Published: 05th November 2018
Beyond bistros: Nirvana Bistro in Hyderabad serves homely food and also promoting arts and music
Kapil Kanchibotla, Co-founder of Nirvana Bistro, Hyderabad, talks to us about his six month-old space
Be prepared to be surprised the moment you step into Nirvana Bistro in Jubilee Hills. You never know what you might find in this 1,100 square feet bistro which also functions as a community space. Movie screenings, workshops, band performances, open mics and more, at this 50-seater you will see that art lives, breathes and thrives. That was the mission of childhood friends Kapil Kanchibotla and Shravani D while starting the bistro after spending considerable time in the corporate world. "We wanted to set-up a platform to all artists, big and small," says Kanchibotla, who was born and brought up in Hyderabad.
Nirvana has also conducted a meet and greet with director Nagesh Kukunoor and Michael Bodapati, an international photographer
No furniture was purchased as everything was upcycled. The place was a former snooker parlour with wooden flooring. They ripped off the wood to make furniture while the seats are former seats of a tractor. From a two-seater to a 20-seater, tables are placed in a way to encourage interactions because, "It is when we talk and get together, that we can do wonders," says Kanchibotla. He and his friends painted the place in one night and it was ready and open for business.
Peeping in: Nirvana Bistro is apt for chilling and conducting events
"What we eat at home is served here," says the 33-year-old, who is also the head chef, though with no prior experience. They don't use baking soda, artificial food colouring or frozen food, in fact, it is in the kitchen where collaborations happen, we are told. They invite customers to cook their food and it is after them that the dish is named on the menu at this self-service bistro. "We don't charge for water, which is filled in bottles and placed at every table, because it is a basic necessity," says Kanchibotla, who is an engineering dropout and has worked with EA Sports, LG and Google in the past.
They also conduct classes where kids are given paints and a canvas and they paint with their fingers. The place has all instruments, from a sitar to a guitar. They also have board game and paints as well
The first philosophy at Nirvana is collaboration, not competition and the second is inclusive, not exclusive. All artists, are invited to its stage where they can exhibit their skills. Kanchibotla plays a hand in connecting artists, encouraging collaboration across art forms and providing them with a stage to showcase their skills. Their doors are wide open to LGBTQIA+ community as well.
We believe in word of mouth and haven't spent anything on marketing, till date
Kapil Kanchibotla, Co-Founder, Nirvana Bistro
Kanchibotla has more ideas for this space which is situated beside the Pedamma Temple in Jubilee Hills. "Children shouldn't just know about Alauddin Khilji, they need to know about why the Berlin Wall was struck down, why when you put a puri and a vada in hot oil, the puri bulges and the vada doesn't and what this tells us about surface area and most importantly, boys need to understand the menstrual cycle so that there is no shame around it," he says passionately, and if he has the permission of parents, he would like to take weekend classes for children. "We have done 55 events in the last two months. We are a work in progress and want to make sure this space is as sustainable as possible," concludes Kanchibotla.
What to expect at Nirvana
- Bhuvan, an artist with a "deep, mesmerising voice", who plays a mix of Bollywood and sufi music and makes it sound like, "music from the hills" has performed at the bistro
- Artist Arindam Tripathi plays mountain folk music from Nepal called Jhumur has played at this space
- A nine-piece tribal band called Organic Ensemble plays instruments like didgeridoo and more. They are a new age band which plays fusion music
- Two members from the four-year-old five-piece band from Hyderabad Threeory have played an unplugged music at their space
- During Living Conversations, people shut off their phones for two hours and just talk to each other
- On Sunday afternoons, an Ask Me Anything of sorts is conducted where taboo or lesser known topics like PCOD are spoken about
For more on them, click on facebook.com/Nirvana-Bistro-