Will the real kasai please stand up?
With Eid-ul-Azha here, I understand how important it is to find a good butcher. Without one, the whole experience of qurbani (sacrifice) can be pain-staking and painful to watch. For many years now, I have gone out to find good kasais (butchers) for my family. I have thus gathered valuable tips to tell the real kasai from the fake one. So here are the key points you must keep in mind while looking for one:
1 – Original Kasais never wear jeans and shirts. Don’t judge a Kasai by his clothes – gauge their value by their work and experience
2- Whilee looking for a kasai, make sure to examine his knives. If they are shiny and new then the chances are that they have been purchased just before Eid, meaning that the butcher you are looking at has had virtually no experience.
3- Original kasais never negotiate, whereas the occasional Kasai will haggle tooth and nail to impress you. Focus on quality not on the amount of money you have to spend.It is Eid qurbani after all, not just any small occasion
4- Occasional kasais will be readily available on all three days of Eid, on traffic junctions and street corners. Beware, original kasais are booked way in advance on all three days.
5- The time taken for a qurbani is also a good indicator to tell if your butcher is an expert or a fake. 7 – 10 seconds is the time an original kasai will take to slaughter a goat, whereas a fake one will shiver, second-guess himself, and take a lot longer.
6- Give an expert any place to do his work, and he will not utter a single complaint. Original kasais will not worry about the location and will get straight to business. The occasional kasai, on the other hand, will whimper and whine and ask if there is any better place than the one provided.
7- Another quick tip; check his mouth. Gross, I know, but the true kasai will have teeth stained with gutka, paan and mainpuri. The one who is trying to trick you will be as clean as a whistle.
8- Make sure you check the shalwar of your kasai for actual blood. Many try to fool you by red paint or food colour.
9- Original Kasais do not, I repeat, do not SMS during qurbani.
10- Watch out for kasais that don’t talk about their qurabni experiences. An original kasai will mostly talk about mehangai (inflation), politics and will share qurbani stories.
Finally, and most importantly, an original kasai will never ask you for any meat or qurbani ki khaal (hide of the animal slaughtered) and will happily take the lower intestine and digestive parts.
To provide further help, I have compiled a short list of rates of original kasais for reference:
- PECHS, Tariq Road, Bahadurabad and adjoining areas (Rs1500- 2200) – mostly original.
- Defence and Clifton (Rs2500 and up) – high chances of running in to fake kasais.
- Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulistan-e-Jauher and adjoining areas (Rs800 – 1500) – mostly original.
- North Nazimabad, Nazimabad and adjoining areas (Rs800 – 1200) – mostly original
So, with that, my advice comes to an end. Don’t be fooled this year and do your homework. Have a Blessed Eid and happy kasai-finding!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.