Editor’s Note: The writer, a retired Army officer, wants to be Anonymous, not because of this article but because of his comments about his girl friend in another article (History of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road Rawalpindi and Mukhtar, its Bald Owner).
In 1960s, the traffic office of Pindi was located on Liaquat Road, next to Moti Masjid. Every youngster wanted a driving license. None had anything to drive but it was a Status Symbol. One had to produce a doctor’s certificate to prove that one was indeed 18+ years old. I somehow managed to get a learning license made when I was a college student.
A friend of mine sometimes got hold of his father’s Vespa and Voila, it was picnic. A half-gallon of petrol would cost like Rs.2/- which was pooled and then we rode like crazy, from one corner of the city to the other and beyond Rawal Dam to Ayub Park and places in between. It took some riding to burn that half a gallon.
Since, there was hardly any traffic, the cops had nothing to do other than to check double sawari on bicycles and we were three riding on the Vespa when stopped by a Traffic Constable at “Dingi Khoi Chowk” which is located near Khurshid Cinema.
He asked for a license and although I wasn’t even in the driving seat, produced mine proudly. He wasn’t impressed in the least and still threatened us with a Challan. After a lot of “Minat Samajat” he agreed to let us go for Rs.2/-
We obviously didn’t have that kind of money, so I promised to return in half an hour with the money and to collect my license. Couldn’t raise the money and didn’t get my license back.
I saw him in different spots of Pindi in the following years but never approached him. Time flew ………
In 2006-07, I was standing near Bara Market and guess what, I saw him walking towards me, an old man with lot of shoppers in his hands. I stopped him, introduced myself, rank and all, fished Rs.2/- from my pocket and asked for my license, dead serious. He was taken aback and when I reminded him of the incident which took place some 40 years ago, he was totally flabbergasted.
I will never forget his expressions. Then, I gave him one of my charming smiles and he relaxed.
He, of course didn’t recognize me or remember the incident but he promised to look for my license in his “service days trunk”. He also refused to accept the agreed Rishwat of Rs.2/-
The name of that Traffic Guy is Allah Yar. He retired as Sub-Inspector Traffic. He belongs to Fateh Jang and runs a Kiryana Shop there. He insisted and we had a cup of tea in a nearby restaurant. We also exchanged Cell Nos.
After a month or so he called me and asked me for my postal address. He had found my license which he later posted. It was in an awful condition, more like “Leeraan” (rags). The paper had turned yellow and the writing almost indistinguishable but it was my license alright. I still have my First Learning License, issued in 1967. Thanks to Allah Yar. We still exchange pleasantries once in a while.
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