Lounge Suit for Dinner at Chor (Tharparkar, Sind)

By Maj Anwar Faridi (Retd), 11th Graduate Course

Editor’s Note:Maj Anwar Faridi, EME, 11th Graduate Course Maj Anwar Faridi  is from EME. After the retirement, he has settled in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

In 1976, I was posted in 53 EME Bn at Chor (Tharparkar, Sind). GOC was visiting the Garrison and a dinner was planned. Dress for the dinner was of course closed collar (Lounge Suit). Our peace location was Hyderabad, I asked my batman to go to Hyderabad and take my suit from the suit case and bring it to Chor.A train at Chor

There was a train link between Chor and Hyderabad which has since been discontinued and now it only brings fresh water for the Garrison. In those days a train would come from Hyderabad every day in the evening and leave for Hyderabad in the morning. My batman boarded the train in the morning and returned in the evening with the suit case in his hand.

I said angrily, “Why did you bring the suit case, you were to bring the suit only and not the whole suit case?”

“Sir, I have obeyed your order”, he said.

When I hurriedly opened the suit case, to my horror it was empty and there was no suit in it.

I got infuriated and asked, “What is this?”

He replied innocently, “Sir, you asked me to take the suit out and bring the suit case.”

I attended the dinner in Shalwar kameez, much to my CO’s annoyance, but he knew my problem.

Garrison Club, Chor.

Related Pages:
Humour in Uniform
Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. Brig (R) Aslam Khan (33 PMA) says:

    In 1966 my Regt 30 Cav had a troop of 3 tanks “stationed” in Chor, usually commanded by a subaltern. Our Exercise Area was also around Chor. In contrast to the greenery abounding now, all we had were regular sandstorms in a blistering desert inhabited by sand lizards and snakes including rattlers, vipers and cobras. We had to dig deep trenches all around the tents with sharp thorns in them to keep safe from the snakes at night. Yet, we did occasionally suffer their bites with severe consequences. In long summers, potatoes with onions was the main cuisine. Meat, eggs and vegs were scarce due to steaming heat and slow transportation system those days. The meat would go stale and the vegs wither on the way. Over time, because of the troops living there, the adjoining villages had virtually run out of Desi Murgahs. Of course there was no concept of poultry farming then, at Chor or surrounding areas. In the absence of computer, cell phones and internet, we enjoyed without fuss with recourse to other activities along with our innocent, non-complaining soldiers who are such an outstanding asset. Long marches at night when the desert cools down, playing draughts and “gup-shup” were adequate entertainment.

    It was affectionately nostalgic to have been carried exactly half a century back in time to revisit the rare experience.

    Thank you, Col Cheema and brother officers for sharing valuable recollections.

    Best Regards,

    Brig(R) Aslam Khan, 33 PMA

  2. Col Riaz Jafri, Retd (7th PMA) says:

    Humour aside, I am aghast at the naivety of the nincompoop good for nothing Commanding Officer and the deteriorated state of laxity that seems to have crept into the Officers’ Messes where protocol and etiquette were once considered to be the epitome of their standing and sanctity, ‘permitted’ an officer to attend an official dinner in SUTHAN KURTA!!! He should have been thrown out not only of the dining hall but the Mess premises also.

    Let me tell ‘such’ officers and ‘such’ commanding officers that as late as the middle of the WW-II (1939-1945 war) right in the operation theatres where fighting was going on and where the units could have their officers’ messes, the SPC Officers (Special Purposes Commissioned Officers – like Doctors, Quartermasters, Censorship Officers and the Army Public Relations/War Correspondents (present ISPR), who were granted commission without undergoing proper military training in the IMA or the OTSes) were not allowed to dine in the officers’ mess but served food in their tents. They were not considered fit enough to dine at the officers’ table!! And here we have officers in Suthan Kurta attending a formal dinner !!!!!!!!!

    An Old Soldier
    Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)

    • Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Chaudhry says:

      I fully endorse the views of Col (R) Riaz Jafri.

      • Maj (R) Anwar Faridi says:

        I respect my seniors, I respect my elders. That’s what my parents taught me, and I will live and die with their teachings. I would never ever disrespect any person elder to me. Having said that, I would humbly and with utmost respect disagree with the seniors who hold the values of our masters (British Army) teachings. Just one simple question ‘Would we sit and eat dinner with a chowkidar or our cook’? I would guess, anonymous answer would be NO.
        This is what bothers me. Are all men not born equal? Why should we make those who did not go to PMA not eat on Mess table? Are we better humans than them? I am sorry but this feeling of segregation always pricks me and I cannot live with this guilt.
        My father is a retired British Commissioned officer from IMA Dehradun, his mindset and my mindset are poles apart. Allah’s rehmat, my father is alive and I live with him but our mindset are very different. I guess he is one of the senior most Pakistan Army officer in Pakistan.
        I would like to say sorry if I have hurt or disrespected my seniors.

        • Shah Alam says:

          I am happy you replied — albeit belatedly. People who consider “Suthan Kurta” so demeaning never voiced their opinion or refused to wear it when Gen Zia instituted this deviation. Ironically it also happens to be the same “Suthan Kurta” that one dons five-times-a-day to kneel and bow before Allah.

          • Doctors not considered fit to dine on the same table as “officers”! Serving under the same circumstances in the same theatres of war as their IMA etc trained comrades without any formal military training . . . Caring for them . . . Living and dying with them . . . Yet not considered worthy of dining in the officers mess!

            • Major (R) Anwar Faridi (USA) says:

              It was sad, the way doctors were treated. It reminds me Baba Fareed’s saying: “Mitti naal na kar dhoka tu- o v mitti tu v mitti.”

  3. Brig (R) Tariq Saeed, Arty (2nd SSC) says:

    Really great, those were our simple and loyal soldiers. Chhore today is a lush green beautiful Garrison with all facilities.

  4. Lt Col Javaid Ahmed Kamal (Retd), Arty says:

    Nice anecdote. A good way of keeping all Veterans together.

  5. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah, Arty (2nd SSC) says:

    A good anecdote. CHEEMA, we are grateful for your efforts as Editor.
    I see here a comment from Maj AMINULLAH GANDAPUR, if I am not wrong he was one of our Platoon Commanders in PMA. If so, my best regards to him and we have not yet forgotten his delicate sense of humor.

  6. Lt Col Abdul Waheed Bhatti (R), 11th Graduate Course says:

    Great memories, I am sure we all experienced such anecdotes in the initial days of service. That was the culture within and outside Army, our bond and relationship with soldiers was strong, both believed in each other that is the reason the institution stands out.

    Very nice to hear from you after a very long time Anwar, remain blessed.

    • Maj (R) Anwar Faridi, USA says:

      Dear Bhatti,
      We all need to thank Col Cheema (Editor, Native Pakistan) for bringing us all together. I would have never thought we will ever get together and connect.
      Please keep in touch my regular email is 463@petaro.Org

  7. Brig (R) Aslam Khan (33 PMA) says:

    Good one; typically soldierly performance.

  8. Maj (R) Amin Ullah Gandapur says:

    It reminds me of the early hours of 6th September 1965 when we moved out of Hyderabad without knowing that India has attacked the international border at Lahore. Midway to Chhor we came to know and instead of staying at Chhor we moved on to Khokrapar and by late evening were in position there. Later, we attacked and occupied the Indian Riaiway station across. Chhor remained our water point through out our stay in Rajhistan (Jaisalmir and Bikaneer district’s area up to Monabao). Water used to come by Train.
    Watching TV news channels these days, I get the uneasy feeling that the conditions in Thar have not improved during the last 50 years. What a pity and what a criminal apathy!

  9. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Nice one. Thanks for sharing. We come across many such jokes in our Army life.

  10. Brig (R) Qaiser Naqvi says:

    Hello Anwar Faridi,
    I am Brig (R) Qaiser Viqar Naqvi. How are you? Hearing from you after a long time. Are you in EME Gp. A very interesting story. Stay in touch. My email address is: qvn16@hotmail.com

    • Maj (R) Anwar Faridi, USA says:

      Dear Brig Qaiser,
      Thank you for remembering me, I am kind of losing my memory. we had one Naqvi in 11 Grad and one in 10th Grad. I guess you are from 11th Grad.

      • Brig (R) Qaiser Naqvi says:

        I am from 10th Graduate Course. I know you through Qazi Imtiaz.

        • Major (R) Anwar Faridi, USA says:

          Yes Sir, now I can clearly see you, I clearly remember your ever smiling face. Qazi Imtiaz was my class fellow in Petaro and he settled old scores of Petaro with me at PMA. I don’t know how is he doing and where has he settled down. If ever you get in touch with him please pay him my regards. We have triple bondage Petaro, Army and EME.

  11. Thank you for this cheery note on a wet, grey day in France!

  12. Major (R) Munir Ahmed, FF (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Major Anwar,
    Classic example of simple souls we had the honour to command.

  13. Col (R) Shah Alam, Canada (34 PMA) says:

    Thanks for sharing. If ever you narrated this to someone in Las Vegas, he/she would perhaps not believe that such simpletons still exist.

    • Major (R) Anwar Faridi, USA says:

      Yes sir, this part of the world does not have a clue of what are family values, love and affection. Though we are a poor nation but we have values.

  14. Faridi, nice humor.
    It tickled my old memories when I was posted in Chhor after locating course in Jan 1973. Chhor was tented camp, demarcated by each unit with bushes cut from the near areas to mark unit boundaries. Now I see a fabulous signboard indicating the Club.
    By the way, Hyderabad to Mirpurkhas was broad gauge line and from Mirpurkhas, we would board on meter gauge compartments to reach Chhor. I wonder why the shuttle service has been discontinued.
    Thanks anyway.

  15. Dear Maj Anwar Faridi,
    Very funny anecdote. Please share more.

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