It is often observed that social groups evolve and revolve around a particular place. Quintessentially, the friends from Friends met at Central Perk. Similarly, McLaren’s bar happened to be the regular haunt of Ted Mosby and his friends. The trope stands true even in Manipal. Except, the life of almost half the student population revolves around this certain curious place. Curious, because to the Manipal-unacquainted or the casual visitor, this is just another pub. But, look closely and you’ll find every brick of this institution narrating stories from over the last 20 years. Yes, this place is DeeTee.
Of the several watering holes that dot the Manipal terrain, perhaps none could ever command the same degree of affinity from the ones who frequent them, as DeeTee does. The newly refurbished façade of the establishment stands in stark contrast with the interiors – old, and dilapidated. Not that anyone cares; the pub doubles up as a little nostalgia shop, with memories borne out of blurry nights on display. But mind you, DeeTee is not just the typical drinkers’ paradise. Even several teetotallers cite the place as a favourite for the food, music, or the sheer nonchalance that tinctures the atmosphere.
The stigmas and stereotypes attached to Manipal are often amplified, for awful reasons. For the unacquainted outsider, especially parents, we are a brand of college students for whom a pub is a talisman. But that indeed is the truth on a sentimental level that an outsider will never understand. Why, after his address at the Conclave, Biswapati Sarkar decided to pay his respects to the establishment and joined several MITians for a drink or two. Even when you ask an outstation participant in Revels about the town, mentions of DeeTee are bound to pop up a couple of times. Most of us come to know about DeeTee while researching on Manipal during the heart-breaking pre-college months. It is like a spiritual refuge for us Manipalites in our grimmest failures and our glorious successes.
This place is more than just a pub with a shady, unappealing ambiance, lit dimly only by the sparse incandescent lights near the tables. It is a breeding ground for ideas that are outcomes of a slightly alcohol-wet brain and relaxed nerves. Of course, the only requisite is that memory stays loyal the morning after. One would have quite a compilation if they collected all the literature that this place is responsible for. This includes the kind of poetry that, perhaps, only an inebriated mind and shaky hands can write.
Where else would you celebrate your category party, after a successful Revels? Or the end of the tech week by IE-<insert your department>? A wild guess would lead to the idea that half the MoUs signed in the college are drafted here. Slight exaggeration there, but the idea isn’t far off. In recent times there have been rumours indicating the closure of DeeTee at some point, with a lot of ensuing discussion. If DeeTee is indeed shut down, if the “wall” full of sketchy scribbles is taken down, future batches of MIT will surely be missing out on a lot.
There are nights when fuelled by liquid courage you ask your crush out. Or overspend on cheap spirits and dance till five-minutes-to-perm-time, and end up with an incomplete assignment. The sign in the late register, the stamp mark smeared on your shirt, or the friend who got lost in the crowd – these are parts of the nights DeeTee offers; the experiences you can never have elsewhere. That’s why the town needs this shady little corner down the road.
– by Agnihotra Bhattacharya for MTTN
– Artwork by Prakhar Prabhakar for MTTN
– Photograph by Sankar Nath for MTTN
Disclaimer: MTTN does not endorse alcohol consumption. This article is for the sentiment of generations of Manipalites in the wake of the fact that DeeTee may be closing down.