Even Foreigners Called it “Pindi Nostalgia”

Maj Farooq Rana, Retd (2nd SSC)

Maj Farooq Rana

Farooq Rana

Editor’s Note: Maj Farooq Rana is from Air Defence. He is an old Ravian and has settled in Lahore after retirement.

A wave of nostalgia swept over me when I read a few articles in Rawalpindi Blog about what the life used to be in Rawalpindi Cantt during 60s and 70s. I still vividly remember that Rawalpindi Cantonment was a nice captivating and serene location till early 70s. There was very little traffic on the roads. The roads were spotless, walkways were clean and one could see well maintained green patches on the sides of some roads. It was a fun to have a stroll in the evening in Saddar, Rawalpindi, particularly on the Bank Road.

Pictures of Rawalpindi; Photo of The Mall Road Rawalpindi in 1976 - Photos, Images of Rawalpindi

The Mall, Rawalpindi (Opposite Pindi Club).

I regularly visited Pindi every now and then in 70s, especially between 1974 to 1977 when I had to visit Pindi for my foreign mountaineering expeditions and we used to do our purchases in Saddar area.

Even the foreigners with me were lured into the spellbound serenity and romantic charm of the Cantt. I remember that most of the trees in the Cantonment area had a trash basket at a reasonable height which we used quite often during our evening and late night promenades. The tranquil cantonment of those days would cast a spell so nostalgic on every visitor, that the more you think of it the more you long for it. One can not bring those silvery mornings and pollution free tranquil evenings of winter and summer both, but one can cherish the treasure of nostalgic memories of Rawalpindi Cantt.

The foreigners after returning to their countries named this phenomena as ‘PINDI NOSTALGIA’.

Related Posts:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 

Photos of Rawalpindi 

Universities in Islamabad/Rawalpindi

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  1. Ibney Abbas Jafry says:

    Thank you for posting the photograph of Habib Bank Computer House on the Mall. I worked in that building for three years from 1972-75 prior to my move to Canada.
    We lived in Mall Hostel opposite Ciros Cinema and remember the hot raisin buns from Silver Grill. Still remember Massey Gate in Saddar which was taken down around 1956-57, there used to be Crown Bakery in Saddar and Haathi Chowk.
    I studied in St Mary’s from 1956 to 1958. The principal at that time was Father Mallet (a wonderful and great headmaster) and Father Dolans, the other teachers I remember we Mr. Rahat and Mr. Nasir they were history and geography teachers. Father Mallet was a great character builder and insisted on confidence and self esteem which was the corner stone of that great school.
    Some of the students at that time I remember were Tahir Ayub, Khushnood, Imtiaz, has be such long time. Still carry my sweet memories of that time and would love to hear from students at that time. 
I am in Canada since 1975 after working in Habib Bank in Pakistan, never had the chance to meet my School mates from St. Mary’s.
    Lots of duas.
    Ibney Abbas

    • Salaamz Jafry Bhai
      Did my matric from St. Marys 1961– Tahir Ayub was my classmate but i think he did senior Cambridge–did not know him that well.After Govt.College/KE 1968 went to USA and have recently retired (radiologist).We seem to be of same era–lived on Lawrence (now Haider) Rd.a stone throw from Ciros cinema(opp. street of Broadway bakery).We live in upstate NY and Lahore Cantt.My email for anyone to contact. Arif.Qureshi.MD@Gmail.com
      Duaaz for all

    • Salam Everyone,

      This is a great forum, I have enjoyed the photographs and the lovely accounts of peoples fond memories of Pindi. I am a son of Pindi, born in Cantonment Hospital room number 6 in 1957. Left Pakistan in in 1976 for greener pastures settled in the states now, however you cant take the Pindi out of me or any of us. Attended Lawrence college, Cant Public, and Sir Syed College.

      We all miss the good old days, as people have pointed out Pindi used to be such a nice place. Growing up in the heart of Pindi behind Bolan Radios we heard the pulse of Pindi everyday. It’s a good question where have all the good people gone, I guess some are still there and some have moved on.

      I remember our family used to walk to Chung Wah (on bank road) for dinner and come back around 9:00 or 10:00 PM the streets used to be pretty empty with families or couples walking, without any fear or hesitation. Always enjoyed a paan form Rauf paanwala.

      Well by for now will share more in the future.

      Warm Regards,


  2. Brig (R) Khalid Parvez says:

    I have very vivid memories of Super Cafe. I am a Gordonian and have spent some memorable moments of my life in Super Cafe. God Chacha Mukhtar’s vocabulary of abuses was unending.

    • Faisal Tirmizi, USA says:

      Pindi’s great tragedy has been cutting of tree and demolition of historical buildings. This must be stopped lest we lose our proud heritage

  3. One of the major setbacks to the beauty of Rawalpindi has been given in the shape of cutting down the trees. I still remember the green, cool roads of those days which are no more visible.

  4. Arif Ahmed says:

    Nice article, what has happened to all the good folks that use to live in Pindi. When I visit Pindi now it appears to be a foreign land more like all good has been destroyed. I feel like an alien in a native land.

  5. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa says:

    Very weii written piece. In fact one could say the same about some other Cantts viz Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar and Kohat, where I had the chance to live during 50s and 60s.. Population growth and resultant increase in traffic on the roads of these Cantts have ruined the calm evenings of these places. Keep writing, Farooq.

  6. Lt Col (R) Nisar Sarwar Khara says:

    Very good depiction of old Rawalpindi. Good writing, Rana. Stay blessed and be in touch.

  7. Lt Col (R) Masood Alam (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Farooq, your article is wonderfully written. I am sure we will read more from you. Regards.

  8. Dear Farooq Rana,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    During those mountaineering days in the 70s, we used to live with the expeditions in Flashman’s and stroll in Saddar with the team. I remember the Japanese going on their own to the samosa corner. Eatables were so cheap that my British expedition guys literally thought they were for ‘free’.

  9. Dr. Arif Qureshi (USA) says:

    Salaam and Duaa everyone. More of thanks to Cheema Sahib and all those who have contributed, through their articles, to nostalgia and memories of my beloved Rawalpindi of my school days.
    Farooq Bhai, إن شاء الله‎ we will have a cup of tea during my next visit to Lahore.
    Many duaa’s for Pakistan.

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