“My Old but Ever New Pindi” (Part 8)

By Rafique Ahmed Khan, Dubai

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Rafique Ahmed Khan

Editor’s Note: The writer was born and brought up in Rawalpindi. He studied in Denny’s High School, Mission High School and Gordon College. He worked as a Consultant in Provisioning & Stock Control and Logistics in various Organisations. Finally retired from PIA and now lives in Dubai. He is writing a series of articles about the life in Rawalpindi during 1930s, 40s and 50s. 

Continued from Part 7 ………..

1940s vintage radio.

1940s vintage radio.

During 1940s a number of radio stations started functioning, which created a lot of choices to choose from. In the meanwhile All India Radio had started transmitting various types of programmes, like dramas, talks, discussions, music, children programmes, religious programmes; but no advertisements were made for the business community. Thus the radio was very popular to the listeners. Almost all the restaurants and tea shops in Rawalpindi started keeping radios to attract more customers.

As All India Radio transmitted only on medium wave length, there used to be atmospheric disturbances during the bad weather and we had to listen to the repulsive type of thundering noises also along with music and talks. BBC and other European radio stations were received on short wave meter bands with clear sounds without any atmospheric disturbance; and Russian/Central Asian Radio Stations were received on Long Wave Meter Bands.

During World War 2  the BBC also started Urdu programmes to counter the Berlin Radio. I faintly remember one Balraj Sahni and his wife used to speak on BBC in Urdu/Punjabi.

I also remember King Edward VIII; speaking for the last time after his abdication with his closing sentence “God save our new King”.

Bilraj Sahni and his wife, 1936. King Edward VIII and his wife Wallis Simpson, 1937

(Editor: Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth, and Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December 1936. He abdicated the throne for an American socialite Wallis Simpson, who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second husband. After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor. He married Simpson in France on 3 June 1937, after her second divorce became final).

I also remember listening to the running commentary for the funeral of Quaid-e-Azam: all the listening gathering was crying with tears in their eyes.

Pics, Photos of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: Quaid-e-Azam's funeral, September 12, 1948 - Photos of Jinnah

During early 1940s the film songs were started in their mid day transmissions, which proved to be great entertainment especially with “Request Programmes”.

I remember when in 1957 Suraiya Multanikar sang her famous ghazal “Barray beymarawat hein yeh hussan walley” for the first time, it was announced by the Radio Pakistan that they had received mail equal to two truck loads, requesting for the repeat transmission of the ghazal.

Suraiya Multanikar

Suraiya Multanikar.

With the coming of radio the use of gramophones started diminishing and soon the usage there of was almost finished. The sale of gramophone records reduced substantially. The price of gramophone records was Rs. 3 each; and price for a set of discs for complete dramas used to cost Rs. 10-15  depending upon the length of the drama, which was recorded on more than two/three discs on both sides. During 1920s these discs were only one-sided, and were very heavy in weight with 3 minute recording; but during 1930s the quality improved with recording on both the sides with a diameter of 5 inches. Later “LP” (Long Play) records were introduced with bigger size long-playing time.

Gramophone and LP (Long Play) Record.

Interestingly with the coming of television in the market, the usage of radios had also diminished drastically. Radios seem to have become out dated, and are in use in villages, far-flung areas and in automobiles. In late 1960s I saw so many radiograms (which were loaded with more than six discs at one time and played back automatically one by one), radio sets and gramophones and their discs lying in heaps in  the shops of second-hand items sellers (Kabarees).

After the Partition of India in 1947 till mid 1960s radio and cinema were main source of entertainments; but when television was introduced in 1960s all attention was diverted to this new super entertainment, which rapidly became a household routine. In the initial stages television started with very sober and high quality programmes without any vulgar or poor quality items. Respect of the audience/listeners was duly maintained during the performance; unlike the present deplorable condition of the existing vulgar, insolent and low quality TV transmissions disregarding the sanctity of the family and our religious culture. The way and the speed at which the present television system is going astray, it will soon supersede the Indian and Western transmissions to expedite speedy deterioration of our culture.

Up to 1920/30s there were other types of entertainment which were fast approaching extinction. Those were Theater and Puppetry. The Imperial Cinema in the city area of Rawalpindi was initially a theater also. There used to be mobile theatrical companies. I still remember one such company called Corinthian Theater Company. Being a mobile company it used to go round all the cities in India, and held live shows before the public. It was a very big theatrical company with its headquarters in Calcutta. I had only one chance to see this theater in the Imperial Cinema during 1930s.



Almost all schools and colleges used to have theatrical groups which used to entertain the school gatherings on functions. The student actors were trained by the teachers mainly off the school hours. I was in the singing choir of our theatrical group in the Mission High School, which used to sing national/prayer (DUWAYA) songs before the start of the drama.

Though the dramas of Agha Hashar Kashmiri and Munshi Prem Chand were modern and liked very much; the scripts of old romantic fables like “LAILA MAJNOO”, “HEER RANJHA”, “SOHNI MAHIWAAL” etc., were also dramatized and were very common and popular.

Agha Hashar Kashmiri and Munshi Prem Chand

The Hindus used to have street drama groups who would perform their religious dramas like “RAM LILA”, “MAHA BHARAT” and “BANBAAS” showing the exile of their Lord Rama during evenings. The stage was set at some height and the public would sit on ground on “Durrees”. For lights “Petromax” gas lights were used.

There used to be “FAUJI DRAMA SABHA” in the Army during British times. These drama units were mobile and kept visiting Units in various cantonments; and provided a big amusement/entertainment to the otherwise boring military personnel, who were posted in far-flung uninhibited areas.

Another type of entertainment were puppeteer and Magicians, who were mainly booked by the schools and other such organizations. These type of entertainers also performed on road sides gathering large crowds and earning their livelihood.

Puppet show

Puppet show.

Biscope slideshow being enjoyed by children.

Biscope slide show being enjoyed by children.

There used to be mobile cinemas on wheels going round the streets showing short cut movie films (“TOTAY”) or fixed slides. They were small oblong boxes fixed on four small wheels; with two or three magnifying glasses fixed on both the sides for the viewers to see through, with a hand projector fixed on one end and one square foot screen on the other side of the box. Children used to enjoy a lot after watching the “show”, after paying one or two paisa as tickets. (Editor: Probably these were commonly known as Biscopes).

These type of performances were so peaceful, entertaining, and soul touching that the present generation can not even think about the pleasure and satisfaction felt by the audiences during those times. I wonder why such a closely knitted, multi-religious society disintegrated; that the past now looks a dream. TO BE CONTINUED …………

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)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 15)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 16)
My Old But Ever New Pindi (Part 17)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 18)
My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 19)
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi  
Rawalpindi Blog 

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  1. Lt Col (Retd) Irshad Ahmed says:

    Great article with treasures of past.
    Thanks to the writer

  2. Farooq Ellahi says:

    Dear Khan Sahib,
    You deserve much gratitude to enable readers to look back at golden past days of Rawalpindi. In the present article you have exhibited a biscope which was marvelous entertainment and feast of my eyes during school days. I would talk about it to my children but could not make them understand but this picture has attracted them too. I still remember the slides of those days ‘Baara (12) munn ki Dhoban’, ‘Jhansi ki Rani’ ‘a ship with many hajees (pilgrims) on board with blue deep sea’ ‘Taj Mahal Agra’, etc.
    I have watched thousands of movies but scenes in those slide with the help of thick magnifying glasses have paramount importance in my imagination. I am still in search of that biscope and if its found somewhere I wont hesitate to buy and keep it in my bedroom to watch the colorful and most exotic slides.
    Please keep on sharing information regarding peaceful past to console the readers in the plight of modern days restlessness.
    Once again thank you for your valuable contribution.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Farooq Ellahi Saheb,
      Very nice & kind of you sir, to appreciate and encourage me. As a matter of fact the street Biscope exhibitor was most wanted vender by the children. Believe me that he used to show the slides and movies both on credit also to children, and was paid as & when the children would get their pocket money. In the absence of the interested antique collectors, such machines have gone distinct, otherwise the same would have been a marvel collection to exhibit.
      I hope & believe that you must be going through all the episodes of my memoirs. The 15th episode has already been published in the “NATIVE PAKISTAN”.
      Thanking you again and with blessings.

    • Qamar Hissam says:

      I want email address of Rafique Ahmed Khan from Rawalpindi. I will very much appreciate if any one can help.
      I have some memories about Rawalpindi.
      If Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib reads this message, I am Qamar son of Sheikh Hissam-ud-Din of ‘George Press’, Bank Road, Rawalpindi.
      Qamar Hissam
      New York
      (718) 737-4866

      • Dear Qamar Hissam Sahib,
        I am sorry to inform you that Rafique Ahmed Khan Sahib passed away in Rawalpindi on 11 July 2016 (INA LILLAH WA INA ALLAYH RAJOUN).

  3. Dr. Abdus Salam, Askari 14 -Sector-B, Rawalpindi says:

    Rafique Sahib,
    Thank you very much for Nostalgic Articles. I read on net preview of book “Pool of Life”; The Autobiography of a Punjabi Agony Aunt. By Kailash Puri. She was born in Arya Mohalla Rawalpindi. She described her childhood memories of Rawalpindi very interestingly. If it is possible relevant pages can be put by Editor in this blog.

    • Dear Dr. Abdus Salam Sahib,
      Many thanks for appreciation.
      I have started reading the book “Pool of Life” and have come to that I know Duggal family of Dhamyal very well. I have already mentioned this fact in one of my Episodes. Three cousins of Duggal family namely Autar Singh Duggal, Surrender Singh Duggal and Surjeet Singh Duggal were my class fellows up to Matric in 1941. Autar Singh remained in contact with me till his death in India and was my very fast friend. These boys used to come to Mission High School Pindi in four wheel horse drawn Fitten. They were extremely rich family. Their ancestors were known by my father also.
      I have to thank you for this startling discover.

      • Tajinder, UK says:

        Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
        I have stumbled across your memoirs purely by chance as I am trying to find out more about my maternal family, who were the Duggals of Dhamyal. My grandfather, Gurbachan Singh passed away some years ago and sadly, whilst he was alive I didn’t make enough of the small amount of time we spent together (he was in India but I grew up in England) to find out more about him. I know they were a wealthy family and I know the writer K.S. Duggal was also a cousin. I also remember him telling me that it was his Muslim friends who helped him get to India safely by hiding him between their legs on a cart.

        His mother dies, I believe, and his step mother always refused to leave Pakistan and I think was a college principal. Is any of this familiar to you?

        I hope to hear from you very soon.
        Very best wishes,

        • Dear Tejinder Sahib,
          The Dugals were a very big & rich family having big traders and holding big ranks in the army and civil cadres. They were scattered in Dhamyal and adjoining localities. Three of their family members M/s Avtar Singh Dugal, Surinder Singh Dugal & Surjeet Singh Dugal all cousins, were my class fellows in the Mission High School Rawalpindi. They were highly secular and equally popular amongst Sikh and Muslim gentry. Avtar remained in contact with me till the end of his life. Surjeet died in India very young, and Surinder was doing some business in cloth in Delhi sometimes back.
          They used to have mainly Muslim cooks/domestic servants in their homes and Muslim workers in their shops, etc. I personally know my class fellows’ Muslim driver of their horse drawn carriage in which they used to come to the school. Please do read the book “POOL OF LIFE” by Kailash Puri on line, which will confirm my memoirs. As I was very young at the time of the unfortunate Partition of India: hence I do not find myself to be able to quench your thirst to know about your such an illustrious ancestors, who have physically vanished in the thick folds of history, but their friendly warmth is still alive in the minds of those who knew them.
          Regretfully blessing you

          • Tajinder says:

            Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
            Thank you so much for replying. I have been sharing your kind words with my mother today. Even this small insight into my incredible ancestry has been wonderful. I will be trying to piece together this history as best as I can. Do you by any chance recall a man called Allah Ditta? The spelling may be wrong. This would have been around 1947 or earlier – was a good friend of my grandfather’s.

  4. Thank you Rafique Sahib for your most absorbing accounts which I enjoyed thoroughly. I wish you health, happiness and long life.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Brig Asif Haroon,
      So kind and nice of you sir, for your generous and gracious appreciation & encouragement.
      May God bless you!!

  5. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah says:

    BRAVO Rafique A. Khan Sahib,
    Sir you are closing on PINDI NAAMA, a great reading it would be for the generation to come. Stay Blessed.

  6. Albert Dean, Canada says:

    Thank you Mr. Rafique khan Sahib, for giving such magnificient details regarding Radio, TV and performers in Rawalpindi in bygone years. This section like your whole series of articles, certainly throws light as to how wonderful life was in Pindi several decades ago.
    Talking about entertainment and performers, I am still to this day amazed by the courage of certain motorcyclists who performed riding their bike on a globe or in a well, the acts being given the name ‘mout ka gola’ and ‘mout ka kuwaan’ respectively. These performances took place each year about the spring time at Liaquat Gardens in the 1950’s. The event was most dangerous, rather hair raising, but I admire the courage of those motorcyclists.
    Regards and God bless.

    • Dear Mr. Albert Dean,
      Thank you for such a nice appreciation. In fact the “MOUT KA KUWAAN” which used to be part of the Mobile Circuses started most probably round about in the 1950s. Earlier during the Circuses, there used to be wild animals, gymnastics, rope walking and jugglers to entertain the public. There after daredevil acts like motor cycles and cars were used to perform such dangerous acts. Of course the courage of the drivers of such vehicles is very commendable.
      With regards & blessings.

  7. Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

    Dear Rafique Ahmed Khan Saheb,

    Thank you so much for another addition to your other gems. Through your writings you have given life to that which was dormant in many hearts . You’ve walked us through our common peaceful heritage that is at the root of so many local traditions & celebrations. So well expressed: “I wonder why such a closely knitted, multi-religious society disintegrated; that the past now looks a dream”.

    May immense grace be with you and your family, today, tomorrow and always.

    • Dear Madam,
      I have to thank you from the the core of my heart for your such precious appreciation. The main reason for disintegration of the society is so called modernization. The other factors may be commercialization, greed, loss of faith in the religion, etc. I will quote only one example of deterioration of the journalism. In my old days there were true journalists like Maulana Hasrat Mohani, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, M/s Ali Bros, etc; They lived from hand to mouth during their lives but subsequently became the shining stars on the sky of journalism due to their being truthfully outspoken and straightforward. Neither any threat nor any monetary offer could buy them to change their stance. Comparing the present day journalists, a majority of them who are drawing SEVEN digits salaries, but remain sale-able and black mailers. In trade we could not even imagine the adulteration of food and spurious drugs, creation of artificial shortage of life saving medicines and food items.

      Modernization has also given us tremendous benefits making our lives easier and safer. We could not even think of such comfortable and quick means of communication, medical treatment. luxurious life style. Modern surgery has no parallel to mention.

      One really gets confused to compare the beneficial and destructive faces of the modernization; when we see the wholesale killings of humans with one shot by one person. Weapons of Mass Destruction and chemical/gas war hardware are so dreadful to even think of.

      In this modern period it looks that as if the existence only belongs to the fittest. Whereas in old day we had only few peaceful activities like wake up early in the morning, say our prayers, go to work and have rest to enjoy with family and then go to sleep peacefully with no burden on the brain, and no 24 hour TV transmission to keep us all awake restlessly all the night.

      Praying for you to be joyful, prosperous and successful in your life.

      • Shaheda Rizvi, Canada says:

        Dear Rafi Khan sahib,

        Agree completely. Good and the bad exist side by side, the modern comforts and the WMDs———Those that have the most modern comforts also own the largest share of world’s WMDs. The best we can do is explore our forgotten past and be thankful that much of it is recorded willingly in our memories. Thank you for revisiting and presenting the many dimensions of our local history. All your gems convey a sense of ONENESS that once was and maybe it’ll return as we weave another new world.

        Blessings and prayers, today, tomorrow and always.

        • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

          Dear Madam
          Thank you very much for your worthy reply and gracious prayers
          May God Bless you

  8. Maj (R) Syed Zahid Salam says:

    Dear Rafque Khan sahib, Having read a series of most memorable articles on my hometown Rawalpindi, I feel most fortunate and grateful to Allah(SWT) that we have you in our midst. I can only wish and pray that Allah keeps you in continued good health and happiness.
    Eagerly await your next article. Best Wishes and Regards.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Maj (R) Sayed Zahid Salam Sahib,
      So great of you sir, to have such good wishes for me. If you are original Pindite, then I may be knowing your elders.
      Thanking you for your valued comments, and praying for the best of your everything

  9. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa says:

    Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
    You are as good a historian as any professional historian. Your memory for intricate details is superb. Please continue adding to our knowledge.

  10. Lt col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

    Sir, thank you for your article full of information. Your each article is increasing my knowledge. I look for more knowledgeable write ups from you.
    My father was also in Army and I remember going with him to see unit drama. Once I joined Army I came to know that each unit had its own drama party. Each recreation room had a harmonium and Tabla along with carom board and draft/ luddo for the soldiers to relax in the evening.
    I had been a host in many unit dramas and performed skits on many occasions.In one of unit function I was co-host with the great Moeen Akhter (late). During my command I prepared a drama party with all costume and PA equipment and used to have functions quite often to entertain the Jawans and the artists lost no opportunity to criticize the officers and JCOs and specially the policies they did not like. It also worked as a feeler for the senior offices.
    We even find time and talent during courses to perform small skits during dinners. Most of the Bara Khanas end with unit drama party and may I tell you the Army has great talented people. Now a days we have Army Troupe too and their performance is outstanding. They tour all over Pakistan and entertain the officers, jawans and their families.
    So Rafiq Sahib, the soldiers find out ways to entertain themselves after tough and hard military training.and ensure that there is no boredom. Regards.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Col Masood Alam,
      So kind of you for your worthy and valuable comments. During 1940s, when the World War 2 was at its extreme, I was working in the Military Farms and was posted in different stations like Peshawar, Kohat, Thall Fort near Hangu, Lahore and Pindi. While I was in Thall Fort I had to live in the Fort along with the Army Units. And it was there that I saw the performance of mobile “FAUJI DRAMA SABHA” which was recently raised for the recreation of the “Jawans”. It used to perform for couple of weeks and then move on to the next destination. Obviously after the hard days routine the Jawans needed such recreation to refresh for the next day. Far-flung places without any population nearby like Thall Fort such type of recreation was a necessity.
      During those old days when present amenities could not be even dreamed of, those mobile units of singers, dancers, magicians and comedians were used to add a lively refreshment in the daily official routine and raised the morale of the Jawans and to avoid any boredom.
      Thanking you for your kind courtesy.

  11. Brig (R) Mumtaz Ahmad Javaid says:

    Drar Khan sahib,
    I have really enjoyed the article and discussion refreshing the good old days. Regards.

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Brig Mumtaz,
      Thank you very much for enjoying to read my memoirs.
      With best compliments.

  12. Azam Gill, France says:

    Salutations Rafique Khan Sahib,
    Once again, a pleasurable read: twice, this time. The second time to the sound of Suraiya Multanikar, a singer of the old school whose voice was always at the forefront without any electronic enhancement, and her gestures the continuity of a bygone era of graciousness.
    By the way, I think you meant ‘borred’ faujis and not boring.
    The lads in khaki are hereditary warriors committed to a perilous profession. They could only be as good as their reputation by making light of the seriousness of killing and dying.
    I found them witty, full of good humour, ready for a laugh – in short, your typical zimeendar – the background of the lads in khaki.
    Each unit has its ‘drama parties’ – if it doesn’t there’s a problem of morale, for which a CO is responsible!!

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Azam Gill Sahib,
      In fact I meant “tired”, while mentioning “bored” which has the same meaning as tired. The word “bored” is a bit notorious and is generally taken in negative sense. Everyone knows that to Defend the country is the Noblest Profession in the world. It is the biggest honor to be enrolled in the Army: and only the fittest & bravest can do it. Please do not ignore my good intentions in this regard.
      I may add that I am also a son of a zamindar who was a typical Pathan from Frontier, and it was my earliest ambition to join Army.
      Thanking you.

  13. Aslam Malik says:

    Well written article.
    Soraiya Multanikar was a singer who appeared on the scene in 1957 and not in the 1940s. The author is unduly harsh on today’s media because unlike the media of the 1960s which were nothing but propaganda tools for autocratic rulers of the time from 1958 onward, today’s media are outspoken even though somewhat chaotic. This is keeping with freedom of expression which is considered a fundamental right. Certain elements in the old guard find it hard to accept this!

    • Dear Mr. Aslam Malik
      I never wrote that Suraiya Multanikar sang in 1940s. Here mention was only in the general context due to her Ghazal without mentioning the year. Anyway I have to clear the confusion if it arose due to missing the exact era inadvertently. She of course appeared in public during 1950s.
      Regarding the media you have every right to differ; whereas I have my own opinion which is based on my personal experience during the nine decades of my life.
      Thanking you for your nice comments please.

      • There shouldn’t have been any confusion about the date of the ghazal sung by Suraiya Multanikar’s when Rafique Sahib has also mentioned Radio Pakistan:

        “….when Suraiya Multanikar sang her famous ghazal “Barray beymarawat hein yeh hussan walley” for the first time, it was announced by the Radio Pakistan that……..”.

        However, in order to avoid any further confusion, I have now dedicated a separate paragraph to Suraiya Multanikar and also mentioned the year 1957.

  14. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

    Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,

    Thanks for another enjoyable and informative account; nostalgic memories of 1940s, 50s and 60s for our age group. Alas, unethical marketing and greed has ruined all forms of entertainment today. I second Gen Ovais and Col Cheema about the jolly good fellows in ‘Khakis’! For instance, barely days before Gayari’s Avalanche Incident, the great soldiers who earned shahadat at Siachin were filmed singing beautiful songs at their camp.

    Prayers and regards,

    . .

    • Dear Gen Parvez Akmal,
      I have to thank you for your gracious and invigorating comments. You are so right that unethical & commercialized marketing has ruined almost all the social, cultural, political, entertainment and even religious aspects of our lives. You may feel the pinch of this tragedy when you reach my age comparing the different periods of your sweet life.
      May God bless you.

  15. Muhammad Shahin says:

    Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
    Please contribute more, it’s really very exciting. Just imagine I just woke up and didn’t see any other mail on my computer except the the one from Rashid Cheema Sahib. Great job being done by both these gentlemen. Thanks.
    God bless you.

  16. Khan Sahib,
    Balraj Sahni’s wife Damyanti mentioned in your article was daughter of Dr. Ghasita Ram and sister of Dr. Dhanwant Roy mentioned in your earlier articles and sister of my grandmother.
    Good to hear about our elders once again

  17. Maj Gen (Retd) Ovais Mushtaq says:

    I absolutely agree with the Editor. Its indeed a very absorbing account of the history of the entertainment industry, especially related to this part of the world.

    As regards the remark of the “boring” military personnel, maybe he meant to talk of the otherwise bored military personnel in which case he may be closer to truth even though the Fauji has the knack of making his own life interesting even at the most remote outpost that he may be occupying. Even two personnel at a remote post will find something to laugh about or even sing some melody to keep themselves from being affected by solitude.

    Thank you, Rafique Sahib for such a nice recount. We come at the tail end of this period and saw the sad demise of all these gadgets that you mentioned, not to mention the live radio programs… and later the live TV programs conducted so carefully that there was no error which could not be retrieved (though thankfully it could also not be replayed too)… these luxuries came in later years!

    Looking forward keenly to the next installment.

    • Dear Gen Ovais Mushtaq,
      I have to beg your and the Editor’s pardon to take offence of my word “otherwise boring” with regards to the military personnel in the units posted in far-flung areas. I have spent almost twenty years of my life working as a civilian in the Military Installations in Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Lahore, Kohat and Thall Fort near Hangu during 1940s and 50s. May be I could not find any better word than “boring” (may be due to my weak English) to express their being so overjoyed and refreshed after attending the mobile concerts/Fauji Drama Sabhas during late in the nights, that it could not be expressed in plain words. I think I should have written the word “tired” or “busy”.
      I have also to thank you for your gratitude, encouraging and of course correcting comments for my memoirs.
      Begging pardon again and praying for your long life and prosperity.

  18. Dear Rafique Khan Sahib,
    It is a very nostalgic and informative article about radios & radio stations, gramophones, LP records, Theaters, Puppeteers and Magicians in Rawalpindi before the Partition.

    Though I enjoyed your remark “the otherwise boring military personnel” but I tend to disagree with it. Faujis are a jolly breed. 🙂

    • Rafique Ahmed Khan says:

      Dear Lt Col Rashid Cheema,
      I find no words to thank you to provide such priceless decorations to my memoires without which the same would have been “not so bad”; and in fact have put life in it.
      As regards the word “boring” I have begged your and Maj Gen Ovais Mushtaq’s pardon in case it had any offensive reflection. Kindly see my reply to his valuable comments. As a matter of fact I meant “tired” which is an alternate word for “bore” according to my little knowledge of the English language.
      Begging your pardon again and thanking you.

      • Dear Khan Sahib,
        I didn’t take offence of your comment. Didn’t you see the smiling icon ( 🙂 ) in my above comment?

        • Col Rashid Cheema,
          Even then sir, I could feel after going through other comments also that the word was not appreciated. Thanking you for your kind help and cooperation.
          With best regards.

          • 🙂 🙂 🙂

            • Nazir Ahmed Khan, Qatar says:

              I am very thankful to you for thia information. I am wondering to get soundtrack of first ever ghazal sung by Suriya Multanikr ‘Berray baymurawat’ from Radio Pakistan. If you don’t mind to send me by email or from where and how I can get.
              Nazir Ahmed Khan
              Post Office Box 30171
              Doha, Qatar

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