In the shadow of Pune’s Trump Towers lies a little bakery. Its décor, which includes frosted pillar lamps, castiron sconces, Eiffel Tower chairs, and name—Le Flamington, inscribed in calligraphic gilt—are airy homages to the iconic Paris patisserie. What sets it apart from the hundreds of francophilic cafes strewn across the country is the fact that it is owned by a pair of gay men in a long-term relationship, one of them a Muslim, the other a Parsi. The continued audacity of its existence in an atmosphere of minority-silencing makes Le Flamington a monument to food, faith and forbidden love.
Khuzaan Dalal, who manages the business, and Taha Khan, who handles the cooking, welcomed me to the bakery, all smiles and good cheer. They offered me their signature dish, known as “The Grey.” My timid refusals, because of my dislike of pastries of all kinds, made no dent in their insistence. There comes a time, I realised, when one must sacrifice their fussy palate for the sake of a greater experience. When in a bakery, eat the goods.
As we waited for the dish to receive its final touches, Dalal told me, “Did you know that our business and romantic anniversaries fall on the same day?”
“We met on G4M in 2011,” Khan said, referring to Guys4Men, a dating site for queer people in India that predated Grindr and its variants by almost a decade. “I was fresh out of culinary school and interning at the Hyatt Regency when I came across this one online,” he added, pointing at Dalal with his nose. “To be honest, I was a bit shy back then, so I ghosted him for a year until we actually met in person.” They had their first date on 3 July 2012, but Khan soon left for the Culinary Institute of America in New York. “The distance was what made us realise that we wanted to be together,” Dalal said.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
How the Modi government fuels a dangerous vigilantism
Shahidul Alam’s exploration of Bangladeshi photography and activism
Nepal–India tensions have advanced from the diplomatic level to the public sphere
ON 23 SEPTEMBER 1950, the diplomat Ralph Bunche, seen here addressing the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The first black Nobel laureate, Bunche was awarded the prize for his efforts in ending the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
Shades of The Grey
A Pune bakery rejects the rigid binaries of everyday life / Gender
A photographer-nurse recalls the Delhi violence
Licence to Kill
A photojournalist’s account of documenting the Delhi violence
CRIME AND PREJUDICE
The BJP and Delhi Police’s hand in the Delhi violence
How India exploits health workers
India’s telling silence on the Hagia Sophia controversy
Can STRONGHOLD: WARLORDS rebuild the foundations of the series?
Live & Learn in Lockdown
Just because you’re quarantining doesn’t necessarily mean your brain stops. On a screen near you, there’s a world beyond
UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL
"I LIKE TO EAT MUTTON BIRYANI" — ZAHEER KHAN
Khan't see point, Amir
BOXER SPLASHES £2K WATERPROOFING CAR HE DRIVES IN DESERT!
Texan range comes to the UK
Monthly real estate rentals fall in India's most expensive locations
RENTAL prices for real estate across key high street markets in India's top cities have witnessed a significant correction as covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the country's economy
Concentrators seized from Khan Chacha restaurant
A day after busting a racket of oxygen concentrator black-marketing, operating out of a restaurant in Lodhi Colony, Delhi Police conducted multple raids in eateries owned by Navneet Kalra in the Khan Market area and recovered 105 concentrators from Khan Chacha restaurant and Town Hall Restaurant and Bar.
I Like To Invest In All Asset Classes
‘The Big Bull’ is an upcoming Hindi language crime drama film directed by Kookie Gulati, produced by Ajay Devgn, Anand Pandit, Vikrant Sharma and Kumar Mangat Pathak. The storyline of the film is based on the life of Harshad Mehta, a stockbroker, involved in financial crimes over a period 10 years, from 1980 to 1990. Abhishek Bachchan has portrayed the protagonist in the film. In this interaction with Rajesh Padode, Managing Editor of DSIJ, Abhishek Bachchan talks about what drove him to do the film and his own interest in the financial markets
The New Indian Single Malt: Kamet
Let’s start with a brand new whisky from a two-year-old company called Peak Spirits. After Amrut and Paul John, there’s another Indian single malt whisky that’s coming to town, from the makers of Jin Jiji—a newly-released cashew gin from Goa—comes Kamet, an Indian single malt whisky that celebrates its provenance. While it’s inspired by Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, one of the highest peaks in the country, Kamet draws on local motifs and characters such as the Indian parrot, an important part of the culture in the villages surrounding the distillery near Kurukshetra. Lopamudra Ganguly Speaks to Ansh Khanna, the curator of Kamet.
Baby? NO THANKS...
Everyone’s supposed to be over the moon at having kids, right? Wrong. What happens when your baby daddy is not doing cartwheels at the prospect of parenthood?