T2F: The Magical World on The Second Floor
The Second Floor, more popularly known by its stylized acronym T2F, is the first of its kind established in the city. Run primarily as an exhibition space and a café, it has evolved into a community center of sorts. Its enlightened leanings have attracted a large number of local youth, aspiring creative artists, and general intelligentsia, from across the city. Artists and performers flock to the premises on Open-House nights.
Artwork, beautiful mosaics and murals line the walls, the stairwell and the cafe upstairs. Trippy, psychedelic, and with a profoundly observable left-wing inspiration, the intricate patterns are woven into the art really do enthrall the visitor on a trip. An entire wall in the balcony is devoted to visitor comments and artwork, providing a sense of community. Stocked with choice literature and popular board games, the cafe also doubles as a study spot and creative zone for the students and adults alike. Serving only fresh ingredients and top-shelf products, their cute little café serves the best banana bread in town. The staff is pleasant to interact with and are eager to share the recipe or ingredients they work with. It truly is a delightful experience overall.
The bottom floor serves primarily as an art gallery, but the open space is used for a multitude of workshops, classes, slam poetry and comedy sessions, and information sessions. These sessions cover a variety of topics, from East Indian Writers to Improvisational Performance Theater. The art hung on the walls is reflective of the creative taste of the founder of the T2F, Sabeen Mahmud.
Commemorated and remembered fondly by those she interacted with, Sabeen was proactive in voicing anti-establishment and pro-liberal sentiments. She was martyred nearly three years ago on her way back from an information session at T2F, about Balochi separatist movements. Her contribution to the city still stands and is carried forward by enlightened individuals who knew of the creative, egalitarian mindset she was seeking to promulgate within the city.
The management, however, leaves much to be desired. Recently, they invoked significant social media backlash over the firing of a loyal, constant support staff of T2F. The person in question had, since the beginning, with Sabeen, made the positive image and well-functioning of T2F as his primary and only concern in life.
The unceremonious, self-aggrandizing and very public dismissal of said staff on their Facebook page was received severely by all members of the community. Many have indeed isolated T2F with a trending hashtag calling for its complete boycott. Known for being lax and capitalistic in endeavors, they have, through conscious or subconscious measures, curtailed the freedom once bandied about in the premises by a large degree. It’s not the same anymore, not since Sabeen.
Final Verdict: if you’re looking for a place to chill out or study with some good light food, creative ambiance, and a positive, jovial vibe, this place is highly recommended. Recent concerns over selfish mismanagement aside, this place is still an excellent spot to observe exactly what people never get to observe here.