Hyderabad: Lamakaan, the city’s only cultural space is all set to reopen from February 2, albeit with restricted timings and only for takeaways. The once thriving space has been shut since last March due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It has been nearly a year since the pandemic in Hyderabad, and those who had made Lamakaan their second home (pun intended) will be happy that the space is finally being reopened. The cultural space has its anniversary celebrations in March every year.
According to a source, Lamakaan will now be open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., but only for takeaways. It is unlikely that it will allow for events to be held like earlier, and visitors also probably won’t be able to hang around leisurely in the cultural space as they did earlier.
Siasat.com had earlier reported in December that Lamakaan’s management (trust) might begin parcel services of its canteen, which is known for its affordable yet delicious snacks and food.
Last year, Lamakaan’s management decided to not conduct its annual events in March, during its anniversary month, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Post the lockdown that was imposed, even as places began opening one-by-one, Lamakaan continued to remain shut.
A major concern for the management will be any kind of crowding in the space might result in a spread of COVID-19 infections. The closure of Lamakaan has meant that Hyderabad is missing its round-the-clock cultural and political discussions, many of which the cultural space used to host.
Known for being a liberal space, it has essentially been a platform for artists, and also served as a centre for engaging discussions or subjects ranging from politics to current events.
Pre-COVID-19, Lamakaan had hosted a series of events while protests were ongoing against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which drew lakhs of protests from people around the world. It also held a discussion on the National Register of Citizen (NRC) that is being carried out in Assam.
Started in 2010 by friends Ashhar Farhan, Humera Ahmed, Elahe Hiptoola and Biju Matthew, Lamakaan is now a place that one looks to for meaningful discussions on important subjects and also for events on culture. It could also be considered as a precursor to co-working spaces we have in Hyderabad today.