As India Special sets to create its Hyderabad section, the first thing that struck me was our own beloved Cafe. Irani chai to be more precise.
Found everywhere, every nook and corner, from MG Road to Charminar, Nagaram to Shamshabad, Hi-Tec City to Singapore City – ah! Thankfully a cuppa chai is never really far away. From Mass to Class these guys serve everyone. And no true Hyderabadi really minds getting into these joints and sharing his cup of chai with friends… Old saying – “Do rupiye ki chai aur do karod ke baatan” explains it all – the true fursat of a Hyderabadi.
The local hangout of most college goers, salesmen, collection agents, businessmen and the daily wage earners… The local cafe never disappoints anyone. Its ok to squeeze into a table with 6 people, 5 of whom you may not even know, order for a plate of osmania biscuits and pay only for what you eat (the rest is taken back and not billed), ask for the naram lukmi for breakfast, or the mirchi and samosa for the eveneing snack… The cafe has evolved over time to provide much more than just just a hot cup of tea. And yes, how can I miss the cream bun? The staple food of the many who cannot afford much. Any so many of these places serve basic dal chawal meals at just about Rs.10-12 .
Rio, Blue Sea, Bahar, Shadab, Bawarchi, Astoria, Alpha, Turning Point, Tea Den, Lovely Tea Den, Red Rose, Alpha, Nimra, President Cafe, Moghul Darbar, Madina, Embassy Cafe, Garden Restaurant and Paradise just just a few of the popular ones… Of course there are some interesting names like Arose cafe, Sheraton and Palace Light as well! But names apart, all of them definitely reek in the paisa and run a steady business, not to mention their immaculate part in keeping tradition alive.
Today, its probably a bit expensive to pay 4.50 for that favourite cup of chai… But then its a small price to pay to sit and spend some of the best times of your life with some great friends… all in fursat!
Chote, do chai la – Ek Empty!
Image Credit: Shabbir Siraj