Flâneur-ing through Ahmedabad–2: New Lucky Restaurant
‘These graves have proved to be lucky for our business.’ said Mr. Nair, sitting at the cash register right beside one of the many graves dotting the place. He is one of the two partners who runs New Lucky Restaurant near the bustling Lal Darwaza area in the eastern part of the city.
New Lucky restaurant is the place where not just you get the best milky tea in Ahmedabad the world (believe me, I’m a rare tea drinker, hardly 5 times a year, hence not being habitual I can differentiate the taste) but the speciality of this place is that it stands at a place where once used to stand a graveyard, and the graves are still there, now inside the restaurant.
Mr. Nair told me that 50 years ago this entire place used to be a graveyard, KH Mohammad, the owner of the restaurant set up a tea stall outside this graveyard but later as his business grew he expanded and spread his restaurant inside the graveyard keeping the graves intact (unlike the neighbouring corporate houses who have set up office there) and made sitting and eating arrangements at the space available between the graves. And Mr. Nair doesn’t know whose graves are those but every morning he cleans them and takes proper care of them so that they are not damaged, also the owners offer flowers and burn incense sticks at the graves!
People have their tea and snacks sitting right beside these graves! Sounds spooky! But this is quite a norm here and many travelers come here specially to have this unique experience of dining beside graves.
Another interesting feature of this place is that there hangs an original MF Hussain painting on one of the walls. It turns out that MF Hussain was a friend of the late owner KH Mohammad and used to frequent this place every time he was in Ahmedabad. He was impressed with the look of this place so he gifted this painting to the restaurant in 2004 and now it makes the restaurant even special. Now, after MF Hussain’s death, the value of the painting would skyrocket but to treasure the memories, I’m told, the painting will not be sold.
PS-Apart from the tea also don’t forget to taste their delicious buttery bread roll which they call ‘Maska Bun’.