Show Pride in Product… Print Proprietor’s Photo

Posted on July 30, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food, Humor
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Owais Mughal

One sales technique that Pakistani grocery stores have mastered is that they put saunf (fennel seeds), chaalia/supari (betel nut) and pan masala (English translation unknown) packets near the cash register. When you think you are all done, your hand invariably goes towards the jar full of these products and the result is you end up paying more than planned. I went through the same trap today. After buying grocery I put my hand in a jar full of assorted saunf/supari. After I pulled out a fist full of these products, a couple of items in my collection made me laugh out loud. Take a look below.


These must be the proudest owners of any product in the world because they dare to print their own photos on each and every packet of saunf supari. One product claims to be of ‘Export Quality’ while other prints their Trade Mark number to safeguard their property right; or maybe to suggest quality!

By the way the person on left photo is the same as in center photo. The difference is probably of ‘shadi se pehle’ (before marriage) and ‘shadi ke baad’ (after marriage) photos.

Another clue is the do dhaari uljhi lat (bidirectional intermingled hair) on his forehead. yaqeen aa gaya? (do you believe it now?)

Baghban(gardener) and Bombay are the two product lines of the same company called Ansa Food Products of Karachi.


Now mazaaq bartaraf (sarcasm aside), the saunf supari product from Pakistan is a very colorful bunch. You can see from our cascaded photo collection above that they come in all sorts of eye catching designs with and without the photo of proprietors.

SupariPan Masala SupariSupari

Sometimes however, the packaging doesn’t get aligned very well with the printer which results in occasional out of focus printing. For example look at the ‘Tasty Gold Sweet Supari’ packet in center above. Moustaches of the proprietor seem to have got superimposed on his nose instead. The eye-brows also seem to align more towards than forehead than eyes. This priniting quality ultimately gives the product a supernatural touch.

SupariI have singled out two images for special mentioning because they are special. Photo to the right is Shahi Saunf/supari product which is considered as one of the best in quality. I believe it is also the most sold product in its category. This particular image is a Classic product line. The word Classic is however wrongly pronounced here by putting a ‘zer’ under ‘kaaf’ which will make its urdu pronunciation as ‘Kilasik’. Wrong. Use of ‘zer’ was unnecessary here. Owners of Shahi supari don’t know they are wasting red ink by printing extra characters on every packet. Shahi Supari also has a white and red color ‘non-classic’ package which is slighlty cheaper and sells even more than the ‘classic’ brand.

Pan Masalla Supari Photo to the left has a nostalgic value for me because this is perhaps the most eaten chaalia (betel nut) in Pakistani University class rooms. I’ve spent many a boring lectures by sharing packets of ‘rasili’ among my class mates. usually one guy used to open a packet of ‘rasili’ in the class and then it was distributed one chaalia (betel-nut) at a time to the whole bench. That single chaalia was then chewed for next 45 minutes until the lecture was over.

NOTE: Eating too much betel-nut is muzir-e-sehat (bad for your health). One should only buy it once in a while when visiting a desi grocery store.

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17 responses to “Show Pride in Product… Print Proprietor’s Photo”

  1. Eidee Man says:

    Giving you dirty looks since 1965—-man on Tasty cover.

  2. shahrukh says:

    I heard from many people saying that if you see yourself how they make these stuff then you will never munch on one.
    huh…? I still eat ’em because they are too dang addictive.

  3. Dr Cocopal says:

    The picture (Haji Abdul Razaq Testy) on the testy is died now he sported a long bead in last years of his life and helped lot of poor of the street of Kharader Karachi named after him.
    There must be some thing addictive in all these products like Rasily. As one of my well educated friend has tried a lot to get rid of this habit of chewing coted nuts but failed.(chaliya khana muzari sehat hy) should be printed on every pack.

  4. Bilal Mirza says:

    I am wondering if somebody could get hold of the clip which ‘reveals’ their manufacturing (especially coating). I remember that it was aired on one of the Pakistani channel (don’t remember which one, 4-5 years back), in which once the coated ‘suparis’ ‘gutkas’ were poured into some kind of liquid, and guess what it revealed??? dead living beings…yes you are right, those were different types of insects…!!!
    But with the passage of time, this product had made people so much addicted that people least care about what they are putting into their mouth. truly speaking, once I go to Pak, me too, I won’t be able to resist my self to ‘impulsive buying’ of these shelf products. But one thing is sure, that I wont (and never do it again, after watching that video) put the wrapper directly to my mouth, as I used to do…
    Tip to all those addicted: Never buy ‘coated’ suparis!

  5. Its said that students eat chalia in classese of universities….
    the trend has been changed drastically….now-a-days..internet..cellular friends…and late night talks….in 1998…RAVI..the magazine of one and only..Government College,Lahore…Sabieh Anwar ..the most genius man of the islamic world ..given his wonderful essay …” Ask now of the days that are passed ! “..remembering the good old days of burning mid night oil…..

    moreover..these things ..create cancer and other diseases in human bodies..I

  6. They are very dangerous for health….

  7. Khurram Farooqui says:

    ISI may be supporting the Taleban.
    India and Pakistan fire across the line of control.
    Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of having a hand in the Indian consulate blast.
    The Taleban control Swat and parts of the NWFP.
    The Interior ministry has authority over the ISI, and then it doesn’t.

    I have lost my appetite for supari.

  8. Altaf says:

    What a thoughtful topic to choose. :) … In tapori language… log Pakistan ki supari liye baithay hain (token money for icing someone) aur aap Rasili ko yad kar rahay hain…

  9. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    @Paan ki yaad mein,

    Ye supari, jo wo liay bethay hein,
    hey to supari, rasili magar nehein

    Suntaiy aye the surilay ka rasila hona,
    ajooba hogaya, us supari ka rasili hona

    Rafay Kashmiri

  10. Dr Cocopal says:

    Dear Fellow.
    A new SUPARI on the block Oil proxy war
    We all know that these super powers are using our land to fight proxy war since last 30 years.
    now the new player are china and India .
    both these countries along with USA need energy so there eyes are on oil and gas deposits of CAR stats .
    Russia too want to keep these oil wealth in her hands.
    Once Taliban were blue eyed boys of USA but as they refuse oil pipe line through there area they were punished.
    Now its our turn to face this situation .
    China want energy route from gwadar port to china through Karakorum high way .
    There are more then 3000 chines working on this rode widening project since a year now they want to start railway link with Rawalpindi.
    India want to import gas and electricity from Central Asian republic’s .
    And USA has plan to put an oil and gas pipe line through Gwadar ,Pishawar Jalalabad CAR route.
    I request readers to suggest that how should we handle this crises because there is some hidden blessing from ALLAH .
    If we survive this crises.
    We can earn lot of money by these energy corridors.

  11. Ali says:

    my suggession is that china is our best freind which deals with us on equality basis. china have the first right to use gwadar port, china took the initiate to develop the port, china’s citizens have killed in this mission. there are so many other resources in bloch province that china can help us, on the other hand, india or usa, they dont want to give us any favor, if we will enter to them then they will use our resources by threads without equality that pakistan cannot take a fresh air or cannot stand on his own foots.
    we dont know what is our political situation, but one thing sure that we dont make a foolish at this important turn. while we are turning & china is also assuming it.
    ALLAH bless pakistan.

  12. Ali says:

    One thing is also awkward that why we have cancelled the thar parker project with china & handing over it to usa on such tough conditions & on high price of eceltricity? it is also very bad behaviour to our friend china. We citizens are feeling emberressment.

  13. Haadia says:

    Love the pictures. Funny and also nostalgic. The exact right chalia blend :-)

  14. Manzoor says:

    Really good post

  15. Tomson says:

    Use the opportunity provided to you.
    Help make the pipelines (local employment).
    Gain experience and technical expertise in the fields related to it.(maintaining pipeline, petroleum chemistry etc)
    Use it as a bargaining chip whenever you like in the U.N.
    Be wise and think through this pakistan.
    Think as a nation for once.
    Only then can you change your future.

  16. atheist says:

    great article, i loved it very much, i never noticed someone can write so much about “chalia”. pls write more about these type of stuff. i haven’t eaten chaalia/supari in past 8 years but it looks like i will have to drive 5 miles tonight just to get some chaalia supari. thak you.

  17. zia wasti says:

    Sir, i want to get the wholesale price of Rasily Supari or all your products. plze send me your products price list.

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