Notwithstanding criticism from some quarters, Mohd. Bin Salam of Barkas has been making special laddus for the Ganesh festival for over three decades

The old city is mostly in news for the wrong reasons, more so when it comes to matters of communal harmony . Seldom does one take note of the shining examples that bridge the communal divide.

Meet Mohd. Bin Salam of Barkas, proprietor of Huma Sweet House at Chandryangutta Chowrasta. His 40-year-old shop is a popular address for ‘laddus’ during the Ganesh festival.

Come Vinayaka Chaturthi season and Salam ‘bhai’ along with his two sons, Sayeed Bin Mohd and Mohsin Bin Mohd, gets busy preparing the lip smacking ‘laddus’. It is not a new thing for the family. In fact, they have been doing it for the last 30 years.

Why does Salam make the special ‘laddus’? “This is my way of promoting communal harmony and goodwill,” he says.

The shop is a hit with many Hindu devotees who purchase the ‘laddus’ during the 11-day festival. Right from the bigger one of 21 kg, to small ones weighing 50 grams and 100 grams, one gets ‘laddus’ of all sizes here.

Days before the Ganesh festival begins, Salam and his team get ready with their ‘laddu’ act. Decorated with dry fruits and deep fried in dollops of ghee they are really mouth-watering. The ‘laddus’ are priced at Rs. 80 a kg. At no point of time did the family think of stopping the work. “Some people talk ill about the job but we do seldom care about it. We know that we are doing no wrong and will continue with it,” affirms Sayeed.

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