City Shopping – Botal Gali

[Text by The Karachi Walla and Photos by Zinnia Naqvi]

Botal Gali. The name is fascinating. And it is fascinating in a way. The Karachi Walla has not seen so many liquor bottles at one place. Of course empty and cleansed for future halal consumption.

Getting these is easier than I thought. Head to Pakistan chowk via road opposite DJ science college. Turn left in the first street as soon as you reach Pakistan chowk. Find a parking as soon as you enter that street and then walk into the first street on your right. It is not as grand as your imagination may suggest. Don’t know why but I expected it to be glamorous, well lit and well stocked. The street is narrow and full of bikes. The shops are tiny and scarcely lit. The architecture is a mix as one would expect in any saddar lane. Surviving blocks of apartments and shops here and there are in sharp contrast with the monumental ugliness of recent construction.

We went there because a friend needed glass jars with air tight lids for her home business. Pickles to be specific. For starters, Pickles is made by mixing vegetables, spices, salt and some sort of consumable acids or was it oil. I once saw a plastic spoon reshaped and half dissolved in an original Shikarpuri Pickles when forgotten there for few weeks. A lot of people visit Botal Gali for similar reasons. Looking for bottles for their small scale business. However most of the attractive bottles and jars were not mass produced. Chances are that they were second hand. The bottles which you could find in large numbers did not have that sort of character. Much like the recent construction. My friend was disappointed that she could not find her favorite design in a large number but still purchased few samples.

Botal Gali also hosts a lot of perfume vendors. Their shops glitter and are full of energy savers which hint that their business is in better shape than their neighbors.



Categories: City Markets

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