From Zephyr to Ziro

From Zephyr to Ziro

As you walk into the three-storey café Ziro in Hauz Khas Village, it looks any other normal store selling bags, wallets, purses, pouches, accessories, vases, glasses and other items. But a closer look at some of these products will tell you that they are distinct.

Ziro is the perfect place where you can be yourself since the atmosphere here is so relaxing.

The wallets have been made from waste tetra juice packs and tyre tubes, pouches from rice sacks and milk packets, coasters from waste CDs, photo frames from cassette reels, bags from waste clothes and vases and glasses from wine bottles. All these products are made at a workshop in Malviya Nagar by 15 karigars.

The entire café based on the concept of ‘go green’ was started around four months ago by three friends Vimlendu Jha, Anup Kutty and Randeep Singh. Most furniture at the café, designed by the trio, is either from re-cycled waste or second hand. The spiralling iron stairs in the café take you to the reading room on the first floor and further up a small snack and drinks counter on the seco­nd floor offers salads, jui­c­es, crepes and grilled san­d­­wiches, along with dri­n­ks and a rooftop fenced with waste plastic cold drink bottles surrounded by a lot of plants.

The café  gets its name from a village in Arunachal Pradesh inhabited by the Apatani tribe – an agrarian and animist tribe. “They live in a sort of time warp and are yet closely involved with the modern world, drawing from it only the positive aspects. For them, there is no pressure to modernise or embrace short-lived trends. A prosperous tribe, the Apatanis believe in three very important things of life – to eat, drink and be merry. Pretty much the philosophy of our café,” smiles Vimlendu.
There is no pressure to follow fashion, trends or lifestyle choices before walking into this place as one can see people in shorts and chappals quietly reading books or listening to music. The furniture on all the floors is second-hand with no particular theme except that it’s comfortable and gives a homely feeling.

There is an LP collection and a retro Philips turntable. Visitors can browse through the collection or get their own prized LP and play here. One can also get hold of some old copies of Illustrated Weekly of India, National Geographic, comics and coffee-table books.  Any additions to the collection are also welcome.

“The idea of creating a space for youngsters where they are not judged on the basis of their attire and can be themselves, was in my mind for the last 10 years. At Ziro, practicality and social responsibility come first. This is a sort of time-warp where non conformism is respected but recklessness is not,” he shares with Metrolife. The walls sport black&white photographs by Pablo Bartholomew, pictures of different music bands and old cassettes.

At any point of time, Ziro can accommodate not more than 10 people. But, it is more than a place to hang out with friends. It is the perfect place to be yourself.

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