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.
I recently read an interesting article (“The Battle of the Bald” in Super’s Restaurant, Rawalpindi“) in Rawalpindi Blog. The nostalgic article took me back to my college days and I remembered our pranks with Mukhtar Chacha, the bald owner of Super’s Restaurant at Bank Road Rawalpindi. In 1967-68, we used to go once a week from Gordon College to Super Restaurant to have the delicious ice cream. This visit used to be two-in-one; devouring the ice cream and also teasing Mukhtar Chacaha. Even after joining the Army, this practice continued. Girls from Gordon College also used to go and have fun. Mukhtar was young at that time.
Once a firing incident took place in Super’s. One of our class fellows, nickname ‘Maarchoo’, opened fire on two boys, but they managed to survive. If you remember, in good old days when the children didn’t have enough money to buy toys, they devised some ‘games’ which didn’t require a penny. They collected empty packets of cigarettes from the street. Then they drew a circle on the ground and everyone put his packets in the circle. Boys on their turn tried to get the packets out of the circle with a round stone which did not have sharp edges to damage the packs. This stone was called ‘Maarchoo’. The famous Maarchoo of Gordon College got this name because of the roundish face resembling the stone.
By the way the Gordonian Maarchoo was not a boy, she was a daredevil girl. She always had a pistol handy with her. Aren’t you surprised? In those days, even boys didn’t have weapons. They had metal fists or hockey sticks for tough fights. Some had knives too but very few had pistols or revolvers. My class fellow Shah Rukh Lodhi (Later my Course mate who retired as a Brig from Engineers) was very good at naming people. He is still expert in this ‘art’. He named her Maarchoo. She was always accompanied by another girl named Jojo. No boy in the College dared to talk to them.
Super’s was a double-storied building. One day myself and Shah Rukh Lodhi were sitting on the ground floor of Super’s on a table adjacent to the counter, enjoying the improvised abuses of Mukhtar Chacha. As usual, he was sitting duck behind the counter and exchanging his ‘hot words’ on the phone. Suddenly we heard two shots from the upper storey. Then two boys descended the stairs in leaps and ran out of the restaurant onto the Bank Road. Maarchoo and Jojo followed the boys while cursing them loudly. Mukhtar was still ducked down under the counter and busy in his ‘routine’ on the phone and probably he didn’t hear the shots. The boys were scared to death and ran very fast to save their lives. Maarchoo and Jojo tried their best to get hold of them but they were running pretty fast. The girls finally gave up the chase and returned to Super’s. We later learnt that the boys (who were obviously not from our college) tried to become funny with the girls, not knowing that how tough and gutsy was the Maarchoo. The news of this incident spread like a jungle fire in our college and the city and the ‘dehshat’ of Maarchoo increased manifold.
That was a rare day and myself and Shah Rukh Lodhi were witness to it. The ground portion of Super’s was echoed by the abuses of Maarchoo and Jojo, mixed with the hissing expletives of Mukhtar. It was an unwritten law that hurling abuses in the Restaurant was the exclusive right of Mukhtar. In their fury, the two girls had unintentionally violated that ‘law’. I think it was the first and probably the last occasion that “The Law of Expletives” (Newton must be turning in his grave!!), was violated in Super’s Restaurant.
What a time it was!! ‘Koi louta dey meray beetay hooway din’. Forgive us Mukhtar Chacha, you gave us amusement and enjoyment. I have learnt that you have opened another restaurant in Saddar where you don’t provide ice cream but serve very tasty chicken karahi. We miss the ice cream!! We miss you, Mukhtar Chacaha!!!!
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