“My Old but Ever New Pindi” (Part 15)

By Rafique Ahmed Khan, Dubai

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Editor’s Note: The writer was born in Rawalpindi in 1925. He studied in Denny’s High School, Mission High School and Gordon College. He now lives in Dubai. He is writing a series of articles about the life in Rawalpindi during 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Continued from Part 14……….

Before 1940s the life in Rawalpindi remained very simple and easy. Very few went out without wearing long coat and cap. During winter the coats or the overcoats were woolen, and during summer cotton coats were worn. The normal dress would be “Shalwar & Qameez” tailored with cotton cloth. The high gentry used silk cloth called “RESHMI”. One type of silk was used with pride was China Silk “TWO HORSE” brand called “DOU GHORA BOSKEY”. The Muslims used “FEZ” (Turkish caps), while the Hindus used a black or dark brown round hard dwarf cap. The Sikhs used turbans to cover their heads. The Muslims also used to wear turbans in various fashions. One was called “Pugrhi”. It was a white long fine muslin cloth called “Malmal”. After being starched it was wound on a round or coned scalp cap called “KULLAH”. The costly “Kullah” was embroidered with gold thread called “Zari” with a price up to Rs.100/- each. One end of the long cloth was kept in spread position on the shoulders at the back; whereas the other end (six to ten inches) was kept erect facing sky. Being heavily starched it would stand straight majestically high; and would give an impressive look to the person. This type of turban is still used in the Army in the Sub Continent during ceremonial parades or otherwise.

Two Horse Boskey, Fez (Turkish Cap), Pagrhi and Kullah

The other type of turban was called “MUSHEHDI LUNGEE”. It was made with coloured costly silk. There were “Lungees” of black or grey coloured and sold at medium to very high price. It was also wound on round or coned “KULLAHAS” similarly as the white muslin cloth. It was a symbol of status; and mostly the Muslims used to wear it.

The Hindus would also use to wear the turbans but without “Kullahs” on their naked heads; and were called “LALA JI” as a mark of respect.

British Solar Pith HatThe thick Solar Pith British colonial hats during hot season, and felt caps were also used by the Indians, while wearing suits (pants and coats). These suits were also tailored with cotton or woolen cloth according to the weather. Neck ties and Bows were also worn while wearing the western dress. High gentry also wore three piece suits.

Quaid=e-Azam wearing a Karakul CapThough it was not mandatory but suits (Pant, Coat with neck tie) were commonly worn by the Hindu/Sikh employees working in the offices. Majority of indoor senior staff, Officers, Professors, Teachers, Doctors, and Lawyers wore westerns dress. Many of the Muslims (Specially High Gentry) also used the western dress. Generally the Muslims wore long coats over their Punjabi dress with Fez cap, “KARRAKULLY” caps (“Peshawari” caps) made with costly lamb skin and turbans as head dress. Many people would not mind wearing solar hats, neck ties or Bows with their Punjabi dress (Shalwar Qameez). This cotton dress (specially the white shalwar) was mostly starched which looked very smart. A healthy matured person with stiff moustache wearing starched Shalwar, Boski Qameez, “Zari Jooty” (local foot ware), costly “KARRAKULLY” cap or “Mushahdi Lungi”, Gold rimmed spectacles, with “West End” or “Favourleuba” wrist watch walking with highly polished costly “Timber” wood walking stick and smoking “PLAYERS NAVY CUT,”  “CAPSTAN” or  “GOLD FLAKE” cigarettes was worth seeing an impressive “PINDI WAL”. Some would carry a Tin (pack of 50 cigarettes) of cigarettes and Match Box in their hands.

Player's Navy Cut, Capstan and Gold Flake Cigarette tins

The diet was also very simple. Food in lunch or dinner was cooked afresh. Average common Muslim would have meat in the lunch, and vegetable/pulses in the dinner. Well- to- do persons would have mutton both times. Mostly vegetables were cooked with mutton. Normally one dish meal was cooked in average households by house wives themselves, but high gentry would enjoy more than one dish meals made by the cooks. Delicacies in food were PULAO, ZARDA, KHEER, GAJRELA, SHAMI KABABS, KOFTEY (Meat balls), QORMA, SIRI PAYAE, SHAB DAIG (a Kashmiri dish made with whole turnips with beef cooked over night), etc.

Various food dishes, Rawalpindi before 1940s

Peehrhi.Generally meals were taken in the kitchens in average houses sitting on “PEEHRHYS” or wooden “BEENDAS” with food kept on wooden “CHOWKEES” along with hot fresh swollen “Chappatys” right from the “CHOOLAHS”. The meals were also taken on “DASTER KHWANS” spread on the carpets or “Durrees” on the floor. The hot breads “ROTEES” from the “TANDOORS” were served with the freshly cooked single dish accompanied by salad made with onion, tomatoes, “poodna” (MINT) “Chatney” plain or mixed with cucumber in Curd. How much we enjoyed such sumptuous, pure, fresh and hot satisfying meals, it can not be expressed in words.

The average breakfast of common persons (like govt; Class III employees) was Qandhari (Oblong pointed) Naans with “malai” or left over curry from last dinner, Rusks or “Paratha” with tea. The Shop-keepers cum business men would generally take naans with ‘siri paye, “Halwa Poorees”, whereas locals from Murree Hills/Kashmir would take salted/sweet green tea with “Baqar Khaanees” and “Kulchas” (a half round saltish baked biscuit) dipped in the tea, made with milk, tea leaves and sugar boiled all together, and poured direct into the cups with saucers. High gentry and officer cadre would of course take eggs (boiled, fry or omelet), butter on toasts, orange marmalade Jams with “separate type tea” (tea leaves in boiled water in TEA POT) and milk in Jug kept separately. In big hotels and Officers’ Messes the half boiled eggs were served in beautifully designed ceramic egg pots with narrow end of the egg chipped off to facilitate taking the egg with special small silver spoons.

Qandhari Nan, Baqar Khani and Kulcha

PheniTandoori rotiDuring early times the Hindus were not in the habit of taking tea like the Muslims. They used to take milk with “PHENI” a sort of biscuit made with fine vermicelli pressed and baked. They also liked curd in breakfast. Being strictly vegetarians, their staple diet including cereals and vegetables was cooked in pure ghee (Butter Oil). They must grease their “CHAPAATYS” or “TANDOORI ROTYS” with pure ghee or butter: and never ate dry Chapaatys. They used to have their meals served on big metallic round trays, with various small round metallic cups containing cooked food, various pickles, rice and greased “chapaatys” with pure “ghee” or butter. One ingredient in the spices of their food was very compulsory; “HEENG” (Asafoetida) to treat the distended stomach with gases due to regular intake of pulses.

Hindus used round metallic tray with small cuos for food

I still remember an incident when I was working in the Military Farms during 1940s: the Head Clerk  was an orthodox Hindu who would greet with folded hands, and would never shake hands specially with the Muslims. He had a habit of washing his hands after shaking hands with the non Hindus specially the Muslims. He used to behave like a simpleton stooge, but in fact he was very shrewd. He was a staunch vegetarian. Once in a staff tea party he was seen taking the slices of cake and the pastries eagerly and looked enjoying very much. His next assistant a typical pathan asked him “Lala Jee! Why are you taking the pastry which is made with eggs; when you are strictly a vegetarian?” Upon hearing this the Lala became very upset and felt very indignant. But before saying anything he quickly galloped  the half finished piece of cake instead of throwing it away: and then started blaming the staff for not telling him before. Every one enjoyed his simplicity cum hypocrisy.

With the passage of time after 1940s, a visible change started in the diet of the Hindus, who started taking meat and poultry also. They also started using ceramic plates and glasses replacing the metallic ware. The Hindu high gentry used to have the Muslim cooks; which was unimaginable before 1930s.

One menace was of course prevalent in large scale in Pindi – it was smoking. Almost every adult would smoke with the exception of Sikhs. Smoking before or next to a Sikh was just like waving a red rag before a bull. There were lot of varieties of cigarettes in the market, like Gold Flake, Players Navy Cut, Capstan, Craven A, and Dunhill, etc., available in packs of ten, twenty and fifty cigarettes. Fifty cigarettes packs were made of air-tight tins. There was a small cutter fixed on the lids to open the tins.

Old Cigarette tins

PipeAristocrats and old Military Officers used to smoke Havana/Cuba Cigars and tobacco in the costly pipes. There were a lot varieties of the cigars like VEGAS, Frasier, GURKHA and DIESEL, etc. The cigars used to come in small beautiful wooden boxes. The various brands of tobacco used to come in sealed tins or glazed paper packets like IMPERIAL, HEARTH, GRAND PA and PRINCE ALBERT, etc. TO BE CONTINUED……………..

Cigars (Havana, Cuba, Vegas, Gurkha,Diesels) and Tobacco (Grand Pa, Prince Albert)

Related Pages:
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 1)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 2) 
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 3) 
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 4)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 5)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 6)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 7)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 8)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 9)

My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 10)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 11)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 12)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 13)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 14)
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 
Rawalpindi Blog 

Editor’s Note: 
Did you find this article interesting? Feel free to share it on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media by using the buttons below.
If it is not inconvenient, please do write a brief comment at the end of this page under the heading “Leave a Reply here”.
You are welcome to contribute nostalgic articles about Rawalpindi by sending to the Editor at:  rashid.cheema11@gmail.com


  1. Amjad Mahmood Chishti says:

    Dear Rafique Ahmed Khan sahib,
    hank you very much for uploading such valuable article containing important information regarding history of Rawalpindi. Sir, there was a very important personality of Rawalpindi Division whose name was Agha Hakeem Jan. Do you know him or have shared any information about his personality? He was the honorary Magistrate at that time when Mr. Khan Bahadur sahib was Honorary Magistrate of Punjab. Do you have any information or historical records about these two personalities?

    • Dear Amjad Mahmood Sahib,
      It is informed with deepest grief that Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib expired on 11 July 2016 in Rawalpindi (Inna Lillah Wa Inna Allayh-e-Rajayoun). May his soul rest in eternal peace, Aameen.

      • Amjad Mahmood Chishti says:

        Dear Editor,
        Thanks for your prompt reply. I was shocked to know about the sad demise of the great personality who did the great Job to save the history of Rawalpindi. May God bless his soul in rest and peace and bless his family to bear this great Loss as well.
        I hope his relatives will continue his work. One thing more in which Graveyard he was burried? Is there any tombstone on his grave? Actually I am very much impressed by his work on Rawalpindi which I came to know just on that day when I sent an email to him.
        I salute him, he was a great historian. Allah Pak un ko Janat-ul-Firdous mein jagha atta farmaye. Ameen!

  2. Farooq Ellahi says:

    Dear Khan Sahib,
    May Allah bless you good health and sharper memory to share your golden past events to readers. Reading about your articles it seems as if a film reel is moving in front of eye. I request you to throw light on movies and cinema houses of those days as you had close relationship with owner of Imperial and Odeon Cinema in Rawalpindi, I mean Mr. Jilani f/o Agha Abudur Rashid Jilani ex-mayor of Rawalpindi.
    Waiting for more memoirs recollected by your enchanting memory.
    Please keep it up!!!

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Mr. Farooq Ellahi Saheb,
      You have correctly recognized me. Agha Ghulam Jilani was my Father-in-law & his eldest son Agha Rashid Jilani was obviously my Brother-in-law. I may be knowing you also if you give me some details about you. As regards the Movies & Cinema Houses during those days I will try to cover the same in some next episode.
      Thanking you very much for your gracious appreciation, encouragement & valuable prayers.
      With Blessings and best regards,

  3. Bhinder Pal Singh says:

    Dear Rafique Ahmed Sahab,

    I have spent about 8 hours reading your posts end to end.

    They have stirred up long lost memories. My childhood was spent with people from Pindi who had settled in Delhi. For them the fruits, vegetables and water of Delhi was nothing compared to what they had in Pindi.

    I belong to a Sikh family. My parents are from Bassali and Harnal. In fact, even now they refer to their village when arranging marriages. Places like Gujjar Khan, Mandra, Sukho, Kontrila, Guliyana and Thamali. In my childhood I still remember these people fondly remembering old times. Trust me they longed for a fruit called Sarda. Sweets like Amrassa and Talooan was made till the old Halwais were alive. My father still remembers Cholay he used to have at Pindi Katcheri.

    Best regards.


      My dear Bhinder Pal Singh Ji,
      I was so happy and delighted to read your such innocent and from the depth of your heart sentiments which can only be felt by those missing their ancestral homes and places of birth, which they had to abandon under such cruel and harsh circumstances. You might be knowing that a very famous Sikh leader Master Tara Singh was also born in a village near Tara Garh Sukho. He was very brave and straight forward speaker and I often listened to his lectures. Your ancestral Village Banda Basali & Harnal are neighboring villages around Mandra. This area was dominated by the Sikhs who were very rich traders and landlords.
      Among the sweets you mentioned “Taloon” was manufactured by ONLY the Sikhs in Sukho and was liked through out India. This “Taloon” is still made in Sukho by the Muslim employees in the Sikh factories, but with much below standard quality. The “Cholay”, the favourite dish of your father, was also made by the Hindus only; which were served with “Poorhis”. Now the “Katchery” has been shifted to a new well developed adjacent area and modern type restaurants have sprung up therein.
      May be a sentimental coincidence that mostly the Sikhs were my friends during my childhood. Amongst one of them a bosom friend remained in contact with me till his death. He was S. Avtar Singh Duggal of Dhamyal in Pindi, who was my class fellow till the end. He was so faithful that he kept a very nice vigil on the grave of my late father in Bhopal till his death and kept me well informed about the safety there of. Since the day dearest Avtar died I started missing my father there being none to look after his grave. I shall ever remain obliged and ever praying for his soul to rest in peace. Now I have got another sincere Facebook friend, Gurpreet Singh Anand in Delhi, who keeps me in contact with his attractive posts & otherwise also. He is arranging the marriage of his son in next month in Delhi. How I wish I could join in his moment of Joy of the life
      Any service for me in Dubai please do call
      Thanking you again and with blessings.

  4. Dr. Kim Manhave says:

    Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,

    Thank you for your wonderful articles. As a Dutchman I visited Rawalpindi first around 1968 and I liked it immediately. I was stationed in Karachi but luckily I had to report often to Islamabad. After I had stayed two times in an international hotel in Islamabad I discovered Flashman’s Hotel. And Flashman’s brought me to your site: a few days ago I stayed in Palacio Estoril, an old-fashioned hotel near Lisbon. My mind wandered to Flashman’s and Rawalpindi and I can verily say Alhamdolilallah.
    I was always very happy in Pakistan but especially so in Rawalpindi where the ‘aab-o-hawa’ agreed better with me than in Karachi. I did speak some Urdu and could read and write it (‘aaj kal mujh ko practice nahin hai’) and I liked to roam about the bazaars and streets.

    Back from Lisbon I printed all your articles with all the comments and it brought back lucky days. Even though I was a foreigner I never felt a stranger and I remember many of the things I read in your articles. Of the ‘malmal’ I remember it was said that once there was a type of ‘malmal’ woven so thin that you could fold a whole sheet into a matchbox.
    I always stayed at Flashman’s. It had its shortcomings but it also had the charm of a hotel that had been around for many years. I think some of the rooms still had a little hole in the door post where the ‘pankah’ rope had gone through. I learned to open my door and shout ‘bera’ when I needed something and once ‘dhobi’ when I had brought only one shirt.

    Mrs Davies Private Hotel I visited once – Flashman’s must have been full – and it was quite an experience. The bedroom was enormous and one had to pass though a sitting room even bigger, obviously not in use and a store for all sorts of furniture.
    Above the bedroom was a small turret with ‘roshandans’ on all four sides. How clever!
    As it was cold already the staff asked me if I wanted to buy some wood. A ‘maund’ I remember. Well, I had learned the word but never used such an amount.
    Good wood! Probably ‘shisham’, which has become my favourite wood and of which I have brought lots and lots of furniture to Holland (from Hayat Bros., Peshawar).

    I am looking forward to more of your articles and I will certainly reread the older ones.
    I have often found that Pakistanis become very emotional when I tell them of hotels that have disappeared or habits gone out of fashion. But there was no written history of such things until now. Your articles are a great historical treasure.
    With kind regards,

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Dr. Kim Manhave,
      How kind and nice of you sir, to be so gracious in appreciating and encouraging me with regards to my memoirs which cover the period mostly prior to 1940s. You said you came in late 1960s, when the grace and service condition of the Flashman’s had deteriorated a lot as compared to its services before Partition of India in 1947. Had you visited Flashman’s during the British supervision, you would have found the atmosphere therein not less than any European standard, rather better price wise. The liveries and uniform of the serving staff were so attractive and worth seeing. The “Guests” really enjoyed the imperial stay with the perfect highest standard of service. The surroundings were perfectly clean and quiet.
      Due to new modification/alteration to make it look like a modern hotel, the building has lost its originality both in service and grandeur. Previously the Flashman’s was running under the motive to provide the best of service as against the present commercial attitude all over.
      Similarly the Mrs. Davies Private Hotel had almost finished by the late 1960s. It used to be occupied by the British families mostly, and had its own charm and service not less than any five star hotel.
      As regards the “Shisham” wood furniture, it is still being manufactured with the best quality by M/s Hayats in Rawalpindi cantonment.
      You are very right sir, the present generation is quite unaware of the golden past with so clean, quiet, and peaceful atmosphere, while existing in the present congested, noisy, and dirty environments.
      In case you need any further details I will be too pleased to provide further information to the best of my knowledge. I can be contacted at “rafique1@eim.ae”
      Thanking you again for your generosity and with blessings.

  5. Riffet Khan says:

    Dear Rafique Sb,
    I have read all of your articles. My father Mehmud Ahmed of Brampton, Canada passed away in May 2014, he used to read your articles regularly, he was a journalist for THE PAKISTAN TIMES Rawalpindi from the 60’s to late 70’s.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Riffet Khan,
      Thank you for your interest in my articles. Your late illustrious father Mehmud Ahmed was one of my fast friends who remained in contact with me till his sad death. If you advise me about your email address, I can send you his rare photos with me while my last visit to Canada. Abid is class fellow of my son Sohail Rafique.

  6. Zahir Khan says:

    Rafique sahib:

    You are very kind to your readers. You just tested their patience by mentioning 555, Players and Havana Cigars. you forgot to mention the peoples cigarette, King Stork (bagla) and K2. Imagine their state if you had mentioned the other hard stuff in the last days on Ramzan. One other thing I would like to mention. Flashman’s was being managed by an Australian by the name of Fabian way back in 1962-63. It used to have a Philipino orchestra headed by Danilo Namas playing at dinner. Fabian was the first one to introduce a sumptuous buffet lunch for Rs. 11. It was the talk of town. My o my, lunch for Rs. 11. Nowadays, Pindi has a dozen restaurants offering buffet at around Rs. 1200- 1500 + 17% tax and the amount of food that is wasted in the process is disgusting. Times have certainly changed. Please jog your memory and write about other subjects you have not touched.
    Warm regards and a Very happy Eid ul fitr to you and your family.

    My warm wishes for a happy Eid to the Editor, Lt. Col. Rashid Cheema, and his family too.

  7. Niaz Ahmad says:

    Very many thanks Rafiq Ahmad Khan Sahib and Col. Cheema for taking us down the memory lanes through enchanting and superb write ups. May Allah bless you both and all your readers. Also wish you all a very happy Eid.
    Profound regards.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Niaz Ahmad Saheb,
      Very kind of you to appreciate and encourage us for the Memoirs. May God bless you also. With best regards and of course a very hearty Eid Mubarak to you also

  8. Dear Khan Sahib,
    Asslamo ‘Alaikum,

    Another gem chapter for a prospective history book which your readership is keenly looking forward to; well done, congrats. The Editor also deserves a lot of appreciation for adding beautiful pictures.

    Fortunately our cuisine and head gear aren’t history yet. Thanks to fashion world’s ways of generating lucrative business, at-least our ‘dullah mian’ is seen in ‘sherwani’, ‘kullah’ and ‘khussas’, which are otherwise seen rarely. The ‘karakuli cap’ particularly interested me. The ‘karakul’ or ‘quraqul’ means black fur in Turkish. The folding type of karakuli, later named as Jinnah Cap, was traditionally a part of Kabuli costume. Aman Ullah Khan, the Afghan King, wore it in 1919. Most Afghan kings and presidents have worn it ever-since. There are different versions of this cap; Nepali, Russian, Kashmiri, etc. How Jinnah started wearing it is an interesting piece of history down loaded from the Internet:

    In 1937, the 25th Annual Conference of the All-India Muslim League was held in Lucknow under the chairmanship of Quaid-e-Azam (The Great Leader), Muhammad Ali Jinnah. An amalgamation of nearly seventy preeminent people were summoned at Butler Palace in Lucknow. What was to ensue after that day would prove to be a decisive moment in the course of history. Prior to attending this historic session, Nawab Mohammad Ismail Khan suggested that the day held an auspicious meaning within its clutches. It was a day when the Indian Muslim population earnestly embraced and hailed Muhammad Ali Jinnah as their foremost leader. Perceiving it to be apt; Nawab M. Ismail Khan took his Samoor Cap and generously offered it to M. A. Jinnah, insisting that it would suit him well. The humbled gentleman graciously accepted Nawab Sahib’s offer, to thereafter wear a traditional Sherwani/Achkan along with it. The outcome was visually pleasing as it greatly added to his personality. When the Quaid appeared on the dais in his rustic attire; the massive crowd, consisting of 50,000 people, burst into loud cheers upon feasting their hopes on the Great Leader. The brisk slogans of ‘Allah-ho-Akbar’ (God, The Great) dominated the atmosphere and the clapping continued for a long time. Since that day, Nawab Mohammad Ismail Khan’s Samoor Cap — rather unknown to the masses — was dubbed and came to be known as the iconic ‘Jinnah Cap’ all over the South Asia and elsewhere in the world. Over the active years of the All-India Muslim League, before eventually Pakistan was consummated, Nawab Sahib’s Cap would be lent to M. A. Jinnah on several occasions

    The velvet version of the cap is called a Rampuri cap, and was worn by the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sahibzada Liaqat Ali Khan.

    I also take this opportunity to extend heartiest Eid Greetings, with my prayers and best wishes, to all. Best regards.

    • Dear Maj Gen Parvez Akmal,
      I have to thank you respected sir, for such an exhaustive note saturated with a priceless historic information regarding the original form of the Jinnah Cap and now national dress Sherwani/achkan, which will become a part of historic record automatically. This remains a first hand information for people like me who are still thirsty for such rare but important events still remaining buried in the unopened folds of history.
      With the best of regards, blessings and of course a very Hearty EID MUBARAK to you and your beloved family.

    • Tariq Masud says:

      General Parvaz Akmal,
      Thank you for very informative piece about the origin and evolution of Karaul/Jinnah cap.

  9. Zahir Khan says:

    Rafique Sahib.

    Seems like you have hit a sensitive subject with your readers. I do remember the cigarettes in tins but never smoked. My father, God bless his soul, being a non smoker, could smell a smoker the moment he walked in the house. I think you know what I mean.
    Talking about baqar khanis, the most sought after baqar khani wala on Jamia Masjid Road closed shop and so did the one on DAV College Road. One good place these days, for the benefit of your readers. is on Gordon College Road next to Savor Pulao. Baqar khani in kashmiri chai (salty) is still an awesome combination and my favourite.
    It is always a pleasure to read your articles and thanks to Col Cheema for keeping us in the loop. By the way, a friend is collecting information on Hal Bevan Petman, a well known painter, specializing in portraits. He used to live in Pindi Club Cottages and passed away in the 80s. Does the name ring a bell. All the prominent portraits including all the Army chiefs portraits were done by him. unfortunately, most of his works have been replaced by fakes. Would like to hear from you on this too.

    Warm regards.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Zahir Khan Saheb,
      Many thanks for your very interesting comment, appreciating my memoirs. I am also a strictly non-smoker rather hate the smoking very much. But during the British regime smoking was a highly common fashion cum habit amongst a major portion of the population excluding the Sikhs: hence I could not ignore this aspect from my memoirs. Muslims were leading in smoking using various types of smoking instruments like water “Hookas” dry “Chilums” paper cigarettes and “Beerhies” made of tobacco leaves. Their deplorable condition was worth seeing just before the “Iftari” during the holy month of Ramazaan. when they used to lose the temper for even flimsy ignorable reasons.
      Though my relatives serving in the Army used to live in Pindi Club Estate, whom I used to visit frequently, I do not remember to come across such artist you mentioned in your post. May be some more details about him may trigger my memory in this regard.
      Thanking you again and with blessings.

      • Editor says:

        Dear Zahir Khan & Rafique Khan Sahib,
        Here are two links about the life history and some of the portraits of Hal Bevan Petman:

        • Dear Lt. Col. Rashid Cheema (Editor),
          It was generous of you to provide the historic account of the famous artist’s life and his works. He may have been known limited to his admirers only without becoming a public famous figure like M F Hussain, & Gul Jee, etc.
          I believe Mr. Zahir Khan must have also appreciated this valuable information. Thanking you Sir, for taking keen interest in your readers’ interests.
          With blessings.

          • Zahir Khan says:

            Dear Col. Cheema Sahib,
            Thank you for sending the two links for Hal Bevan Petman. The person whom I referred to in my blog is the one who created the facebook page for Petman. I was hoping if someone could provide first hand comments or observations about this artist. Thank you once again for keeping us all in the loop.
            Wishing you and all your readers a VERY HAPPY EID.

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

    Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
    It was a great pleasure reading your recent article as well. What a wonderful recount once again with exceptional observation, remarkable memory and the rare eye for detail. Your writings are a special gift for hard core Pindi-ites like me. Thanks a lot. May Allah bless you and give you health, happiness and strength to continue this noble task. Ameen.

    Dear Col Rashid Cheema (the Editor), You are a blessing for us, all readers of your Blog. Thanks also for posting first rate pics to give optical angle to Rafique Sahib’s descriptions.

    Best wishes to both of you and Hearty EID MUBARAK.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Brig (R) Aslam Khan Saheb,
      Very kind of you sir, for such a gracious appreciation of my memoirs. It is an honor for me to be source of recollecting some of the memories of the forgotten past
      With the best wishes and very Hearty EID MUBARAK to you and your beloved family

  11. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Arshad Meer says:

    Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib,
    Rhanks a lot for another good informative episode. Please keep contributing. By displaying photos of various delicious dishes, cigars and cigarettes the worthy Editor has tried to test the patience of Rozay-daars that is too in the last Ushra. This is not fair Col Rashid Zia Cheema, the Editor. :)

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Lt Col Arshad Meer,
      So nice of you to appreciate the memoirs, sir. I am sure you must be passing the test of your patience successfully, regardless the big temptation created by Col Rashid Zia Cheema to insert such marvelous photos in the article.

  12. Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

    Dear Sir,
    Once again you have come up with an article having great knowledge and memories. I wish that our younger generation and teenagers could also read your write up to get the insight of our traditions and culture which you so beautifully described.
    Double Horse boskey reminds me that when I was in Quetta, lot of people used to ask me to bring Two Horse boskey for them. In Quetta there was another brand too which used to be cheaper and people used to buy it thinking that they were getting a good bargain. But later they would find that it was not Two Horse brand but it was horse and donkey which was copy of Two Horse. One would find the difference only once the label was seen in detail that instead of two horses there was one horse and one donkey printed.
    Thanks to Col Cheema too for digging out old pictures and making the article more interesting.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Lt. Col. Masood Alam,
      Thank you sir for your gracious appreciation and encouragement. I remember very much the imitation of the “Two Horse Brand” Boskey, which had a similar marking but with difference of the animals: with one horse and one donkey, instead of famous “two horses”. It was sold at less than even half the price of the genuine boskey.
      It is really very big help being provided by the Editor, Lt Col Rashid Cheema to insert quite relevant and priceless pictures to my memoirs.

  13. Once the series is complete I suggest it should be published in book form.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Naeem Qureshi Saheb,
      Thank you sir for the nice suggestion. The Management of the “Native Pakistan” may perhaps like to take any action in this regard.

  14. Salim Gul says:

    Rafiq Sahib,
    It’s so nostalgic. I have faint memories of the culture you narrate. What description and narration!! May Allah bless you.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Salim Gul Saheb,
      Many thanks for your nice appreciation, sir. May God Bless you

  15. Lt Gen (R) M. Kamal Akbar says:

    Rafique Sahib,
    Your nostalgic articles are my favourite. It is amazing how you have collected and kept safe all these superb collection of photographs. Keep it up and plan to write a book also.
    My house was next to Denny’s High School.

    • Dear Gen Kamal Akbar,
      So kind of you sir, to appreciate my memoirs. I have a faint idea of the bungalow next to the Denny’s High School. There used to be some Bohra family living therein during early 30s.
      The photographs are being provided by the Editor and not me please.

  16. Sultan Jamshed says:

    My dear Khan Sahib,
    A very romantic account of past days of “Pindi” memorizing my childhood.
    I expect that after describing the pre-40s era, some thing I remember would be contributed in the present series. I again thank you and wish you health and peaceful life.

    • Dear Sultan Jamshed Saheb,
      So nice of you to appreciate my memoirs sir. I am giving stress on pre-40s era now being taken as the real and historic old, while thereafter being taken as still a modern era. However, I am trying to pen the salient memories of the post- 40s era also.
      Thanking you and with blessings/

  17. Azam Gill, France says:

    Rafique Khan Sahib,
    Your pen has once again worked its magic to release unique memories. 2-horse boskey is, I believe extinct now, probably no longer produced even in China. I would be grateful for more news on this from you or a reader.
    The breakfasts you have described are very important: South Asian cuisine offers a wide variety of breakfasts, and with your permission, I would, one day, like to use your article as a base and further elaborate the subject.
    My compliments on how well you describe the tying of the pughri: my father used to put the kulla on his knee and tie the mull-mull pughri around it. He did it on certain formal occasions, and us kids used to watch him breathlessly.
    Maybe at some time, if the spirit moves you, you might want to treat the subject of sherwanis and achkans. Since the Quaid wore a sherwani and it was adopted as the Pakistani male’s national dress, it almost eclipsed the traditional Punjabi achkan. By the time I started wearing my late father’s achkan, they were considered one and the same, much to my annoyance.
    Superb collection of pictures: who gets the medal – Khan Sahib or Col Cheema (The Editor)?

    • Dear Azam Gill Saheb,
      Many thanks for your awaited appreciation and encouragement sir. The Two Horse brand Chinese Boskey is still available in the market (but at what a cost), with very less patronage being not appreciated by the ignorants. Only the old timers like me know/appreciate its value and grace. I am still in the habit of wearing Boskey shirts with pride and pleasure.
      Thank you for appreciating my mentioning of the “breakfasts”. If I do not make any mistake you once offered to co-author a book of my memoirs. In case you still intend, then please go ahead with the project: And I will be too pleased if a relevant portion of the amount be deposited in the Pakistan Army Welfare Trust.
      The gentry, who use the “Pugree” with “Kullahs” wear it on the Kullahs direct on head in front of the mirror, and on the knees without having the mirrors to keep the windings neat and tidy visually.
      Slowly with the passage of time I am trying to recollect my memories; though at this very advanced age I have to try my best to fight the Alzheimer to pen down as much as possible.
      Of course the medal goes 100% to Lt Col Rashid Cheema, the Editor, for all the pictures.
      Thanking you again and with blessings.

  18. Senator Rahmat Ullah Kakar says:

    Beautiful memories. Articles like this from all corners of the motherland will strengthen ties amongst the people that they are one Nation, having common interest & past. So little things can be a strong net.

  19. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah says:

    Dear Sir,
    Again a great narration of good old memories, one enjoys hell of a lot as SUB KO APNA MAZI DUHRANA ACCHA LAGTA HEY.

  20. Tariq Masud says:

    Khan sahib,
    You must have worked hard to collect pictures, especially of cigars and cigarettes. Thank you for showing me pictures of Craven A and Players which are no longer available in Pakistan and which I used to relish in my youth.

    • Dear Tariq Masud Saheb,
      Thank you for your nice appreciation please. All the credit goes to Lt Col Rashid Cheema, the Editor, for the pictures. He is taking equal interest in the publication of my memoirs.
      Withg blessings

  21. Brig (R) Khalid Hassan, USA says:

    Very interesting.

  22. Editor says:

    Rafique Khan Sahib,
    You have Masha Allah a brilliant memory and a very powerful and wonderful narration.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Lt Col Rashid Cheema (The Editor),
      Many thanks for taking such keen interest in the publishing of my memoirs with your decorating the same with priceless pictures adding a lot of attraction for the readers please.
      With blessings

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