Picture of the Day: Atum Bum Siri Paaye

Posted on March 12, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Food, Photo of the Day, Society
15 Comments
Total Views: 32586

Adil Najam

Sometimes a picture says itself all that needs to be said.

This one does so on the billboard at the back of the guy in this traditional Siri Paye (should we say, ‘Head and Hooves’; someone please help me with the proper English term for this!) shop in Lakshmi Chowk, Lahore. Here is what the board says:

Main Text:
Desi bakray kay atum bumm Sri Paaye.

Other Text:
Aik baar khao gay, baar baar aoo gay!
Behtareen masaalouN say tayar shodda!
Amritsar waalouN ki fakhriya peshkash!

So, you have a Pakistani bill board, mentioning Atom Bombs, Amritsar, and the heads and hooves of a severed animal! The results, one might guess, must be ‘Politically Delicious!’

Is comparing food to Atom Bombs really the best way to attract customers?

Yes we want an explosion of taste; but how big an explosion! From the look of things in this picture, however, its a sales pitch that seems to work. I guess national pride, culinary passions, and that whiff of nostalgia added by the Amritsar mention are a winning formula. Plus, nothing like food to get us Lahoris excited.

As with our earlier post about Nihari in Karachi, I will refrain from explaining exactly what Siri Paye is, but maybe some reader will. Thanks to reader Asma for telling me about this wonderful picture, which is posted on Flickr by Edge of Space, but taken by ~Fursid. There is very interesting, very Pakistani, banter between them there. Our thanks to all for the wonderful memories this picture brings back.

15 responses to “Picture of the Day: Atum Bum Siri Paaye”

  1. Zainub says:

    I don’t know what Siri is, but Paye is the leg portion, and if you can overcome the initial grossness issue (Paye don’t look like the most beautiful dish you’ll ever see when cooked and ready)…its quite delicious really, and healthy and nutritious too I’m told.

  2. Atom mean BAD…good bad not bad bad…Something atomic in Pakistan means the ultimate experience, so very thing good there is Atomic.

  3. The Pakistanian says:

    Back in the early 80s everything was “Disco”, then came everything “F-16” and now its atomic, and wierd one but a progression nonetheless!

  4. SS says:

    I saw a similar one in the year or so that followed the test: Laziz atumi biriyani (Delicious atomic Biriyani).

    Now I’ve forgotten if I saw this myself or if it was a picture in a newspaper. I still shudder at the thought of radioactive biriyani! But I agree with A.; it’s probably associated with dhamaka khaiz.

  5. A. says:

    hmm – by conflating the food with an A-bomb the sign is either making a political point as you noted, or it’s just a contemporary extension of the urdu expression “dhamakaydar”.

    why is the man in the picture holding his nose? Not a good sign as to the smells of the atomic siri paye.

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