Thursday, 14 October 2021

Sip Hot Tea in Graveyard- Café on Qabristan-Lucky Tea Stall in Ahmadabad

Sip a cup of tea sitting around graves, some 25 of them.

If you think the idea is too weird to be realized, enter in “New Lecky’s Tea Stall”, located opposite the Sidi Saiyyad masjid in the crowded Lal Darwaza area of Ahmadabad. People have been enjoying tea in the company of graves for well over 60 years.

 

The world’s first café made around the cemetery “Lucky restaurant” of Ahmedabad is a small café build around graves and coffins but the speedy service will not make you wait long. The café was even showcased in one of the episodes of “OMG-Yeh Mera India”, a TV show on the history tv18 channel. This innovative theme of dining with the dead is appreciated worldwide.

One has to be lucky to find an empty table at this restaurant as it’s always crowded with people from all walks of life. Iconic tea shop has become a humble citadel linking Ahmedabad’s past and future. A tree growing through a restaurant – another attraction.

Sipping a cup of tea or coffee with maska bun (a butter bun with the option of fruit jam) that we would have sitting amidst graves? You might want to follow it up with some sumptuous south Indian cuisine, or maybe some ice cream, shakes or plain fruit juice.

The New Lucky Restaurant features 25 graves, and has been a popular local hangout for over 60 years, many of them hundreds of years old. Every morning, the graves are cleaned, and fresh flowers are offered as a mark of tribute to them.

Instead of moving the graves, the owner decided to simply build his restaurant around them, scattering tables next to graves. The graves are separated from diners by white metal fences, and are cleaned and adorned with fresh flowers daily.

History of “New Lucky restaurant”

Following India’s independence, when unoccupied plots were merged with the city for the development, an ancient graveyard was bought by two young men—K.H Mohammad and Krishnan Kutti Nair.

They started a tea stall as a handcart under a neem tree next to the graveyard. Besides tea, they also sold creamy buns commonly known as ‘maska buns‘.

Even undergoing renovation in 1992. The stall currently runs two units one for their famous chai and bun maska, and the other selling both south and north Indian dishes like idlis and dosa, and an array of sandwiches, pulaos and parathas.

The graves are believed to be of the immediate family members of Pir Saiyyed Sultan Kabir Uddin Sahib, a Sufi saint whose small shrine is right next to the shop.

 

The graves are well-maintained; covered with glossy shawls (chadar), they are enclosed in steel cases, to protect them from the many customers who flock to the restaurant.

 

K.H Mohammed is no longer alive to explain his choice of the restaurants bewildering location a “Graveyard”.

 

Famous painter MF Husain frequented the restaurant during his stay in Ahmedabad

The restaurant’s most famous customer was late artist MF Husain, who also gifted a painting to Mohammed. He had reportedly made a painting frame 3 x 3 Ft, while having tea and maska bun at the restaurant in 1994 and gifted it to the restaurant owner. M F Husain was a dear friend of the owner and would always stop by for chai and bun maska whenever he was in town.

The painting still adorns the restaurant and is hung on its wall. The painting depicts two camels and a castle-like construction in the foreground and a desert in the backdrop. It says: “There is only one God, and he is Allah, and Mohammad is his prophet.” I think Husain must have found Lucky Tea Stall like an oasis of peace."

 

Who would have thought that such an ordinary tea shop could hold such mystery?  Oh yes, this is Incredible India!

The End

Disclaimer–Blogger has prepared this short write up with help of materials and images available on net. Images on this blog are posted to make the text interesting.The materials and images are the copy right of original writers. The copyright of these materials are with the respective owners. Blogger is thankful to original writers.





























  

























No comments: