Karamat Button House

Unique institution which is making everyone tied

Could you ever think that a shop selling buttons could foster a relationship between two countries. Specially when they happen to be warring neighbour like India and Pakistan. The famed Karamat Button House who opened its shutter in 1922 played host to the Pakistani hockey team whose members in 1987 came in search of special string called saddi for an innocuous sport like kite flying. The Karamat kite has been flying high on the Lucknow skies. Button conceal and add to the steam of the variant and could you imagine to go for an interview without button.

Yes we are talking about a famous button house situated at the heart of Lucknow in Nazirabad. The shop was opened by Ata- ullah Khan in 1922 with the business of oil lamps and after 8 years in 1930 he renovated his business and made his shop as a heaven of buttons and threads. They started a business of buttons with Army uniform button but today it has range over 350 different varieties like Bindri, Kingri, Hyderabadi, Glass, Pearl etc., ranging from 50 paisa to 500 rupees per button. They believe that cold winds of winter brings a joy and happiness for their business as winter are the busy and profitable season for their business. At present time Sifat-ullah Khan and Midhat-ullah Khan both grandsons of Ata-ullah Khan are running business with full faith and dedication.

Karamat buttons are serving their buttons and threads from over 84 years and making the people of Lucknow happy by presenting a new variety of button at every festival and making their dresses more attractive by providing different range buttons. According to Midhat people from different districts like Hardoi, Barabanki, Faizabad and Sitapur etc. come here in search of different range of buttons because besides karamat buttons, there is no other shop that has as vast variety of buttons and cuff-links.

According to Sifat-ullah Khan, after the death of his father it was very tough situation for him because he was very young at that time for running a business but he and his brother Midhat gave their best for making their business more successful. Sifat and Midhat open their shop from 10 o’clock morning to 10 o’clock evening while serving their large variety of buttons to the Lucknowites. They both have arranged their timings for the business because both of them are having a great attachment to the business and according to them they believe that their business is a gift which they have got from their forefathers.

Besides getting a success in business of buttons Midhat-ullah Khan is also getting new success in his Bollywood career by playing a role in movies like ‘Bullet Raja’ and ‘Dedh Ishqia’ and is recently shooting for upcoming movie of Saif Ali Khan ‘Fantam’. Midhat started his career as theater artist in 1990 under the guidance of famous producer and director Mr. Muzaffar Ali and after having a hard practice and struggle of 3 years he got a placement in television serial ‘Husn- e Jaana’ in 1993 from there he stared working as a junior artist and got first Bollywood movie ‘Mai Meri Patni Aur Woh’ in 2004 and after that he did not look back because ‘Acche din aa gaye hain’. Midhat may end up doing the role of Lucknow’s Button Raja probably riding a Harley

From oil lamps to apparel revamps, Karamat Button House has come a long way. With its unique collection of buttons, it has gradually become the most reliable name when it comes to holding the clothes together. With a new inning in Bollywood, the Khan Brothers are turning out to be jacks-of-all-trade, and can surprise us yet again with a new venture. Who knows what tomorrow has in store for us, and for Lucknow.


Writer is student of Mass Communication and is exploring Lucknow.

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