My first column spotlighted a trip to Chauhatta Mufti Baqar and the lonchra and das kulcha shop. I had ended the piece on a sad note saying that I was reluctant to revisit the spot as I may not find the establishment there anymore. I am happy to say that the lonchra and das kulcha is alive, well and serving its patrons. So, I thought of dedicating this weeks column to some ancient and traditional Lahori sights that are doggedly battling the forces of extinction to stay alive and well. In a street next to Haveli Naunehal Singh inside Mori Gate, one is apt to hear the rhythmic staccato sound of hammering coming from a set of rooms accessible through a raised thara or ledge. Inside, some young men and boys sit beating away at pieces of silver foil placed on blocks with a peculiarly shaped wooden hammer-like contraption. Gra-dually, the foil gets thinner and thinner till it takes the shape of a silver film-like wafer, which perhaps is even lighter than a feather. This is one of the few surviving places inside the old city that produces chandi ka waraq - a decorative item used to garnish the traditional rice pudding called kheer and firni. In my piece From Melas to Traffic Sergeants, I mentioned katlammas, which can very well be categorised as a desi pizza. A few days back, while visiting the great metropolis, I decided to buy a couple of these spicy mouth-watering snacks. I was told that only two shops still made them and both were located near the shrine of Hazrat Ali Hajveri. So off, I went to Data Sahib and after paying my respects to the Great Saint, sought out what I was looking for. My passion received a severe setback at what I saw. The shops were located with open fronts and the katlammas were constantly receiving a coating of dust mixed with whatever was being churned up from the road by passing tongas and vehicles. I am told that a more hygienic version of this Lahori delight is available in some restaurant on the Main Gulberg Boulevard. My source, however, naughtily suggests that this might lack flavour as it will have none of the additional 'seasoning picked up from the busy road that runs around Data Sahib. I still remember the dona or cup made of dried banana leaves, with four spicy dumplings made of chickpea flour topped with chatni and finely julienned white radish. This was peethi ke ladoo, another Lahori snack that has all, but disappeared. I have used the term 'all but disappeared because very recently, I discovered a place in DHA that serves this snack. However, I am told by my eldest sibling that there is one old timer in a locality once known as Krishan Nagar, who still pushes around the traditional wooden trolley with the ladoos neatly skewered on metal spikes. Maybe some day, I shall seek out this man to see if the stuff still tastes the same as it did half a century ago. My late mother, God bless her soul, maintained that pakoras and fish never tasted like they should, unless fried in mustard oil or sarson ka tel. I remember that she always got her supply from an oil press or kohlu located inside Mori Gate. This press was made up of two large wheel like contraptions turned by a couple of bullocks, which appeared to be perpetually moving in a circle. The mustard seeds were put in a container that steadily fed them to the presses and the oil flowed out of an aperture to be caught in another container embedded in the ground. Alas this particular kohlu disappeared, but I am told that one continues to function inside Mochi Gate. I have searched for it in vain, but one day I plan to hold my source to his word and will ask him to take me to the spot. Ancient stories speak of kings, who displeased with one thing or another, often sentenced the offending party and their entire families to be put between these wheels and crushed to death. This, perhaps, is what gave birth to the Urdu phrase: Kohlu me piswah dena. We also know that the bovine creatures, that powered the presses, earned perpetual fame through the well known Urdu expression kohlu ke bel ki tarah mehnat karna, denoting unceasing toil. The writer is a freelance columnist.