6 April 2009

Triveni Tea Terrace

Adda - Where Dilliwalas go to eat, drink or just shoot the breeze.

The Triveni Kala Sangam is one of architect Joseph Allen Stein’s many contributions to the city of Delhi (the list includes the Ford Foundation and the India International Centre). Site of three art galleries, a lovely little bookshop called the Nook and a shop called Prakriti in the garden, filled with terracotta objects for sale, Triveni is also home to one of Delhi’s best-known, yet hidden, hangout cafés.

An idyllic locale in which to spend a lazy winter afternoon, the place is popular with a motley mix of jholawalas, lawyers and corporate types who work in the neighbourhood. Until recently, it was also the place for regular meetings of activist groups like the People’s Union for Democratic Rights. On my last visit, however, I noted with some bafflement a rather blunt sign on the verandah that declared, “No Meetings Allowed.”

For those in the know (and presumably now, not looking to hold a meeting), the Triveni café is the place to go for reasonably priced, home-style North Indian cooking – something surprisingly difficult to find when eating out in Delhi. The lightly spiced but delicious food often runs out by 2.30pm. Get there early, so that you can sample the wonderful shammi kababs, the vegetable pulao, zeera aloo, methi ke parathe and pakore wali kadhi. Do not miss the keema curry.

And if you’re on your own, take a book with you: you might not want to leave after lunch. Linger over a cup of tea in the leafy verandah and maybe in an hour you’ll be ready for the cheese-toast. Trisha Gupta

205 Tansen Marg, Mandi House (2371-8833). Mandi House. Mon-Sat 11am-7pm.

Time Out Delhi Issue 1 Friday, April 06, 2007

1 comment:

Bikram said...

The "no meetings allowed" is from late 2005. Around that time the contract of the canteen was changing hands (cant recall now who caused it). Either way, the 10-11 workers in the canteen (some of whom had been there for nearly 25 years) were therefore terminated with very little notice or compensation.

The workers approached PUDR for assistance since they had seen the meetings going on for years. PUDR took it up with the contractors and the Triveni Management who were the 'principal employer'. Unfortunately Triveni took the typical corporate route of claiming that the workers were not entitled to any compensation as per labour law. I guess their liberal politics extends only towards the arts.

As for the workers, the contractor ensured a divide (classic tactics!). Because of the pressure applied, the older ones managed to get some measly compensation from the contractor and looked for jobs elsewhere. A few of the younger ones were hired by the new contractor. None of them could wait for justice from the courts.

The sole action by the Triveni management in the entire affair was to chase PUDR out and therefore the "no meetings" sign.

PUDR meetings are now held at the India Coffee House Terrace in Mohan Singh place, Baba Kharak Singh Marg (Saturdays at 3 pm)