Doodh Patti

Travel, Food and and Khaalis Doodh Patti Mind {and Lahore}

Gowalmandi Food and Heritage Street tha was!

Once Gowalmandi Food and Heritage Street was an enriching experience in Lahore. Sizzling spicy foods on display in Gowalmandi reminds of what Vasco de Gama shouted after setting his foot on South Asian soils on the dawn of May 21, 1498, "For Christ and spices!" No data for consumption of spices in Gowalmandi Food Street are available but a proprietor of one of the biggest shops in the street told, "On the average I sell about 120 Kilograms mutton and over 40 kilograms of chicken every day. People prefer to eat mutton karahi and chicken barbecued. A milk shop proprietor said, "My daily milk consumption - in the form of chilled milk, yogurt, Kheer, khoya, lassi -- is over 2000 kilograms." (Consumption should be a little more now. This data is old.)
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:00 AM, , links to this post

Travel writing

Travel writing is a fine art; accepted literary genre that is read. Writers who are gifted with an ability to understand what they see can breathe life into a place when they narrate their travel experiences. The Internet that is wrongly considered a pedestal for instantaneous scribbles mixed with emoticons and indecipherable abbreviations has already become a place to find some good travel literature, travelogues and travel stories in addition to online trading of travel services. It can be one of the best display places for local writers to showcase what Pakistan has to offer.Travel is prosperity and leisure pursuit, which is a result of many things: history, heritage, culture, natural beauty and a quest to know what is unknown and meet wonderful people.

Pakistan is a land of geographical, geological, and natural contrasts and has every thing nature could bestow; from some of the places like Mehr Garh in Balochistan and Harappa in Punjab where some of the initial human activities began, Lots Valley (NWFP and people there) once home to Gandhara Civilization where Chinese Hiuen Tsiang who is regarded as an early trendsetter traveller treaded, or ancient city Multan that, as per the legend, is living since the time of Hazrat Noah (A.S.), Kalash community existing in an on the edge district Chitral still holding awaiting for anthropologists’ conclusive research about origin of their unique identity against all outside pressures for development and modernity, unsolved riddle where rivers were lost (River Hakra in Cholistan) to pristine locations in Northern Pakistan (tree line in Himalaya Range) where one can see two seasons at the same place — winter above and summer below, and thematic pilgrims for Sikh and Buddhist communities, to name just a few.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:30 AM, , links to this post


A woman displaced by flooding kneads flour at Sultan colony camp organized by the Asifa Imran foundation NGO, in Sultan, Pakistan


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 12:00 AM, , links to this post

On Taxila

Read in Urdu here.


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:11 PM, , links to this post

Khanewal Junction

Located near old Multan, Khanewal is comparatively a recently founded town. Its only claim to fame is that it is an important destination on the map of Pakistan Railways. Busy railway junction, railway workshop, pre stressed concrete sleeper factory and huge shunting yards have developed a sort of railway culture in this agricultural market town. National highway also passes the town but people mostly uses railways for travelling and transportation.

This area was a vast grazing land before the excavation of Lower Bari Doab Canal. As per the local lore, the grass from this land used to go as far as Burma during the Second World War.

Travelling from Lahore to Khanewal on the National Highways, one still finds the forestland on the west of the Highway and railway track that are laid side by side. Legend has it that that Dewan Sanwal Mall, the famous Sikh governor of Multan appointed Farid Khan as an administrator in order to collect the grazing tax from the livestock owners and he founded the town. The other story is that Daha tribe inhabited the area over 300 years ago. The hamlet was named “khan-e-wal” after Daha Khans. Canal colony was established here in1912. With rapid the growth in population, the modern town was planed and set up in 16 blocks. Khanewal was declared district headquarters on July 1, 1985.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:30 AM, , links to this post

When in Lahore

The morning rush hour is from 6am to 12pm

The evening rush hour is from 2pm to 9pm. Saturday’s rush hour starts morning.

You buy anything and everything from Al-Fatah

Your 'maassee' and driver have taught you fluent Punjabi

Your uncivilized next door neighbor just bought a BMW because he deals in property

A really souped up Civic stops next to you and instead of a groovy exhaust sound, the woofers blare out an Abrar number

At least one of your friends is a Butt

The people in your local Gourmet Bakery know you by face

The only solution to boredom is eating out

All directions start with, ‘Go down to Main Boulevard’

You think it’s okay to wait 5 hours in the queue for Bashir’s Fish in Mozang because he only opens 6 months in the year

You go to Shahjamal every Thursday to smoke weed with Pappu Saaeen

Its quite all right to run a red light if the traffic policeman doesn’t have a bike to chase you

When someone asks you ‘’Bhai yeh Fortress kahaan hai?'’, you spread an evil grin on your face and send him to Johar Town

If you are hungry at 3 in the morning, you go to Coffee Tea & Co in your pajamas instead of walking to your kitchen

Your cousins from Karachi ask you about Food Street and you say, ‘I went there back in 2003′

Your winning argument about how Lahore is better than Karachi is ‘Lahore Lahore aey’

Your childhood dream of attaining higher education was to go to Aitchison or Kinnaird

You always thank the rude shop owner because he actually let you buy something from his shop

You know it’s inevitable that you’ll be challaned on Mall Road.

Your cousins from America ask you about malls and you’re like ‘Yeah we have Pace, but I never go there’

You go to the Daewoo stand more than the airport

(Thanks Maryum)

People from Lahore are invited to add more…


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:06 AM, , links to this post

Sher Garh

An old sleepy and dusty village Sher Garh lies about 20 minutes drive away from Renala Khurd (Okara). The coins found at Sher Garh prove that the place was inhabited at the time of Kushan dynasty. Though “the name Sher Garh was given by the Governor of Molten, Faith Jang Khan after the name of Afghan King Sher Shah Sure,” wrote Abbas Khan Sarauni in his book Tarikh Sher Shah Suri.

On the old bank of River Beas, it is a typical Pakistani village where farmers live like rustics in the face of urban attractions. Even the electricity and telephone are a recent phenomenon. But the village has never been out of limelight. Besides heritage conscious people from all over the world, the village is venerated by a large number of devotees. Reasons, a massive mud fort and mosque which were built in the period of Afghan Sher Shah Suri. And, it is the last resting place of Saint Muhammad Ibrahim Daud-e-Sani Kirmani Bandgi.If one wants to absorb the sense of history, Sher Garh is a place to visit. Director Syed Noor has set his film Chooriyan in the background of this village. One has to possess a sensibility shaped in granite not to be moved by the village of past age that has not changed much in last 400 years. In the periphery few van (salvadora) trees, may be as old as the village stand witness to the bygone era. The village is experienced changed due to awareness about various things and agricultural advancements but at a snail speed.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:00 AM, , links to this post

Astola Island

Flying over Astola Island (Pakistan)‚ my first sight of the Island and the speed boat anchored in a bay far below quite took my breath. Pointing hull of the boat lay in pale blue shallows‚ riding on the swell. Even a hardened seaman would have melted at the sight of a creature as beautiful as the speed boat. I looked forward to the promise of sailing around the Island in a boat and later exploring it in the company of botanist experts on a purposeful visit.We landed on a rough helipad marked with a circle in lime on the edge. Soon a sleek and small boat puttered towards us. I felt like a warrior and navigator Vasco da Gama, when he reached Calicut on May 20, 1498.

The boat skated over shallow coral and bumped alongside the Island. Climbing aboard‚ we were introduced to the crew and a bunch of other guests. I resisted complaining of ennui that I experienced on the introduction to so many experts in the field I know nothing about. But soon instructions were shouted and guests joined in enthusiastically often snaring themselves in the lines and becoming more nuisance than help. Within minutes we had slipped into the rhythm of this trip: leaping off the bowsprit‚ snorkelling round the stern‚ or windsurfing around the Island. I climbed the bowsprit and watched the boat cleave through the chop. A frigate bird‚ twitching on the breeze‚ tracked our progress.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:58 AM, , links to this post

Doodh Wali Chai

Shopkeepers and vendors drive the country's activities and keep it bustling with life and energy. Dawn photographer takes a look at a few business which give Rawalpindi its old city charm. here a tea vendor Mohammad Saddiq pours tea from a ladle for his clients at a market. That is what makes Doodh Patti a delight. No?

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9:07 AM, , links to this post

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