You'll have a ++1

    1. Sounds perfect but they'll have to be in chiffon sarees and pearls!


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