Monday, August 29, 2016


In kashmir, we knew this butter only. Amul gained popularity in early sixties of last century . And then sometime in 1970 or 1971, Polson vanished from Kashmir..
I Remember the word " Polson" vividly.

" Kyaa sa laagaan chhivuss" POLSON"

"Are you busy in flattering him ?"

It was common to use the word ‘POLSONING ’ instead of flattering.

When POLSON Butter vanished, usage of the word " POLSON " also vanished from kashmiri language.

Many elders have confirmed that one Mr.Wattal from Gund Ahalmar (near Nai sarak in Srinagâr city ) was the oldest stockist of POLSON butter in Kashmir.Post 1947, it was sold by many traders in kashmir.This butter would come in small tin Boxes.It was yellow and salty.It tasted like home made Curd. Unusually Delicious. 

 it was also available in Military Canteens . Accordingly  Many kashmiris,  who were employees of MES  ( posted at  Badami Bagh Cantt Srinagar   )   would buy this Butter At cheaper rates  from CSD Canteens.

Polson was started by Pestonji Edulji ,a Parsi from Mumbai sometime in 1915 or 1916. In North India, o Lahore city happened to be major distribution Centre  of POLSON.

Mr wattal who traded under the name and style of "Kashmir Butter co" , imported POLSON butter from Lahore and supplied it to Some European families, Hotels including Nedou's Hotel and Maharaja's Palace .He had his shop at Pahalgham and srinagâr city around 1940.
Kashmiris in general did not consume Butter till early fifties of last century. But once they started applying butter to local bakery items like Tsoett, kulcha, Telvoru, Lavasa and Girdha,they never abandoned it. Butter is a household item in every Kashmiri family now.

In restaurants of kashmir , Butter Toast remains a much sought after item with a cup of Tea .A cup of tea is incomplete if not accompanied by hot and crispy Butter Toast.

And from my personal experience of living in Punjab, I can say with confidence that Punjabis are leaders in Butter consumption.They consume it with Chicken, Chapatis, Parantha, Lassi, Fish, Daal, vegetables, kulcha and so many other food items.

Once a Unani Hakim from Rainawari told me that during exigencies, he would buy Polson Butter for preparing medicine for his patients suffering from Hemorrhoids/ piles.This Hakim would say:
" Local butter is cool in Taaseer ( Effect ) .Tin butter is hot in Taaseer. It has salt also. But I don't get local butter often from market. See I can't go to shopian to buy those white Butter Balls every time. So I am constrained to buy this Polson Tin Butter for preparing my medicine during exigencies."

(Aûtar Mota)
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