Despite being a bakery, Divya passed 112 years of confectionary name ‘Anand’. This shop in Sataroza on Nazimuddin Road is said to be one of the oldest bakeries in Dhaka. Maqsuda Aziz went to see
According to the book definition, Anand cannot be called a confectionery in any way. Their main product is that of baking items. It would be helpful to know the basic difference between bakery and confectionery here. The bakery consists of flour-sugar confections, which are baked in an oven. On the other hand, confectionery is mainly chocolate-candy-sweets-manda shops. According to him, the name of Sataroja’s shop on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka should have been ‘Anand Bakery’. But ‘Anand Confectionery’ is spending years in the sweet world of baking with this wrong name. At the age of 112 years, this shop is still going strong.
Bakery in Oligli, Old Dhaka. Maybe a three-story house, its ground floor a bakery. It also happens that there is a courtyard behind the house, with a small bakery next to it. No matter what, the store sits on one side of a narrow corridor with mats and stoves. Old Dhaka people’s noses are too high to understand baking. And the reason for the survival of this confectionery in such an environment is probably the taste. This shop has been making bread, biscuits, patties or hotdogs with the same taste for decades. Where the British’s fine baking technique is mixed with Sheikh Chan Mia’s unusual food habits from Bowlmari.
The original Moira Sheikh Chan Mea’s hand-crafted present-day crafts are his grandsons. That’s why the taste of happiness has not changed much. If he does not work with his own hands, the grandsons take turns guarding him for three hours. The leader of this party is Siddiqur Rahman. Meat Loaf, Chicken Patties, Samucha, Laddu, Various Breads and Chanachur are made under his supervision. Behind the shop on Nazimuddin Road is the factory, with an office room on one side.
There is no way to sit and eat in the shop, you have to buy and leave. But nowadays many people are seen eating while standing in the shop.
Chan Mia of Boalmari
In the 19th century, Sheikh Chan Mia came to Dhaka from Boalmari in Faridpur. He learned the work of a baker in a British bakery in Northbrook Hall in Old Dhaka. After the partition of Bengal, the bakery went up, the British owners left. But capitalizing on that knowledge, Chan Mia started a bakery business in Dhaka.
Chan Mia died during the tumult of the 1970s mass upheaval. His son Tara Mia had to deal with that shock and the liberation war came. On the night of March 25, his family was forced to flee the city due to the violence of the Pakistani army. During the war Tara Mia (Siddikur’s father) decided to return and open the bakery. As the second generation, when he took over the business, the country’s political situation was still turbulent. During the Pakistani era, food was served on important state occasions out of joy, this trend continued even after independence.
Technology has also changed a lot in 112 years. Baking is no longer done in coal furnaces as before. There is a gas furnace like a huge chong. In normal times the magic of this furnace is not understood, but on Shabbat when the bread is carved in the shape of a crocodile, turtle or fish, the munshiana of this furnace is understood. But the halwa of joy is still made by hand, it is available during Shabbat. Mayan is also now done in huge mixers.
Even in 112 years Anand did not extend himself much. A branch at Kurmitola in 1990 outside the main branch on Nazimuddin Road, that’s all. There is a very painful story behind it. Abdul Wazed was the younger brother of Siddiqur. All the spread of new age happiness is in his hands. But in 2000, Wazed suddenly died of cardiac arrest. Anand Parivar could not handle that shock. ‘Ananda’ is satisfied with the love of people as much as it lasts.