Tag Archive: hyderabadi


Food at this makaan

Food at this makaan – The Hindu.

Reading this sent me into a reminiscent mode……LM and ofcourse Nishrinkala (q-m-play). Though famous for the samosas , loved the Nimboo Pani – quenching the parched throat after rehearsing ( shouting ) the lines umpteen times with your partner . The essential ingredient was V mam , who made this experience ( first and last for amateurs like myself ) , a worthwhile ride …..Thank you mam .

(P.S  just noticed the THE paani was mentioned in the article too …..totally  worth it )

The oldest pen shop in Hyderabad

from small beginningsClockwise from the left: The Deccan Pen Stores at Abids, Halim Siddiqui, The Deccan pens pens range, Limited edition pens from Conway Stewart. Below: a 1932 photograph of the store, a 1924 Urdu poster for Duro Pens, FrancePHOTOs: G. RAMAKRISHNA

    Penning their story | The HinduExcerpt:

Cityscape With an 85-year-old legacy, The Deccan Pen Stores in Abids is the oldest pen shop in the city.

     ………………….Walking into the new branch at Greenlands, you notice fading black and white posters hanging on the right wall of the store, giving visitors a taste of their 85-year old history. After a few years of selling fountain pens door-to-door, Siddiqui set up his first shop in Abids in 1928. “During that time, Abids had F.D. Khan Cloth stores, a library and our shop,” recalls Halim. “This picture was taken in 1932 when we got our first English speaking salesman, all the way from Bombay,” he says, as his eye travels to the old poster.

…………“He would design them and send them to Europe for manufacture with the Deccan brand name.” Today, The Deccan Pen Stores has a 30-year old manufacturing unit and makes their own pens. “But we make only fountain pens,” Halim reminds us, “because we personally recommend that anyone who enjoys writing must do so with a fountain pen.”

However, the most important facet of the store, according to Halim is the pen repairing section. “It is the backbone of our business,” he reiterates. “In the Thirties my father travelled to Europe and brought back many tools and repairing tables which serve us till date. My eldest brother who sits at Abids shop, gets pens worth Lakhs of rupees from all over the globe for repair,” he points out. Halim himself recently repaired a 1903 model Waterman pen which came all the way from France. Like his brothers, he learnt the craft of pen making and repairing by simply dismantling pens and putting them back together.

Why sell pens in a time when people are writing less and less? Although the value of pens as writing instruments has gone down, people still collect and gift pens, Halim tells us.

“These days the customer knows more about the pen than I do because they have looked it up on the internet,” he concludes.

The Swadeshi connection

Andhra Pradesh holds a special place in the history of fountain pens in India. Not too far away from Hyderabad, in Rajahmundry, pen maker K.V. Ratnam, made what came to be known as the ‘Swadeshi’ pens. They were called so because when Gandhiji gave a call to boycott foreign goods in 1921 he called Ratnam and advised him to make pens that would be useful and affordable to the common man.

Ratnam then made an ebonite pen and sent it back to Gandhi who wrote back on July 16, 1935 saying “Dear Ratnam, I must thank you for the fountain pen you sent me… I have needed it and [it] seems to be a good substitute to the foreign pen, once in the bazaar. Yours sincerely, M.K. Gandhi.”

Ratnam pens have since gained popularity all over the country with dignitaries like Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, V. V. Giri, S. Kasturi Iyengar of The Hindu , Archibald Nye, Governor of Madras and Gandhi himself were all said to have owned one. One of the first pens he made was sold to Nyapthi Subba Rao Pantulu, a freedom fighter and one of the founders of The Hindu . The Ratnam family continues to make high quality pens out of their home in Rajahmundry.

A date with pens

1702: The oldest surviving fountain pen was made by M. Bion, the chief instrument maker of the Kind of France.

1819: John Scheffer made significant advancements which enabled the user to control the flow of ink by pressing a button

1832: John Jacob Parker made the first self-filling fountain pen. Until this, pens were filled using funnels or eye-droppers

1884: Lewis Waterman receives a patent for making the first fountain pen which was truly reliable and leak proof

 

 

 

A collection of recycled articles at Jamien Rao's studio Photo: Nagara Gopal         A mirror framed with leftover wood at Jamien Rao's studio Photo: Nagara GopalAll that junk | The Hindu. Excerpt :

At Jamien Rao’s office/studio in Sainikpuri, it’s understandable if you feel like a kid inside a candy store. Except that one wouldn’t be staring at candies but beautiful utilitarian artefacts made of recycled materials. “Recycled doesn’t mean shabby and cheap,” insists Jamien, whose firm has designed the interiors of hospitals, corporates and plush villas. In addition, if one is willing, he will minimise wastage and also turn leftovers in construction material into usable articles. Jamien is the face of the studio that has on board a psychologist and a host of creative minds that specialise in arts and crafts.

An acrylic sheet mounted over a layer of bamboo makes up the roof. The walls are cemented on the outer side while the bricks are bare but for the painting on the interiors. A piece of plumbing pipe has been remodelled to serve as a table lamp. Several pieces of measuring tape, discarded at construction sites, have been put together on a metal surface mounted on a granite stone to make a unique lamp shade.

The tables and chairs in his office and the garden and the wrought iron pot holders are all made of discarded materials. Old LP records and floppy discs have been turned into wall clocks, wine bottles have been filled with Christmas lights to become decorative lamps, leftover wooden pieces frame a mirror, water bottles have been turned into pots and a dish antenna doubles up as a canopy in the garden area.

Step by step, he proved himself and got clients to trust him. “There are times even people around you might ridicule you. One needs to be strong and determined,” he says.

Jamien knows it’s impossible to avoid scrap but his team minimises wastage. How does a psychologist fit into his team? “I found a lot of difference between what we communicate and what is perceived by clients. A psychologist can help bridge this void, especially in choosing the right colours and textures and making the interiors an extension of the client’s personality,” he explains.

As he takes us on a tour around his studio, he talks about peculiar problems that crop up: “Hyderabadis are Vastu conscious and don’t want old stuff coming into a new house. But many change their minds seeing how we remake stuff,” he says. One problem he still grapples with is his age. “When people read about our work online, they come expecting to meet an elderly gentleman. Very often I get asked ‘who is your boss?’ I tell them this is my firm and it takes them a while to get to trust me.”

Where’s your gift? | The Hindu.

Excerpt:

Young Hyderabadis are turning events such as weddings and birthdays into a platform for assisting charitable organisations.

You know how a lot of wedding invites come bearing a ‘No gifts please’ tag at the bottom? That seems to be changing these days. A lot of socially conscious youngsters would rather use the special occasion — be it a wedding, a birthday or an anniversary, as an opportunity to do their bit for society, while also encouraging their family and friends to chip in. Take for instance Harshvardhan and Varsha Khemani. When the couple decided to tie the knot, they decided to do things a little differently. Instead of dissuading their guests from giving them gifts, they encouraged their friends and cousins to donate to two NGOs that they closely work with.

However, charity is not only about monetary donations for these socially aware youngsters. Organ donation too tops their list of causes. According to Lalita Raghuram, country director, Mohan Foundation, which works towards organ donation, they have received several requests by youngsters to be enrolled as organ donors. “We have had a lot of young people come forth to pledge their organs on birthdays and New Year. In the recent past we have also had people invite us to be a part of celebrations like weddings or first birthdays. Only 10 days ago we were invited to set up a kiosk at a couple’s wedding. We managed to enrol several organ donors at the event. On another occasion a couple approached us to speak to their guests at their child’s first birthday. By the end of the evening we had nearly 200 new organ donors,” she explains.

Wider awareness can go a long way in inspiring more youngsters to go that extra mile to do their bit for society.

The Hindu : Arts / Books : One for the bookseller.

Colin Franklin’s memoir, Obsessions and Confessions of a Book Life (published jointly by Oak Knoll Press, The Book of Kells, Bernard Quartich Limited, 2012) written in his 89th year is a book for booksellers. A bibliophile will take deep pleasure in it, but a bookseller will feel a closer kinship and resonance with Franklin’s accurate, precise, and stylish recollection of transactions between dealer and collector. I was charmed by Franklin’s diffidence; can a rare book dealer even afford to be as diffident and shy today? Did his diffidence belong to that time — those days — or does it stem from him being a scholar-book dealer? The minutiae of bookselling made him awkward.

He was often embarrassed about selling, asking prices or quoting them; even thinking of referring to someone as customer made him uncomfortable. Franklin thinks catalogues are self-advertisements and, after doing about some eight of them, he stopped noting that they felt like ‘an infinitely vulgar form of self offering’. Instead he exhibited at international antiquarian book fairs and talks of how they are composed of invariably painful moments, inescapable boredom, some discoveries and surprises — best of all, at end of day, dining out with other booksellers and gossiping.

‘No bookseller is free of the fear that he will never sell another book’.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/cancer-cuisine/article4373998.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/leisure/the-faces-that-make-the-fte/article4360253.eceHappy consumers are not the only ones that look forward to Numaish. For some Hyderabadis it is less a shopper’s paradise and more a place of vocation; Zeenab Annez speaks to the groups of people who make Numaish safe and enjoyable to the visitors-    …..Whether in fashion, food, home décor or electronics, Numaish has always been up to date with the latest trends in the market but there is one thing that stubbornly refuses to change according to consumer taste: the music. As radio announcer Rashid aptly puts in “You will not hear any ‘Munni badnaam hui’ here,” and he is right. As one walks through the stalls, shopkeepers and sales boys lip-sync involuntarily to the catchy tunes they have been hearing for the past few weeks. Spend enough time there and you will find yourself doing the same.  The man in charge, Ajay Jaswal of Ajay Sounds boasts of a large collection of old Hindi classics.