Bored of regular Careers like doctors, engineers and layers… Take a break and follow your heart, be different and refreshing.
“What is your dream job, Poo?” I asked her as I accompanied her in the dark alley to the girl’s hostel on a fine summer night. And after a few moment of silence she said “I want to open a strip club in Vegas. It’s going to be a family business with my cousins and I would name the club, ‘Dua’s the Dhaba’.”
Although dreams remain a dream and Poo, living in reality, is completing her third year B.A at St. Xavier’s in Mumbai.
The Indian society has always been very rigid when it comes to labour division – the system of Varna and Jati. And according to the hindu script there are four varna the Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (traders), and Shudras (agriculturists, service providers, and some artisan groups). Another group excluded from the main society was called Parjanya or Antyaja. The Brahmins and the Kshatriyas were the respectable lots in the society as there were intellectuals and Parjanya or Antyaja were the Untouchables or Dalits.
Although the caste system has faded away, jobs requiring intellects are till more respectable than others career. For example, doctors, engineers, lawyer, soldiers etc. Similarly even between the sexes male members are expected to take more risk where as women are expected to do jobs related to home – cooking, cleaning, washing or raising children or teaching them.
Any career not inline with the societies set standard will be a bone of contingent among the family members. “I was good in sketching and from fifth standard I wanted to become a tattoo artist, but my parent were against the idea so I took a loan from the bank and my friend stood as a guarantee.” Said Als Alva, a tattoo artist and a painter.
Not blaming his parents for there rigid thinking Als said “They did what they though was best for me.” With the raise in literacy rate people are become more aware about the world and other opportunities. To be different you have to choose different and dare to be called different. Very few people have what it takes to be different and choose out of the box career for themselves. Although comparatively a large number of youngsters are now taking up off beat professions like DJ or VJ, bartending, massagers, stylist etc.
So we decided to look at one such out of the box careers which are becoming popular among the youth or the Gen “X”.
CATCH IT IN THE AIR
He winked at me and said, “This is for you” and tossed two Bacardi bottle up in the air and continued with his chore. My eyes glued to the bottles as they spun in the air rising to the roof (nearly missed getting smashed). Meanwhile he strained the divine liquid into a tall, elegant Martini glass and some Vodka for himself. With a “cheers!” he gulped his vodka and caught the bottles just in time as they came down. Eeewwwww!
He moved on to take orders of other customers at the bar. Recovering from the shock I sipped my Martini.
This is the modern day bartenders – smart, young, handsome with notorious eyes.
Bartenders (also commonly called the barman/barmaid, barkeeper, mixologist, and tapster) serve beverages behind a bar, pub, tavern, or similar establishment. It is not about spending long hours serving cranky customers in sleazy bars, while earning peanuts in return, but it is a passion. It involves a lot of skills. One needs to find out innovative ways of serving drinks. The catch here is to break monotony in serving.
Bartending is an art. It is imperative to understand that bartending is not just about juggling, rightly known as flaring glasses or bottles in the air to entertain crowds. A combination of competence in mixology and flair makes for a good bartender. Mixology is the art of comprehending which drink has what flavours, finding the right balance, texture, colour and understanding the use of the apt glassware.
“Today, bartending is more than serving drinks at the bar. It’s about mesmerizing the customer and inducing them to buy more drinks. They should be devils in an angelic way, notorious but harmless.” says Pranav Thakkar, a faculty member at Cocktails & Dreams.
And if you have seen Coyote Ugly by David McNally you know what I am talking about.
Although one can say there is not much of money in this profession. A trainee bartender gets paid about Rs 2500 – 3500 in a restaurant and about Rs 4500 in a five-star hotel and most rely on tips to help pay the bills. Pranav said, “There is no money but it has tips running into four or five digits at times plus a directory full of ‘chicks’ numbers. What else would a bartender want?” After gaining a few years of experience and developing some contacts, you can freelance for private parties.
Dominic Costabir, Director, Hospitality Training Institute quoted that “In the earlier days, bartenders had to be teetotalers. That was the basic criteria for recruitment, but not anymore”.
|What are the criterions for Bartending?
- Age: one should ideally be between the ages of 21 to 30 to be a bartender.
- Language: One must be fluent in English and the local language to communicate with the customers.
- One should be pleasant, hospitable and should have a pleasant personality.
- Should be notorious in a harmless way.
- Should be hard-working and must have passion for bartending.
There are quite a few institutes in India which train individuals to become bartenders. Hotel management schools teach bartending as part of the Food and Beverage Service subject. The backdrop is that the subject is dealt very superficially and not many practical sessions are impaired. Therefore a specialized course is much preferred. These institutes offer short and long-term courses ranging anywhere between 15 days to a year, with the fee somewhere between Rs 7,500 to about 95,000, depending on the duration and the content
||Name of the Academy
||Cocktails and Dreams School of Bar and Beverage Management
|B – 4 / 223, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi
5&8, Shiv Shakti, Above M.G. Jewellers, 2nd Flr. 4th Rd.
Khar(W) Mumbai 52
Mobile:9920245747 / 989277842
||Shaken and Stirred
|19, Infantry Road,
Phone: 99455 40444
||B’ Maan School of Bartending
|6, 1st floor, 4th Cross Street
Phone: 98416 22466
||Johnnie Walker bartending academies
||Tulleeho Portals Pvt. Ltd.
69 Aram Nagar 2, Machlimar, Versova,
Tel.: 022-32655642 Mob: 9920151971
However this profession is assumed to be male dominated. Shathbi Basu a faculty member of STIR Academy of Bartending, has long shattered the myth that bartending is only a man’s domain and has in fact redefined bartending for both men and women. Although there are not many female stepping into the field as technically, legislation does not permit women to serve alcohol behind the bar (accept in Delhi and Mumbai). Also safety of women behind bar is a concern for most, including parents, who simply cannot fathom their daughters mixing alcohol in a pub or a restaurant.
Cocktails and Dreams School of Bar and Beverage Management have few girls in the term and on asking the faculty member, he said “Yes the safety of girls is my concern. Whenever I sent girls to parties to bartend then I make sure they are accompanied with enough guys, so that if the situations worsen then boys can take over from them and they are escorted to there home.”
Now you might ask that what are the other options besides being a bartend? Well if you don’t what to be a bar man in the pub then –
- Freelancers usually bartend for specific occasions and parties, work part-time, preferring to study or work in other fields simultaneously
- A cruise liner holds excellent prospects and is a lucrative option too. You might be working nine months a year and traveling wherever the ship goes.
- Once you are well entrenched in the field, you can even become a consultant like Basu and help set up a bar, design pubs
- Many even go abroad like UK or Dubai to work in some of the best bars and hotels after a two-year stint in Indian hotels, as the exposure and the pay package is better
- The option of being a lecturer to train youngsters aspiring to be bartenders can also be left open.
|Some new careers…
- Celebrity manager: even stars need managers. The good part of this career is that you are as important as the celebrity themselves and also get a fair-share of glamour. As a manager your job would be to look after celebrity’s household, arrange his parties, fix their dates for the shot, make there schedules and other task to take care of the celebrity. To become a celebrity manager you need to be trained in public relation. Certificate in Mass Communication can give you an edge over others. Tanuja Mehra is a media relation manager for Preity Zinta.
- Tattoo Artist: Tattoo is an upcoming field. People are getting bolder in the way they express themselves and tattoos are seen as the boldest way of expressing. Although the Saif and Kareena tattoo issue, has given lot of free publicity to tattooing but there is no institution proving any formal course in the art of tattoos. Owner of ALS studio, Als Alva a tattoo artist and painter had to go to abroad to get formal training in tattooing.
- Piercing Artist: “There area a lot of nerve in the body and you can’t pierce the wrong one.” Als said when I asked him what kind of training does one require for being a piercing artist. The ALS studio is opening Piercing Academy in Colaba soon. So I would say wait and watch.
- Nail Painting: if you are good with colours and you have an upper hand in drawing then nail painting is also an out of the box career for you.