Photo Credits: Unknown. Let me know.
A trip to India was never going to be easy. To begin with the Indian Embassy found a student visa request a joke. They only took it seriously when our Vice Chancellor called them up. It was a bit late by then but we managed to reach by the second week of semester. We reached Hyderabad Deccan via Delhi without any trouble. After necessary processing at airport and university reception I was asked to head to one of the student village. I found three eager apartment mates there waiting in the lounge for my arrival. Ram was one of them. His room was next to mine and we shared one of the washrooms. He was a banjara, an Indian gypsy by background. His forefathers roamed around vast stretches of Rajhistan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. They made their living by selling goods from one area to another. They suffered deeply from the advent of British railway system which in 18th century reached to all big metropolitans. It reduced businesses’ reliance on traditional sources and soon Banjaras found their existence at stake. They started settling in cities but they could not take the passion out of their mind. Time and again, wilderness called and it enticed them to listen to its call, dance to its tune and experience its exuberance. Ram could not resist it too. He quit his well paying job in Australia, bought an WW2 era bike, bought a leather jacket and started an ambitious trip to explore South India. He spent a year on his bike. One fine morning he woke up and had a change of heart. He decided to pursue MBA. He made it through the tests and got the interview scheduled with the dean of the business school. He reached there in time and settled into the chair, in front of the panel.
“Do you think you can make it to the school with this kind of attire”, asked the dean pointing to his leather jacket and Jeans.
“It is the only dress which goes with my bike”, Ram replied
He made it to the business school. I was not surprised. He stayed original all the time. Not many can do that.
Lara dutta, a former miss world studied with him in high school. He showed me her pictures from those days. She was not very different from others. He wondered what happened when they graduated.
University canteen offered a buffet of vegetables with which I struggled. Yousfi says that Muslims can’t see any animal alive except pigs and they lose their faith on a vegetarian diet. I started experiencing it. Campus was quite far from the downtown and ordering required patience. Ram came to the rescue here. Over the weekends, Ram took his old fashioned bike out to give me a ride to the town. One of the other apartment mates who was a vegetarian looked at our preparation suspiciously. “Ek cock ke liye itni Khuwar ho rahe ho”, he disapproved shaking his head. We used to ignore him commencing our journey to the town. We went past big corporate estates, trees with peacocks pondering at existence, Golkanda fort, abandoned diamond mines and shopping malls at a gentle speed holding tight to our jackets in order to save us from winter breeze. It took us an hour to reach the downtown. Finding non-veg was still a task. We usually succeeded after checking four or five shops. We took whatever was available; butter chicken, handi, biryani or roast chicken.
It was during one of those trips when I saw a billboard which made me yell at Ram to stop his bike. I looked at the billboard carefully if I was making a mistake but it was as clear as a new generation ipad’s screen. It proudly said “Karachi Bakery”. ‘It is the most famous bakery of not only Hyderabad but whole region’. Ram added. He knew the place well. Apparently everyone did.
It’s a familiar story. Partition of India. Riots in Sindh. A Sindhi Hindu family migrating but taking a part of Karachi in their heart. They found refuge in imperial deccan. Khanchand Ramnani family established Karachi bakery near Mozamjahi market in 1952. Today it is the most famous bakery of not only Hyderabad but the whole region. Not many bakeries in this part of the world handle an on-line store. Karachi Bakery does. Check it our here. Not sure if Karachi Bakery will deliver it here in Karachi though.