By Col (Retd) Tariq Masood, 44 Long Course (USA)
Editor’s Note: Col Tariq Masood is from a Punjab Regt. He is also a Homeopathic doctor. He has settled in USA since 2001.
In my older golden times in Rawalpindi, during late 1950s and early 1960s, there were two different cultures which were far apart from each other. There was an English medium school culture, if I remember correctly, there were only three schools where the elite of the city used to be educated. These were; St. Mary’s School on Murree Road, Denny’s High School near Mareer Chowk. One girls school, Presentation Convent, in cantonment in Lal Kurti, close to CMH Rawalpindi.
There were other ‘Taat’ schools, like Muslim High School Saidpur Road near Asghar Mall Chowk having two branches; one near Kali Tanki and one in Bunni area. There were other big schools like Islamia High School having a few branches in different parts of the city. Mission High School near Raja Bazar, Faiz-ul-Islam High School near Moti Bazar, Simla High School in Namak Mandi and Allama Iqbal Primary School near Mohallah Shah Chan Chiragh, which happened to be my ‘Katchi’ and ‘Pukki’ class school.
The two cultures were vividly so different, which could be observed very clearly and so were the two social societies miles away from each other. Apart from many other factors the most prominent was the uniform. There were elegant uniforms with Blazer cloth coats, pants and ties in English medium schools, while the ‘Taat’ schools had dress as pyjamas not even shalwar. The pyjamas which rich people used to wear as sleeping suits.These were with the different colour of lines known as ‘dhari-daar pajama’. The little better middle class families would give militia shalwar-qameez to their children. We were in Matric (10th Class) when one of our class fellows whose brother had gone to England, sent a pant for him. His name was Sultan Ahmed and he used to live near Petrol Pump Chwok (This Chowk is near General Hospital on Murree Road immediately towards the Saddar direction, from where a Road leads towards Chaklala Air Base).
Shomi-e-qismat (Unfortunately), one day Sultan came to the school wearing the pant and proudly told everybody, “Aye pant bhai nay England toun behji aye.”
He wore the same pant every day, being the only one in Muslim High School (Saidpur Road) who wore a trouser. The whole class was fed up of listening to the same story that how the pant was sent by his brother from England. Finally to keep him shut, I gave him the nickname of “Bhai Dee Pant“. That nickname, stayed with him for the whole life.
Later on “Bhai Dee Pant” also went to England for higher studies. He became one of the top scientists in UK and got the national level recognition. He has permanently settled in England. If “Bhai Dee Pant” (Sultan Ahmed Class of 1965) reads this article, he should try to reach us.
The class of 1965 was of about 350 students from all walks of life. The class made a commendable contribution in the development of the Nation.
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