Tea shops in Pune are called Amruttulya. Literal meaning of the word is amrut meaning nectar and tulya meaning comparable. About 100 years back people from Rajasthan came to the city and started the tea business, over the years local people also got into the same business and it became a part of city’s culture.
My home has a tea culture. My parent have tea as much as 4 times a day. As a kid, whenever we went out we had tea at an Amruttulya. I was fascinated with all the aspects of the shop, the interior, the process of making the tea, the owner everything is unique in its own way. My true connection with these little shops formed during my college days as they became hangout points with friends, it was a routine to have discussions over the tea.
Around my last year in college, 8 years back, chain cafe culture like CCD and Barista started to become popular and since then Amruttulya has seen a decline. There are other reasons also, as some of the shop owners told me that their children/ next generations don’t want to get into the same business. After 2008 lot of places in the city went into redevelopment and new businesses were set up in new places. It was at that time I felt the need to document these shops. Through this body of work I’m trying to capture the essence of these shops which we might not see in the near future.
I’m a commercial artist from Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalay, Pune specialized in photography. After graduation I worked as an assistant photographer on feature films for Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Pvt. Ltd. Then assisted different Mumbai based fashion & commercial photographers. My work has been featured in Tasveer Journal & Sunday Guardian. Currently I’m working with Kulture shop, Mumbai as a photographer & graphic designer and in the spare time working on personal projects.
all images and text © Hrishikesh Shinde