“Zaaaainn, Faiiizii,  Utho aur Samney waloun k haan ye dey kar aou, aur agr wo bolein plates baad mai dein gy tou chor ana” This used to be a very common command we used to get from our mum every few evenings during our childhood. We used to Live in Kohat Airbase and not only we, brothers, were doing this transportation service for our mother but our friends from the samney waley houses and the side waley houses were doing the same for their mothers. I remember we used to get crazy with the fragrance of Chola Chawal and Zarda whenever my mom used to make this, but we have to wait for that as it was to be sent to neighbors first and then we used to get to attack the dish. Being Kids, we used to think Mommy darling loves neighbors k bachey more than us and she sends food for them first.  There were days when these feelings get strong when Mommy Darling would cook turnips, ridge gourds, bottle gourds or Saag.  There was when this quest used to begin, Me and My brother would go to all the houses, where we otherwise go to deliver the things Mommy Darling used to send for the pyar of their mohallaydaars, and we would ask Aunty aaj aapny kya pakaya hai, as soon as we get the answer which isn’t similar to that what has been cooked in our house, we would shamelessly ask them for one plate telling them the actual reason making Mommy Darling a villain… Wait, this wasn’t the only case with us, this used to be the same case with the bacha party of those Aunties.  See, we all had a foodie relationship back then.  I still remember there were cases when mom used to get late from her work and we didn’t want to do the mehnat of warming up the food and eat (yes, kaam choor nikammey bachey ), we would go to next door neighbor and will have our lunch there. I would say our Parosi were love, even some of them are still in touch where its 17th year of us leaving the city KOHAT.

found this picture in the archive from 2009, where we used to share our BBQ as well.

I was brought up in this tradition of sharing the food with your neighbors and loved one, coz wo kehty hain na k dil ka rasta Pait sy jata hai (Although mjhy aaj tk smjh nai aya k jis ny b ye bola kaisey bola, coz dil pehly ata hai). Even when Abba got retired and for the first time in ever we started living outside the bases, my mother continued the tradition with new parosi. Few of them thought we are from Mars, as it was something new for them. Knock Knock, jee Koun, Aunty ye plates ley lein, ( Aunty opens the door) , beta kidhr sy aye hain, Aunty wo samney wala ghar sy,  sahi, but ye kyun laye hain, Ammi ny bhejwaya hai, ( by the way those Aunties used to investigate, mjhy tou Mommy Darling ki crockery ki tension parh jati thi and I would immediately ask for that) , Aunty ye ley lein aur plates khali krky dey dein, jaldi sy, Aur jaga b jana hai…

Thinking of that Aunty plates dey dein abhi wapis situation, now I think I should not have done this

Aahh the Pandora of my memories with my parosi hazrat has been opened and I am thinking of so many things which included, Mohallaydaar, humarey khaney aur Khanaey ki badoulat humara pyar.

But why I am writing about all this. Well, thanks to CPEC we have now Chinese everywhere, and we should be loving them now, ( We have been loving their food for ages though). The revival thoughts of parosiyun ka pyar started with #ShanFoods ka naya ishtehaar. Shan Foods played very smartly around the influx of CPEC and introduced a Chinese neighbor in their Shan-daar Mohallah of Foodies, ( Ultimately in a year or two, we would be having too many of them in our neighborhood). Even on my recent visit to one of the gaint mall situated at the harbour front, all I could see was Chinese roaming here and there, and once I was inside the superstore picking some household stuff I literally saw few Chinese picking up the shan Masalas and I was like, they must have seen the #Shan advertisements too and now they will also share their #KhaanawithParosi.  Have a look at the advertisement here and you will understand what I am trying to say.

Of the advertisement, I would say it is a brilliant campaign executed by Shan, reviving the tradition which is now dying. Sharing the food with your loved ones and neighbors. Not only this concept has tuned in at the right political cords but also enhancing on the rich and diverse culture of our traditions where sharing is caring had always been a crucially important thing. With us joining in the speed game of our robotics life, we are not able to get time for ourselves, no wonder we are not getting time for our neighbors and we are not following the delicious rituals of sharing food. Shan has always brought concepts which are heart rendering but this one has topped them all. Although the Pun on our Lahori brothers has triggered the love for this ad but that’s just on the lighter note. I would actually thank the entire creative team behind this particular advertisement for reviving such a culture. And guess what I am writing all this and talking to my mom,”Mommy darling, samney waloun k haan sy zarda aya tha, wo kidhr gaya and my sister at once shout from her room “Merey pait mai”, I am smiling on this and nodding my head. Time to look at kitchen cabinet at the stock of Shan Masalas and to think what to cook for me because aaj phir shaljam pakey hain….