The most important thing for me was Nirala Sweets in Lahore, after they took there Karachi shops away. I loved their Sugar Free Barfis, their Sugar Free Laddoos, and their Sugar Free Gulab Jamuns. The Gulab Jamuns were so good that even my non-Diabetic friends loved them much more than the regular types.
A few months ago I went to Lahore and went off to purchase the stuff. No shops. Asked a few friends. They said they've been closed for a while.
I wrote my regrets on Facebook and Hareem Sumbul replied that they had been closed, like many others, and will open in a while. It was just a Kitchen problem that they had to solve according to Ayesha Mumtaz of the Punjab Food Authority.
This time I went in, hoping, and my Facebook tells the story.
I rang up Chashni and they said they have the three Sugar Free things, too. So off I went on my way to the airport to collect them … and found they were great. So that's a place where you all should go when you need Sugar Free sweets.
(They also have other sweets which were good, too. I tried quite a few. Yes, yes … I have Diabetes. But I am 75, so I can't really be bothered by a few sweets once in a while. I mean how fast will Death approach me if I occasionally have them, yaar. At this age many of my friends are dead, even without Diabetes. Also, I am only taking things away and providing very little to the Society at this age. So its OK to occasionally beat the system before it beats me.)
Right. So, off I went to the airport, walked right in to the Passenger Lounge, turned towards the toilet — and Lo. And Behold. This is what I see there:
(Sorry. I had to write that on their pic.)
I was surprised. No one among my friends who travel often to Karachi had told me that Nirala does exist at the airport. So I walked up to the shop and the guy said they had no Sugar Free stuff any more. Not in their airport shop, anyway. Airport shop?
"What? You have other shops in town? Where?"
"Sir, they have changed their name, now. Its called Chashni."
"Oh, so the Chashni I went to is really Nirala. Great."
"They don't say that, sir, because Nirala has not paid Taxes. So they've changed their name."
"Really! Then why is this one not called Chashni?"
"Sir, when they send us the money we'll change it, too."
Things work if you have the money. Otherwise they don't. But who cares?
What's the truth, then? I think it is a family business, like Farhat Shereen said. And the members have fought. One group will now be called Nirala and the breakaway group will be Chashni. (And the guy at the airport shop should not have told me, whether its true or not, about the tax that was not paid.)
The plane that was to go at 6pm, didn't. I changed my airline and got another flight at 10pm. Went out for Coffee and a (sugared) snack. Came back and boarded. Slept all the way through, but just after I tried to stand up and put on the airplane's seat belt. They are right. You can only sit down and put them on.