The Lahore that was Chauburji I recently met the US educated son of an old school mate, who gave me a blank stare when I asked him if he had been to Anarkali. That set me thinking that perhaps there were other young Lahoris, who had never trod the street that is the commercial and cultural jugular of this great city. Named after Emperor Jeha-ngirs love light, the stretch of Anarkali we are referring to ran from Tollington Market to the Lohari Gate. Jostling throu-gh a crowd of men, women and children, with purse and wallet secured from the horde of pickpockets that infested the place, one was apt to hear a ringing voice selling muli ka namak - a chooran designed to cure all digestive ailments. Soon, another rasping voice would come into aural range loudly chanting the words Huss-ain Manjan guaranteed to restore falling teeth. These voices belonged to a pair of iconic personalities, who walked up and down the street selling their respective products. Just short of the point of entrance as one approached from the Nila Gumbad side, there was Mohkam Dins bakery, which sold some of the best lemon tarts that I have ever tasted anywhere in the world. On a recent visit to the place I was saddened to see the bakery in a decrepit state, but hanging on. A little way down the main street moving towards Lohari Gate on the left, was an enclave known as Bakhshi Market. The place attracted the young as flies to candy, as this was the centre of the toy business in Lahore. Alas, many of those toy shops have now been replaced by other stores, with the underlying ominous message that children now prefer to sit hunched in darkened rooms playing violent computer games rather than enjoying the funny spectacle of a spring loa-ded comical looking duck waddle across the table. Almost three quarters of the way down Anarkali, a narrow street branches left. This is the locality known as Paisa Akhbar, named after a newspaper that was printed here and perhaps sold for one paisa. This street was home to two of Lahores most famous delicacies. Sami Dehlvis Nihari was a familiar name not only to Lahoris, but to patrons living as far away as Karachi. Sami came from a cele-brated line of high class traditional chefs that created mouth-watering sustenance for leading families of Delhi. He migrated to Lahore in 1947 and set-up his business in Paisa Akhbar, becoming a household name within a short time. Close by another old Lahori supplied patrons with his trademark beorian and bhaji. This was a combination of thick puris made of atta and potatoes cooked in a spicy rec-ipe, flavoured with ajwain. I am told that while Samis nihari continues to do good business, the beoris are no more. Further down towards Lohari Gate, on the corner where another road takes off to the left towards Circular Road and Mori Gate, stood Jullunder Sweets. This was the source of some of the best Amartis in the sub-continent. Waiting amongst the crowd of people at the shop, one had the opportunity to savour the beautiful dialect of the doaba spoken by the proprietor. I am told that the estab-lishment has survived the vagaries of time and still does thriving business. On the right and just a short distance away from Jullunder Sweets, an olive green board displayed the words Delhi Muslim Hotel in bold Urdu script. Serving qorma and other traditional dishes, this hotel was patronised by some great names in Urdu literature. I had the privilege of lunching here with my father and have never forgotten the taste and flavour of the food served to us. Walking back towards Nila Gumbad, one could exit Ana-rkali through Dhani Ram Road and Aibak Road. What few people know is that one of the greatest kings of the Slave Dyn-asty of Delhi, Qutubuddin Aibak, lies buried within a simple mausoleum located off Aibak Road. The Sultan, who died as a result of injuries suffered during a game of chaugan or polo, rests in the same austerity that was the hallmark of his reign, when he ruled a vast empire. The writer is a freelance columnist.