On a recent summer afternoon in Lahore, Abdul Qayyum placed naan from the tandoor onto a basket, ready for collection. The Khalifa Naan Shop is opposite the Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, a gloriously beautiful mosque that in recent years has become a favorite with Lahore’s moneyed couples as a backdrop for wedding portraits. The naan shop, according to its listing on Google Maps, has been around since 1869. “It’s been at least fifty years working here for us,” Qayyum said. “It’s very old,” said another worker. “A hundred years old.” They make naan stuffed with keema or chicken, roghni naan and plain naan. They make naan all year around. “Its the kind of thing that is eaten every day,” Qayyum said, as the sky began to turn grey. The shop opens at 9 a.m. every day and closes at 2 in the morning. The time doesn’t matter: People buy food from all over, Qayyum says. They know which shop sells the best tikkas, which one has the best naan.
How has the neighborhood changed in the last fifty years?
“At that time, things were different. These naans -- you could get five for four annas. Now each naan is ten rupees. Then the salary was 40 rupees a month. Now its 150 a day. it’s the expense. Things are so expensive. Flour is more expensive. The environment.... everything has changed. Now a new Pakistan is about to be made. We’ve seen the old one, now lets see the new one.”