Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Café culture at AMU

In the good old days of AMU, students didn't have too many options for a place to have some good tea, with some snacks and plenty of discussions. But I heard from my seniors that there were few spots which were treated as special by the students. These spots did exist in my time as well i.e. till 1999 but they had lost their charm by that time. To avoid any further mystery-making, I must disclose that I am talking about Café-de-Phoos and Café-de-laila.

Café-de-Phoos was located between the hockey ground and AMU Post Offiice (Opposite SS Hall - North). Café-de-Phoos was termed so because of the use of straw material (as used in building huts) in building the Café. This Café was popular for the fried daalmoth which was the USP of this place. Students used to spend the long evenings - sitting, chatting and relishing the tea with fried daalmoth.

Café-de-laila was situated near the Union Hall. I can't tell much about its history but I remember having been taken to this place for the first time, by a senior student. He used to live in SS Hall (South) and i went to give him a letter sent by one of his relatives. As it was time when i had just taken admission in Class XI, so I preferred taking a friend along because of the fear of getting caught for Introduction ( "Introduction" as Aligarians know, is a very sublte form of ragging). The person we visited had a standing of more than 10 years which frightened us very much. But, our fears died as soon as we met the person. He was a thorough Gentleman who treated us with great respect and took us out for tea. And that was the first time , I had tea at Café-de-laila.

A little different from these two Cafés but brining something new to Café culture was Kabir Tea House. It was located in University Market, which is now called Shamshad Market.

Well, that was the time when the Aligarian Traditions were followed religiously by very few people and so these places which were reduced to mere 'signs' of the "class" maintained by AMU students. Of late, this "class" has been replaced by a "mass approach" which has promoted the outgrowth of roadside dhabas all around the University campus. There was a time when tea was served in ceramic cups and saucers and now they have been replaced by small and tranparent glasses. It seems as if the good old Café culture has been completely overtaken by the not-so-sophisticated Dhaba culture.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the duaghter of two ALig alums.. and the chai lculture wa something we grw up hearing ,,,
Thank you for posting this..
My father always talked of these of cafes.. and it was great to read about them online..
I also recall the innumerble qiassas of Masood 'Tommy' saheb...May God rest his soul..
and so many eccentricties of professors that its hard to count.:)
also.. the 'comrade culture'.. I went to AMU briefly a few years ago adnd felt very uncomfortable.. due to the drastic change.. but still
Yeh mera Chaman..hai mera Chaman..

Sunday, May 14, 2006 2:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now a days they re referedas dhabas like abba ka dhabba , mamu in chungi ..etc

Sunday, November 05, 2006 3:34:00 PM  
Blogger Abdur said...

Alhamd-o-lillah, I have been there as a psitive "Purana Chawal" for 10 yrs. though I've left my university and living in Mumbai, whenever I get in touch to it through any mean my heart just prays "O BADA RAHEEM--KAREEM HAI MUJHE YE BHI KHOOBI ATA KARE ...... TUJHE BHOOLNE KI DUA KARUN TO DUA ME MERI ASAR NA HO" Aaaaaaami!
Dr. Abdur Raheem Alig (MD)

Friday, December 26, 2008 6:57:00 PM  
Blogger Khalid said...

New Generation Dhaba-baba ka dhaba,Mussavir ka Dhaba....

Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:17:00 PM  

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