If you’re an urban adult in India, it’s hard not to have an Old Monk memory. After all, the rum brand marketed by Mohan Meakins, whose former managing director Kapil Mohan died on January 6, has acquired legendary status.
To wash down individual memories of Old Monk, here is a short film from 2015, valorising the brand, titled Monk (above). Starring Sanjay Mishra and Jeetu Shastri, the film is a simple yet moving portrayal of a friendship between two friends that revolves, predictably, around Old Monk. Produced by Switch Off Films, Monk was made after rumours that Old Monk may be taken off the shelves.
Yash Verma, the director of the film, told Scroll.in, “In India, there is beer, whiskey, vodka…and then there is Old Monk. Throughout the decades, Old Monk has meant rum. We have all enjoyed it and the nostalgia it brings, like childhood memories of our grandfathers. It’s not just rum – it has built friendships, filled in generation gaps. No other alcohol can do the same.”
Verma said that much of the conversation in the film was based on the real life experiences of Mishra and Shastri, who share a close friendship and improvised much of the dialogue. “On a personal note, I’d just like to say thank you to Mr Mohan. He has left a great legacy behind, that we are all eternally grateful for,” he added.