India Coffee House..
One of these days when a big noisy bunch of us were roaming around MG Road, brooding about the diminishing green patch, we barged into India Coffee House for breakfast. Restless for photographs that we were, we walked all around the tiny place that ICH is, disturbed everyone and were eventually herded to the first floor that was completely empty in the morning.
The staff there were friendly and warm to the enthusiastic photographers disturbing their daily activities – like bumping into them and stopping them for a photograph, subtly getting the staff to pose and even barging into their kitchen. It is this barging into the kitchen that threw me into surprise. They used charcoal ovens for all their cooking. No LPG or any other means! I wondered why, and noticed that little has changed in ICH since the day the place was opened.
Mahesh, the manager there was friendly and welcoming and explained all about the place. “It is 50 years for our establishment,” said he, “but the building is much older; see it is still strong and does not need any repair but for a few minor patches. They did not even use any cement in the building. But next year, we are closing this place. We have a new building that is nearly ready in Avenue Road. We will be moving there.” I asked why did they have to move and if it has something to do with the Metro work. He said the owner of the building wanted them to clear the place, and will probably build something new in its place.
So it is another year or so before another landmark in Bangalore is going to come down. Savour the place as much as you can before it is gone!
Off topic, I was seeing all the Metro Rail construction going on, replacing the greenery on the other side of MG Road. It is difficult for me to understand all the noises that are going on about tree felling and construction activity. It is true that the lane is a great landmark of Bangalore fondly recalled by all of us. It is true that some trees have to make way. But should we not sacrifice little things in life for a greater cause? A Metro Rail is a hundred times more beneficial to the environment of the city and we must keep that in mind. I am a treehugger myself, but a little thinking tells me easily that the green patch is giving way for something very good. I suggest people protesting against tree felling to spend the same time in 1) Trying to find another place and plant more trees, and ensure that they actually grown up 2) Push or protest if necessary for BMRCL to restore the greenery once the work is complete.