Monday, March 31, 2008

Sudeep Kapoor

Sudeep Kapoor an ace fashion photographer of Delhi, prefers to be called 'People's Photographer'. He has deftly handled life and still life photography in his twenty years' as a photographer. This is the first dissemination of his work in a Gallery.


Indu Tripathy

Indu Tripathy is a post graduate in Fine Arts from Agra College, Agra. Conferred with a Senior Fellowship by Department of Culture, shows of her select work have been held at Lokayata, Tapaswini Art Gallery, Collector's Stop, Lalit Kala Akademi, Art Junction, Hotel International, Russian Centre, British High Commission, Studio Vasant in Delhi and Nehru Centre, Mumbai. Her works are in major collections in India and abroad. Presently, Indu Tripathy works as a designer with 'Creative Mind', a journal on art and culture, published from Delhi.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pehalwan da Hotel

'Pehalwan da Hotel" - translated literally, means 'Wrestler's Hotel' ! Another one of the innumerable success stories of the die-hard survivors of the partition (of India in 1947). The story of Lala Hansraj Tandon, who had to abandon his belongings in Pakkhoki, Sialkot (now in Pakistan). He started selling goat's trotters also called 'paaya', in Paharganj in front of New Delhi Railway Station. Initially, he used to sell them on a cart for four annas a piece. A year later in 1948 he started a proper dhaba, when the refugees were allotted shops in front of the New Delhi Railway Station. One of the sons, Keemti Lal who now runs the family business in partnership with his brother recollects that The New Delhi Railway Station during those days used to be just a two track station under the supervision of Punjab Police.

Goat's trotters or paaya is an unconventional part of the mutton. So it took some time for the local population to get used to the taste. But those who got fancy for the taste kept coming again and again. It is the consistency of the quality and taste that the business for Tandons has flourished with time and still after sixty years they are going strong. Third generation of the family has now entered the family business. And the owners, very proudly mention that there is a third generation of customers too that still come to eat there, once in a while !


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sitaram Diwan Chand

There are many success stories from the period of partition when people fled from Pakistan and sought refuge mostly in Delhi and the northern part of India. Most of these were Punjabis. Sitaram Diwan Chand, popularly known as Sitaram bhaturewala, is one example. After coming from Pakistan, they were alloted a small shop at the end of the Main Bazaar of Paharganj in 1948, where they started selling Chhole Bhature (a North Indian food item, it is a very popular snack for breakfast among Punjabis. Sumptuous and filling, it gets you going in the mornings. 'Chhole' is the garbanzo beans or the chickpea ."Punjabi chhole" refers to the preparation in a way typical to the region of Punjab in the northern part of India. 'Bhatura' is a deep fried flat bread made with a leavened dough of fine flour and generally filled with cottage cheese. Topped and garnished with carrot and green chili pickle and with some chopped onions on the side, it makes an unbeatable snack.)

The popularity of Sitaram Diwan Chand grew in leaps and bounds and still after 60 years they have not looked back. Though it is a road side eatery, still a dozen odd tables laid outside the shop are full at any time of the day and many people can be seen standing, waiting for their turn. Many customers come in plush cars and take away the Chhole Bhature by dozens. Being famous among Delhiites, many offices, (some as far as 10 kms. from the venue) fondly come all the way to Sitaram Diwanchand, to take away Chhole Bhature, whenever they are having a staff party to celebrate someone's promotion or a raise.

Mention the name of Sitaram Bhaturewala to a Delhiite who has settled abroad and it is for sure that his mouth will water for a moment at the thought of the taste !


German Bakery

A bakery by the name of German Bakery in Paharganj ?? From the name it sounds as if some German national might have settled down in Paharganj for good and started a bakery to take care of the gastronomic needs of the foreign tourists. But no, that is not the case ! In fact German Bakery is a part of a cafe called Ajay Cafe owned by Mr.Ajay Aggarwal, in a bye-lane of the Main Bazaar. The idea of having a bakery in the cafe was given to him by some German tourists, hence the name. It provides all the bakery products, like cakes, pastries, dough nuts, sandwiches etc., to the contentment of the tourists. The cafe is also equipped with a pool table for recreation.

The owner also runs another restaurant by the name of 'Tadka', which is a furlong down from the German Bakery


Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet is the most famous traveling guide book. Apart from the book stalls, it can be seen in the hand of every tourist who is traveling anywhere in the world. It was started by Tony and Maureen Wheeler almost 30 years ago when they published their first travel guide, 'Across Asia on the Cheap'. Since then the trust worthy advice on traveling to any part of the world has made Lonely Planet, a tourist's Bible.