RDS_190508 Rooh Afza shortage-1557309343189
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  • Rooh Afza shortage in India since four to five months
  • Company says it's because of a lack of ingredients
  • Hamdard Pakistan offers help

Dubai: For most people in the subcontinent, the idea of ending the fast is synonymous with drinking Rooh Afza, a popular rose-flavoured syrup. However, some Indians might not be doing so this Ramadan.

The iconic drink, produced by Hamdard Laboratories, has been off the market in India for four to five months and it was unavailable on online stores as well, according to a report by Indian publication The Print.

Hundreds of tweets rolled in about the drink being an integral part of an iftar. Tweep @vrishtibeniwal posted: “Breaking the fast in the evening, iftar, has traditionally consisted of pakoras [fritters], fruit chaat [fruit salad], dates and Rooh Afza. An iftari without Rooh Afza is just not the same.”

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Whereas, Twitter user @Tanima____ wrote about the sentiments and memories attached to the drink: “I don’t think I like Rooh Afza as much as I like the nostalgia attached to it. It tastes of school summer vacations and those hot afternoons when there was no AC [air conditioner], and these simple respites were enough to keep us happy.”

After reports of the shortage circulated online, in a tweet, the head of Hamdard Laboratories Pakistan, Osama Qureshi, offered to supply it to India through the Wagah border.

Using his Twitter handle @UsamaQureshy, he tweeted at the journalist who wrote a report about the shortage: “Brother @DilliDurAst, we can supply #RoohAfza and #RoohAfzaGO to India during this Ramzan. We can easily send trucks through Wahga border if permitted by Indian Government.”

To which Shivam Vij, @DilliDurAst, responded: “@Hamdard_Pk The Pakistani Rooh Afza has offered to come to the rescue.”

Shortage of ingredients

While many speculations have been circulating around the drink’s shortage, a representative from Hamdard India said that it was because of issues at the production stage.

“We are facing supply constraints of certain herbal ingredients. We hope to fix the demand supply gap within a week,” said Mansoor Ali, chief sales and marketing officer at Hamdard, according to a report by The Economic Times.

However, some reports said that the lack of production was due to a family dispute. However, Ali has shutdown such claims. In the same report by The Economic Times, he was quoted as saying: “The speculation about any rift is completely baseless. These are rumours.”