Afzalgunj: Do you want pure oil ground from almonds, walnuts and other dry fruits? It is still available at Afzalgunj. Arguably, the only place in the city where pure oil is extracted. Thanks to Shaikh Mahboob Ali who has been working at the same shop for over 40 years, this tradition is still alive.
Many practitioners of Unani medicine, body builders and wrestlers from the city as well as people who swear by the efficacy of the medicine frequent the shop. Shaikh Mahboob Ali says, “This is the only work I know and have been at it for the last four decades. There was a time when a number of people were involved but in the last two decades, their number decreased with the advent of refined oil that come in packets.”
He grinds 4-5 kg every day and to grind one kg, it takes close to two hours. The outcome: Anywhere between 200-400 gms oil depending on the dry fruit. Many people from villages in nearby districts of Hyderabad come to the shop. Mallikarjuna Rao, an ardent fan of the oils says, “The till oil is a wonder as it refreshes one and has therapeutic value.”
Another customer Md. Murtuza has been a customer for over 20 years says, “I come here to get almond and bean oil. The former for my body and the other for consumption. Even my father used to come to this very shop.”
Into the business of making oils, this shop has been serving the people for over 85 years but for how many more years is a question. With Shaikh Mahboob Ali growing old there is no one to continue. Even the Nizams would use the oil from here he says, as he signs off.