Lamakaan The open inclusive cultural space in Hyderabad
A few days ago we talked about Hussain Sagar Tank Bund where Hyderabadis go for evening walk when they don’t want to do anything. But what about Hyderabadis with cultural juices overflowing ? Where do the artistic and the lets change the world types go to hang out and debate on everything under the sun? Well they head for Lamakaan in the heart of city in Banjara Hills, next to the lane to CBay Building (now called MModal) opposite the GVK Mall.
So what kind of Hyderabadis you find in Lamakaan? Well actually every kind,budding bands, conspiring comrades, dedicated dramatist, painters ( the artistic kinds) photographers and struggling starlets you will find them all there. And if none of the labels is to your liking Lamakaan also welcomes you if all you want to do is sit in a corner and read or pretend to read a book or work on the laptop. And yes you can go ahead and conduct your team meeting for your start-up company right here sitting next to a budding play write. Lamakaan welcomes all.
Under the beautiful canopy of the evergreen trees you will see strategizing salesmen, trying to sneak a peek at the scented sops being made in a class by an Aunty Jee from Ameerpet. So Lamakaan is not only about a hanging place for the youngsters, it is a cultural hub for the high on energy Hyderabadi who has her eyes on a dream, and that dream is not just a card that is supposed to be Green. You will see plays, movie screenings, talks about going green, exhibitions for handicrafts and every thing else under the sun.
Lamakaan started hosting events in March 2010. It was founded by Ashhar Farhan, Humera Ahmed, Biju Mathew and Elahe Hiptoola. Lamakaan exudes of positive energy and you will find the place has an informal aura that spells artistic without being snobbish in any way.
It is OK and actually expected to arrive on an empty tummy as you will love the samosas that are sinfully yummy, and go well with the sugary syrup passed as special tea. ( This is Hyderabad my friend). Don’t care much about tea that is hot? Well I bet you will love the cold water from the earthen pot. Do remember here cash is king and credit is an alien who is not welcome, as in god the staff trusts everybody else pays cash. The staff writes the menu on the white board of self service canteen, depending upon what all is available from the kitchen on that day or hour depending on the demand. Oh and yes I forgot to mention Lamakaan must be the only place in world that has not only a self service canteen but also a self service PEE PEE Room, yes that is what the staff calls the, well PEE PEE Room.
Lamakaan being centrally located in Banjara hills is the ideal meeting place for friends living or working in opposite parts of the city as the Hyderabadis say” Aadha Rasta tumee aao, adha rasta main” ( dear Hyderabadis please correct me here with the correct phrase). Loosely translated it means “You cover half the distance and I will cover the other half). A typical Hyderabadi whenever he has to meet somebody to discuss or debate that needs countless cups of chai without any worrying about time will spontaneously say ” Lets meet at Lamakaan”. No address needs to be given as almost every body knows where Lamaakan is. ( Please read the first paragraph again please if you are not from Hyderabad)
So my Hyderabdi friends if you have not been to Lamakaan I suggest you check it out whether it is to watch a play, or to meet an old buddy. You will love the enjoy the cool breeze in the open veranda and don’t worry about that email from boss as the WiFi is free. But before going in evening remember to check the schedule on the Facebook page of Lamakaan, as on many days in evening there are paid events when the open air theater and projector area is out of bounds for ticketless tamashbeens (readers are invited to help with translation of Tamashbeens in comments )
Exicited? You can follow this map that tells you how to reach Lamakaan. Lamakaan open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm, even when the city is busy with bandhs.( strike). Or just visit the website of Lamakaan to plan your own cultural event. Monday is a holiday for Lamakaan.
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