A cup of tea. Hot, sweet and satisfying.
The day before yesterday I went to Khanna Market (which is not very far from Khan Market that, unlike Khanna, targets rich customers) to eat at a south Indian restaurant. I had been hearing about this restaurant for long. Several people had sworn that the eatery serves excellent south Indian food at reasonable prices. (“AC and cheap menu.”) It took Satish and me no time to find Chidambaram’s New Madras restaurant.
We went upstairs- in a windowless hall with plain and clean tables. There were four tables on one side, two on the other (our side). Three of those four tables were occupied by three couples. Three men- perhaps in their mid-40s- were furiously eating on the fourth. There was another couple just behind me. Initially I felt little bit odd as I was with a man. That oddness disappeared as we ordered food. I decided to eat Masala Dosa while Satish wanted to taste Onion Idly. Food was not the only reason for me to visit there. I wanted to see the restaurant and the market- Khanna Market. You don’t get out of a restaurant without eating something unless you are deeply dissatisfied with the menu, no? Moreover, I was hungry. Continue reading
By Dinesh Wagle
[Here is PDF version of the article]
In New Delhi’s old commercial hub, discontent is brewing over cups of coffee. The caffeine has jumped out of the cafe and reached the court. A civic agency has threatened to close down a 57-year-old coffee house located at the top floor of a shopping complex Mohan Singh Place in Connaught Place for not paying the rent. The patrons are not pleased, and the Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative Society that runs the not-so-commercial hangout has sued the New Delhi Metropolitan Council. The war for coffee guff is being fought on all fronts: cultural, political and judicial.
In this age of air-conditioned cafés with nice seating arrangements, you wouldn’t really fight for the continuity of a coffee house where fans hovering over the stained tables and broken chairs can hardly provide any respite to customers in the scorching summer heat. By the standards of the swanky outlets installed across the city by chains like Barista and Café Coffee Day, the Indian Coffee House is an old and ailing museum where mostly oldies and middle-aged come to kill time by talking all the “nonsense” that comes to their mind. But that is exactly the reason, its patrons argue, for the continuation of the coffee house. Despite its grimy outlook and loathsome service, this is no ordinary coffee house after all. As some protest pamphlets pasted these days on the walls of the Coffee House proclaim, this is a café that has produced prime ministers of India.
“Save the PM-maker Coffee House,” says one placard. “This is the country’s think tank coffee house,” proclaims another. “(It’s an) intellectual hub.”
Who: Me, Dinesh Wagle.
Where: Himalayan Java Coffee House, Thamel, Kathmandu.
When: These photos were taken last week.
What: A cup of Latte and another of Mocha.
The Other Who: Suraj Kunwar took the photos. Continue reading