City, Tea, Taste and bizzare

By Toplocal on Jun 07, 2013

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Waiters hustling to serve tea, buns and snacks and customers loudly complaining about delays in service are a common scene here—as it is at most such joints. But ask any regular customer and he will say the tea at Lucky Restaurant tastes different. The Lucky’s Tea is not just famous in the city but too far in Dubai and other parts of the world. World’s famous painter M.F.Husain has a deep bond of love with the Lucky tea stall.

The renowned artist, who is on a self-imposed exile abroad, had apparently asked a friend who was visiting him in Dubai to pack some tea from his favourite stall along with some fafda-jalebis, a popular Gujarati snack.

Husain saab, like any other customer, would sip tea and relish his bun-maska on the wooden bench in front of the counter over the graves,' recalls Lucky Tea Stall manager, Siddiqui Ansari.

Sometime in the late 1950s, a barefoot artist with a long-flowing beard would suddenly appear at a popular tea shack opposite Ahmedabad’s landmark Sidi-Saiyed-ni-jali. He would spend hours sipping tea and chatting with people amid the graves that dotted the roadside shack floor.

Lucky has graves flanked by tables and a tree grows right out of its roof. Husain had said the restaurant gave him a "feeling of life and death". This is the one place where both the feeling of beginning and end comes from. Such a place has become the pet tea shop for the ardent art lover.

The famous painter is acquainted with three generations of the family running the tea stall. As a mark of respect to his association with the place, Husain also painted for the restaurant's walls. The beautiful painting is hanging in the stall, perhaps a place with most accessibility in the world for the painter's work.

When Husain last spoke to TOI on his association with the city, he talked only about Lucky. "When I come back to India, I would naturally be drawn to Ahmedabad, and one of the first things I would like to do is have a cup of hot tea at the Lucky Tea Stall at Lal Darwaza. This is a tradition I have rarely broken in almost four decades that I have been visiting Ahmedabad. There have been times when I have landed in Ahmedabad and taken an autorickshaw straight to Lucky. From there, I have called up friends to come and pick me up," Husain had said.

One should visit the restaurant and find the tasty tea to blend the flavours of the city together.

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