LaMakaan defies boundaries and definition

It's a space without boundaries and that which defies definition. And it's caught the attention of Hyderabadis who love to have a place to meet, ideate, perform and inspire from others. LaMakaan, in Arabic, stands for a house without boundaries. The cosy house in Banjara Hills, with its enviable open space with a rocky terrain, opened its doors in March with the qawwali concert by Warsi brothers, its calendar has been choc-a-bloc.

Farhan Ashhar, Humera and Elahe Hiptoola are the trustees and a team of curators have the final say on the events. “This is Farhan's brainchild. People ask us if we are aiming at recreating the atmosphere of Mumbai's Prithvi Theate. We want to recreate the atmosphere of the drawing rooms we grew up in… where the chulla had chai going on 24/7 and art, literature, poetry and crafts were discussed,” explains Elahe.

Elahe clarifies that this venture doesn't overlap on her professional line of work, film production. “I wanted to start something called the C Club long ago. It was a loose idea where C could stand for cinema, carom, chai, cookies, cartoons, children… anything. LaMakaan is a space where people can meet and ideate to change the world or hang out without an agenda; you don't have to know people or be in the right circle to host or attend events,” she says.

Aimed at helping music groups or theatre groups that do not have funds to host large-scale performances, LaMakaan provides sound and light facility. Ticket charges need to be priced below Rs. 100 and the organisation is a no profit venture. “There is nothing to sell here. Because people hang out for a while, the café serves irani chai, Osmania samosas and biscuits,” says Elahe.

Corporate sponsorships are not encouraged and the place functions through personal contributions. Eco-friendly measures work here, right from use of paper cups to absence of air conditioners.

Wali Dakni's urdu poetry recital, tabla performance, children's theatre workshop, YOCS meeting, water conservation lecture, adventure club's meet, book reading, jazz concert and a host of plays have been held here.

Anyone wanting to host an event or a meet can send a mail to lamakaan@gmail.com and the curators take the final call.

“There's always a buzz of activity. The place is wi-fi enabled and we plan to have a modern jukebox system to let people listen to music,” says Elahe.

A workshop by Arundhati Roy and a performance by manganiyar dancers are in the scheme of things to come. The trust is also looking to tap visiting performers and artistes from other cities. “It's an organic space and it's yours. Do what you will with it,” sort of sums up the idea behind the venture.

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