I got past the main door, and the first thing that caught my eyes was the quote by Bob Marley, “Love the life you live, live the life you love”. By the time I looked around to soak in my surroundings, the aroma and warmth of the place had already snoozed my mind. Just a couple of blocks into the Hauz Khas Village, and there it is, nestled in the green environs of heritage, Raasta, a Rastafari’s paradise in Delhi.
Raasta, as the name indicates, is about the carefree and simplistic “Way of Life”, which has its root in the Rastafari movement, an African-based spiritual ideology that grew into prominence in the 1930s in Jamaica. Its adherents, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix and Jimmy Cliff are a few of those musicians who significantly contributed to make Rastafari culture a part of the mainstream music, and left on us an indelible impact with their striking splendor.
The owners of this spacious lounge, Joy and Rahul, two cousins, came together with the idea of opening a restaurant with such a distinct theme amidst the vivid lifestyle to offer the citizens of Delhi a glimpse of the inviting and welcoming Reggae culture. While Joy, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, was involved in the family business of walnuts, Rahul was an IT consultant, and the one thing both of them had in common was their indivisible aroha towards the Rastafari culture, which believes in living free, spreading happiness and enjoying life to the fullest.
The people who have had the chance to interact with Joy would vouch for the fact that he comes across as a very gracious, courteous and friendly host.
In order to find the suitable place that met all the parameters essential to recreate the Rastafari experience, they looked around the entire city. The search went on for 9-10 months and ultimately culminated in the welcoming and open space set in the quaint surroundings of Hauz Khas Village. It is an inviting place which is perfectly suited for a lounge which takes you into trance, making you feel cozy, comfy, and at ease, while you sip in your drink and experience the good old life reminiscing about fond memories. Raasta has been happily and successfully serving their customers since the September of 2012 from ten in the mornings to late at nights. You can go there, sit all day long in the comfortable lounges, free your mind of all the tensions, all the problems, and live the moment, which reminds me of a snippet of Dan Millan’s book Way of A Peaceful Warrior, “Where are you?” “Here”, “What time is it?” “Now”, “Who are you?” “This moment”.
The main genre the lounge plays is Reggae music with a smatter of Dubsteps and Drum and Bass played in between. The vibe they create for people has definitely made their customers shift from House and follow Reggae music. The prime purpose being to make people comfortable over there, feel safe, and leave the place with a smile that stretches from ear to ear. Joy says, “Our priority is to keep the customers happy and we wish to create a warm and inviting environment for our customers, in particular women.”
The speciality of Raasta is,
Jamaican jerk chicken, which is a pure Caribbean dish in which the meat is dry rubbed or wet marinated with a very hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice;
Jalapeno Cheese Cigars, which are pepper rolls of cheese, corn and jalapeno; and;
Electric Ice Tea, a Long Island tea, which essentially has vodka, gin, dark rum, tequila, triple sec and a dash of whisky, with a tinge of guava and cranberry juice.
The owners of Raasta are also looking forward to making Gurgaon experience the vibes of Reggae culture.
So drop in, lose yourself to the brilliant and legendary music by Bob Marley “Don’t worry, be happy”, dive in the liquors, taste good Jamaican food, experience live gigs, feel good around friendly people, chill, dance, do something, do nothing, just sit, if you may, and set everything else ablaze !