Pakola has been around for decades. Around 60 years to be precise. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a green coloured soft drink that carries the ‘ice cream soda’ flavour.
Produced and bottled locally by Mehran Bottlers, it mainly supplies to Karachi and is rarely found in the Punjab region.
There are two types of people in this world: Those who hate Pakola and those who absolutely love it. I belong to the latter group, hence this blogpost.
What is it about Pakola that I love?
I love the unique flavour that no other soft drink in Pakistan possesses. I love sipping the green concoction every time the Pakistani cricket team wins or loses a match. I love that Pakola has, over the years, become a symbol of sorts for patriotism. I love the fact that out of all the things that made my childhood complete: Jet Sport, Crackle Candy, Cassette Tapes, Jubilee chocolate, laser lights, Ainak Wala Jin, VJ, Space2000, late night ‘Tanhaiyaan’ reruns, Alpha Bravo Charlie, ‘Family Front’, BP Spacer Toffee and Bunty Masks, Pakola is something that I can still enjoy whenever I want.
For most people who grew up in the 90s, Pakola is not just a drink. It’s nostalgia. It’s a symbol of loyalty. It’s consistency and innocence in an ever evolving world.
Having explained what Pakola means to me, it would be no surprise that I am devastated at the news that production has stopped due to the burden of the Capacity Tax implemented by the current government on all local bottlers in the budget 2013-2014.
I don’t know economics, so I’ll leave the analysis of this action to the experts. All I know is, I desperately want Pakola to stay and so I desperately want to find a loophole in this situation. If it comes down to paying 50 PKR for a 250 ml bottle, I’m willing to do so.
So please, dear government, dear Mehran Bottlers and dear whoever-has-power, don’t kill one of the few remaining parts of my childhood.