Based on oral history, fiction, interesting intellectual gossip, and records of the Coffee Board of India, Much Ado Over Coffee: Indian Coffee House Then and Now is a many-sited description of the Indian Coffee House, possibly the world’s first coffee house chain. The book offers interestingly written accounts of the addas or informal meetings, of the educated middle class in the cities of Calcutta, Allahabad and Delhi. Addas initially flourished in the neighbourhood tea shops, and then switched to the newly created coffee houses. Readers will encounter their favourite writers, and other famous people at close quarters here. Bhaswati Battacharya brings to life the lanes and bylanes of these cities as they were then, through the sheer gift of her ethnographic skills. Some
workers, now forgotten but who were once immensely popular with the regular visitors of the coffee houses, live on again on these pages bringing back old memories. In this context one should perhaps mention that in an interesting departure, some footnotes in this book are used to carry video links of luminaries visiting these coffee houses. Change has set in here too as everywhere else.The book will be of interest to students of sociology and social anthropology, gender studies, law and psychology. Activists and family counsellors will also find the book useful. This is a revised edition of the book and it brings the story of the book up to the present times. It also has an updated Bibliography and an updated Index.
About the Author
BHASWATI BHATTACHARYA is a senior research fellow affiliated with the Centre for Modern Indian Studies in Göttingen. She has had research and teaching experience in different academic institutions in India, the Netherlands and Germany.