Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Bombay Bakery - The Shop in a Bungalow.

Sometimes a city is also recognized by something which is not the famous ruins, king's palace or museums. A famous restaurant, a food which is only cooked in that city also adds value to that city's reputation. In this case, a bakery, which is 100 years old, has contributed along side the historical reputation of a city.

The Bombay Bakery, established in 1911, is a well known bakery that offers one good reason to visit the city of Hyderabad. I have a long association with Hyderabad, several  of my relatives lived there and still live there. I remember spending my summer vacations at my grandfather's house there. And the Bombay Bakery was within 5 minutes walk from there. 

It is very famous for it's delicious cakes. The choices were few but they sold like hot cakes. Top of the line is the Chocolate Cake followed by Coffee cake, Macrooni and the cream cake. Plain cakes are also a delight. Cup cakes and Glass Cakes. Biscuits are also a treat.

It's been ages that I visited that place but I remember it opened only for a few hours during the day. Most of the times, all the cakes were sold within 2 hours or so. Customers arrived early to stand in line or place advance orders for the famous cakes. On special occasions like Eid, New Year and Christmas, there is NO way you could buy a cake as a walk-in customer. 

The secret of the success lies in hard work, simplicity and a special recipe. I was told by my friends that the owner of the bakery did the mixing and flavoring of the cakes himself. So, no one but him knew the secret recipe. And that went on till his death. Then the sons took over and the saga continued.

Now, to the name, why Bombay? (the city previously called Bombay is now called Mumbai) 

The province Sind (one of the five provinces of Pakistan), before partition of India, was part of Bombay in India. The owners of the bakery, a hindu family, had roots in Bombay and that's why the name.

Why I am writing about Bombay Bakery in blog? because after a very long time...... the famous chocolate cake has landed on my doorstep. It is always a pleasure having the cake with a nice cup of tea or coffee with friends. And that's why I am sharing this one with all of you.

The bakery has not changed it's box design in ages. This simple box design goes well with the overall ambiance of the bakery, i.e. Old is Gold.

The famous Chocolate Cake. 

The story of the family business as printed inside the cake box.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Gulls, Girls and Fishing Boats

Sunday morning, after a very long time, we went out to the beach. Karachi gets very little winter and depends on cold wave from the west. Chilly winds zooming in since yesterday evening offered a decent weather for an outing to the beach.

I pass by this beach daily during weekdays to drop my young daughter to school but it's been ages since I went to this beach. While passing by I notice fishing boats and slow down my car to have a decent look at them. Today I got pictures of them. An additional treat was the Sea Gulls. 

Kids and Company - The Leader of the Gang. Zoha.



Thursday, 19 December 2013

Great People - Great Minds

Postage Stamps are ambassadors of a country. They travel far and wide and tell a story about what they show. I inherited a decent collection from my elder brother and from thats where I started collecting them.

Today, I'll showcase a stamp that has Kamal Ataturk and Mohammad Ali Jinnah together. A testament of respect and mutual cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan.

To me this stamp reflects two great leaders and great minds.

Journey through Postcards

I recently came across a set of beautiful Postcards that show the beauty of Pakistan. So, no more words....... enjoy the journey.



Now don't be fooled by the subject of todays post, No, it's not a rocket. It's a truck.  Yes, it's a trucks name. Bedford Rocket. Just like Philippines has Jeepney as an icon, we have our very own Rocket.

A very common sight in every part of Pakistan since late 50's,  the Rocket is an integral part of Pakistan's identity as an art icon. The famous Truck Art (google it!) started with Rocket.

The driver or the truck owner loves the truck more than his wife and that is a fact. Be it the plains or hilly areas. Cities or villages. You will come across a decently decorated Rocket.

The decoration of the truck is a passion which has no boundaries on expense. It often totals in millions. Mainly because the craftmanship is done by hand. All of it.

 The manufacturing stopped long ago but still today, among most advanced trucks ....... our Rocket stands tall.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Qissa Khawani Bazaar - (Bazaar of Story Tellers)

In the North West Province of Pakistan (now called Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa or KPK) is a mystical place in the famous city of Peshawar. A Bazaar of immense historical heritage, a place which literally seems to have popped out of the 'Arabian Nights'. 

Extending from west to east in the heart of the city is the romantic 'Bazaar of Story-tellers' - the Qissa Khawani Bazaar. In olden days, this was the site of camping ground for caravans and military adventures, where professional story-tellers recited ballads and tales of war and love to throngs of traders and soldiers.  Bearded tribesmen bargain with city traders over endless cups of green tea.  

Today the story-tellers are gone but the atmosphere lingers on. Qissa Khawani Bazaar is surrounded by many historical buildings has many Old inns which depict the tradition and culture of Peshawar, 

The city of Peshawar is famous for many things, one of them being it's cuisine. The famous Chapli Kebab and Green Tea or Kehva is not to be missed with live traditional music at any cost.


Saturday, 14 December 2013

A New Friend

December is here. This year has been really crazy as far as work is concerned. Very busy. But it has been very very rewarding too. I met many new people and made new friends, but all at work. 

Very recently and mostly at early mornings, a green parrot was noticed sitting on the boundary wall of my house. Firstly I thought that it would not be seen next day, but then it was there each morning for the next few days. This was a surprise to me. So, I bought some bird feed to see if the parrot is attracted to it. It worked!

It's not that it was done only for the parrot, I have been putting bird feed in a pot especially placed for birds for years, mostly sparrows come to feed and occasionally we see a rare sight of a parrot but this guy is special.

So, I made an extra effort to go to the spice and grain market to buy some sun flower seeds as parrots like them very much. And now, I can proudly say, I have made a friend at home too.

Now, as soon as I wake up at morning, I check from my room window to see if my friend is there and then I put some bird feed and sun flower seeds in the pot. Then, I sit close by and watch the parrot do his tricks and have his breakfast. So, I am confident that I can look towards ending this year on a very special note.

Sometimes, small things that you do give you so much pleasure.