Ritesh Batra, director of hit flick Lunchbox says he is out to save Mumbai’s Irani cafes. Those that are still left, anyhow.
To that end his production company – known as Poetic License – will be hosting events at Irani cafes from time to time. The first event was held at Ali and Aamir Irani’s landmark Café Koolar at Kings Circle. Events at Kyani in Dhobi Talao and Café Excelsior in Fort followed soon after.
Irani Chai, Mumbai exists to remember and document, through words and visuals, the Irani cafes of Mumbai.
The final aim of the project is to present the story of Mumbai's Irani cafes - and its Irani community - online and in print as an illustrated, affordable popular history book.
What sits behind the nostalgia for these unmistakably Mumbai social spaces?
What are the stories of the families who started them, and what are your recollections of time spent at your favourite Irani?
Beyond the fading allure of bentwood chairs and marble tabletops lay a multitude of memories.
Irani Chai, Mumbai invites you to share yours.