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Lemon soda a favourite summer drink in twin cities.

ISLAMABAD -- The sound of 'pop' is followed by a clink of falling soda water bottle cap at the stall of lemon soda seller.

Lemon soda is the choice drink during hot and humid weather when people tend to sweat more, losing salts and water with perspiration.

A chilled glass of the street drink is a great pick-me-up drink for people after Iftari.

Consumption of juices and drinks increases with rise in temperature. People engaged in labour or physical activity need more liquid and salt intake than those having sedentary lifestyles.

Lemon soda is a decades old traditional drink of the twin cities.

Chaudhry Mohammad Nazeer had set up his lemon soda stall on a pushcart near the biggest jewellery market of the city on Murree Road.

With the passage of time, lemon soda became the most popular drink of Rawalpindi. Nazeer left behind three sons and six daughters. Among them Papu Jee inherited his lemon soda business.

'Since childhood I had great interest in my father's work. He use to work outside the jewellery market of old Murree Road in 1991 on a pushcart,' Papu Jee recalls.

'As time passed the business grew, while the Rawalpindi Municipal Corporation (RMC) people would keep disturbing us every now and then, my father continued working,' he said recalling numerous encounters with anti-encroachment teams of RMC.

He said that as the summers reach its peak, people come to have lemon soda. Federal minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed, Mayor Rawalpindi Sardar Naseem, former MNA Hanif Abbasi, former MNA Malik Shakil Awan, film star Javed Sheikh, Qavi Khan, cricketers Shoaib Akhtar, Muhammad Akram, former Olympian Shehbaz Ahmed and people belonging from various walks of life come here to have lemon soda.

Due to security reasons, higher officials mostly take drinks in their cars.

He said he uses bottled water of reliable brands to ensure hygiene. The rest of ingredients are sugar, lemon juice, soda and ice prepared from bottled water.

Papu Jee said that the growing inflation has put his business under great pressure.

Lemons were selling for around Rs400-600 per kilogramme. 'Lemons had never become this costly in my lifetime, we use good quality lemon so that customers get better product,' Papu Jee said.

Regarding the benefits of lemon soda, Dr Naveed Atta Malik said it is quite beneficial for purification of blood, pimples, itching, teeth-diseases. He said that more and more water should be consumed in summers. In summers, lemon juice can be made both sweet and salty. Having lemon juice in water improves its absorption in blood stream, Dr Ata said.

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Publication:The Express Tribune (Karachi, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 28, 2019
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