Of the roasted corncobs on the way to Malam Jabba

MINGORA: Before reaching the top of Malam Jabba ski resort, tourists pass through a thick forest on a zigzag road, where dozens of cold water springs, cool breeze and green pastures leave them in awe.

Their excitement doubles when they suddenly catch the smell of roasted corncobs sold by a boy at his roadside shed.

Garnished with salt, chili powder and lemon juice, roasted corncobs is the snack tourists love to munch on in the chilly weather and heavenly environment.

“When we reached here, the atmosphere forced us to take a pause and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the area. Enjoying the natural beauty, we smelt roasting corncobs so we’d them,” Kamran Zia, a tourist from Faisalabad, said.

He said cool chilly weather was the best time to eat roasted corncob.

“Taste of the roasted corncobs sold here is different. I’ve found them more delicious than what I eat in my hometown possibly due to local environment,” said Ishrat Usman, a tourist from Peshawar.

The earnings of corncob seller Ayanullah, member of a poor family, is the major source of his family’s livelihood.

“On average, I earn from Rs300 to Rs500 daily and most of it is used to buy food for family,” he said.

The child complained about his erratic income and said high sales were seen in the summer season when tourists showed up in large numbers.

“The tourist season lasts three months at maximum. Thereafter, I take up the hard job of a labourer. I enjoy smiles on the faces of tourists approaching me for roasted corncobs,” he said.

The child said he always prayed for a huge influx of tourists during the summer season for better earnings.

He said most of his clients belonged to Punjab and majority of them were women.