Editor’s Note: This page contains some excellent nostalgic articles about the life in Rawalpindi during 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
“Pindi Memoirs by a Sikh Son of the Soil (Part 1)”. Read the article…..
“Pindi Memoirs by a Sikh Son of the Soil (Part 2)”. Read the article……
“Pindi Memoirs by a Sikh Son of the Soil (Part 3)”. Read the article…..
“Pindi Memoirs by a Sikh Son of the Soil (Part 4)”. Read the article…..
“Rawalpindi’s Memoirs: History of Hockey in Rawalpindi (Part 1)”
”My Old but Ever New Pindi’ (Part 19)”. Nostalgic article about marriage ceremonies of Muslims and non-Muslims in Rawalpindi during 1930’s and 40’s covering details of food menu, MANYAAN, MEHNDI, BARAAT & RUKHSATI. Read more ……….
”My Old but Ever New Pindi’ (Part 18)”. Nostalgic article about school and college excursions, visit to Taxila Museum and Swan Camp and Magic Shows in Schools in Rawalpindi in 1930’s. Read more ……….
”My Old but Ever New Pindi’ (Part 17)”. Nostalgic article about Snake Charmers, Medicine men, Road Doctors, Wild bear owners, Monkey owners, Magicians and Chinese acrobats in Rawalpindi in 1930’s. Read more………….
”My Old but Ever New Pindi’ (Part 16)”. Nostalgic article about education system, schools and colleges in Rawalpindi in 1920’s and 30’s. Read more………….
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 15)”. Nostalgic article about dresses and caps, eating habits and smoking trends in Rawalpindi before 1940’s, written by Rafique Ahmed Khan from Dubai. Read more……
“Rawalpindi; Unforgettable Train Journeys”. Shaheda Rizvi, daughter of a railway officer, writes a nostalgic article about train journeys around Rawalpindi in saloons cars back in mid 1950’s. Read more………..
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 14)”. Nostalgic article about roadside barbers, Hammams quack dentists and roadside ear specialists, sandos and Badmashes (Gangsters) in Rawalpindi before 1940’s. Read more……
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 13)”. Nostalgic article about sanitary staff, sewerage, cleanliness and condition of roads, Gawalas, Gaoo Shala and provision of milk in Rawalpindi in 1930’s and 1940’s before the Partition. Read more…….
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 12)”. Nostalgic article about some old buildings of Rawalpindi; Masonic Lodge, Pindi Club, Flasman’s Hotel, Railway Station and GPO. It also gives interesting info about NWR (North Western Railway) and various classes of compartments in trains before the Partition. Read more ………….
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 11)”. Nostalgic article about a big clock in Bagh Sardaraan, the recreation spots (Company Bagh, Bagh Sardaraan,Topi Rakh) in Rawalpindi before the Partition. It also gives information about Repco, Race Course and Agriculture Institute, etc. Read more………
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 10)”. Nostalgic article about means of transport in Rawalpindi before the Partition (Tongas, Phillips, Hercules and Raleigh bicycles, Ford, Chevrolet and Mini Austin cars, Nanda Bus Service, Pindi Bus Service and railway trains in 1930’s and 1940’s). Read more ……………….
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 9)”. Nostalgic article about posh areas of Rawalpindi Cantonment, Bohras community, Anglo Indians, Military Poultry Farm at Westridge and tailors and other shops before the Partition. Read more ……………
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 8)”. Nostalgic article about radios & radio stations, gramophones, LP records, Theaters, Puppeteers and Magicians in Rawalpindi before the Partition. Read more ……………
“Rawalpindi: Gujjar’s Daughter”. Shaheda Rizvi from Canada writes a nostalgic article about a Gujjar girl with tragic eyes who lived in the servant quarters of her house in Westridge, Rawalpindi way back in 1954-58. Read more………..
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 7)”. Nostalgic article about Dhokes, temples, Hakims & their herbal medicines and start of radio programmes in pre Partition Rawalpindi. Read more …………
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 6)”. Nostalgic article about Musical Bands, Brothels, Dooms/Mirasees/Nuts, Eunuchs, Raws, Street Vendors and Bakeries in Rawalpindi during pre-Partition era. Read more …………
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 5)”. Nostalgic article about mid-Wives, road-side ‘Naees’ (Barbers) and Compounders (fake doctors) of pre-Partition Rawalpindi. Read more …………
Denny’s High School, Rawalpindi of Early 1950’s. Nostalgic article about Denny’s High School Rawalpindi written by Tariq Masud, a retired Civil Servant. The Head Master of the School, Maulvi Raiz-ud-Din Sahib, a towering figure, inculcated character values and taught the students honesty through some unique and marvelous methods. Read more…………
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 4)”. An article about the celebrations of Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Christians festivals in pre Partition era in Rawalpindi. Read more………
“Rawalpindi – Three Days of Grace”. Shaheda Rizvi remembers how a 3-year-old boy reached her house in Westridge, Rawalpindi in 1950s and later reunited with his father through the announcement of Radio Pakistan. Read more………..
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 3)”. A nostalgic article about Luxmi Cinema, Jamia Masjid, shrines of Rawalpindi and shrine of Bari Imam and life in Rawalpindi during 1940s. Read more……….
“Rawalpindi – Landscape of my Dreams”. Shaheda Rizvi from Canada remembers her house and dog (“Tommy”) in Westridge, Rawalpindi in 1950’s. Read more………………
“Gordon College, Rawalpindi, ‘Seek & Ye Shall Find’. Dramatic Club was the most prestigious of all clubs. It staged plays and variety programs which at times were also open to the public. Qudrat Ullah Fatimi again was its patron but Mrs. Cummings, the wife of Vice Principal also took active interest. In December 1952, the dramatic Club staged Nicolai Gogol’s famous four Act play “Inspector General” under the name “Aaina”. Read more……………….
“My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 2)”. The capital of Pakistan was shifted from Karachi to Islamabad during early 60s. I still remember the day the first train arrived at Chaklala Railway Station during an afternoon in almost a very cloudy and freezing weather. …the staff of Capital Secretariats, mostly Urdu speaking, landed at the platform, they started shivering to their bones.. Read more……………..
“Childhood Memories of Rawalpindi”. My earliest memories of ‘Pindi’ go back to the time when we lived on 43 Church Road, next to the Family Wing of the CMH, and a short walking distance to GHQ where my father worked……… All the roads in the Cantonment area had very British names. The few that I remember: Gwynthomas Road, Church Road, Napier Road, Sale Road, Edwards Road, Canning Road, etc. There were two swimming pools, the Blue Lagoon and Auchinleck (named after Field Marshal Auchinleck). Read more……………
‘‘My Old but Ever New Pindi (Part 1)”. A nostalgic article about the life in Rawalpindi during 1930’s and 1940’s. “Rawalpindi which is famously known and called only Pindi, was one of the cleanest cantonment boards of the then India. Early before dawn as well as in the evenings the water carriers (Mashkys) and sweepers used to clean (without fail) the drains, streets and roads. The Municipal Fire Brigade’s water trucks used to sprinkle water twice daily on the roads…………..” Read more…………
“The Naughty MITHOO of Muslim High School, Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi”. Nostalgic article by a retired Army officer now settled in USA. “The Class of 1965 from Muslim High School, Said Pur Road, Rawalpindi consisted of about 350 students. MITHOO was a character in Section A, that was my section too. I am sure none of us remembers his full name now, not even at that time. Even the teachers used to call him MITHOO…….” Read more ………………
“Hostel Life of Gordon College, Rawalpindi in Early 1950s”. Nostalgic article by a retired Civil Servant. “Morton Hall, the three-storied imposing building in the middle of the complex, housed most of the residents in 4-bed dormitories and single rooms. Morton Hall was flanked by two-storied West Hall with only 18 rooms and Gordon Hall on the Eastern side with about 40-42 rooms. Messes and Kitchens were located between Gordon Hall and Morton Hall. There were three Messes….” Read more……….
“Rawalpindi – Sorrows of a Pastry Man”. Shaheda Rizvi from Canada remembers the tragic story of a Pastry Man who used to visit her house in Westridge, Rawalpindi in 1956. Read more………………………
“The Inauguration of Basket Ball Courts in Gordon College Rawalpindi in Late 1950s”. In late 1950s basket ball courts were constructed next to the famous Ladies Garden, separated only by a dirt path. These were probably the first properly constructed courts in Pindi. One day, I saw a very tall, slim, bespectacled Gora standing in the center of the court and practicing his shots. Read more…………..
“I Got My Learning License Back from Rawalpindi Cop after 40 Years”. Back in 1967, a Traffic Constable stopped our Vespa 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/-. Read more …………………………….
“Rawalpindi: A Sacred Space”. We lived among fruit trees and rose bushes, in Westridge, Rawalpindi, on a large estate, given to my father by the Pakistan Railways. Our house number was 125 Westridge Road, secluded and yet not secluded…. on one corner of the Westridge Road stood one of the finest bakeries in the world. Our bread, buns and biscuits came from that bakery. Read more……………………..
“History of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road Rawalpindi and Mukhtar, its Bald Owner”. Super’s was opened at Bank Road Rawalpindi in 1934-35 by Peshori Ram Lamba, , a resident of Jhelum. He also owned a restaurant by the name of Quality Ice Cream in Delhi. He was a friend of Mukhtar’s father. On 18 August 1947, Peshori Ram exchanged Super’s with his father’s Hasting Bakery & Dairy and signed a Judicial Stamp Paper of that deal in Delhi. He handed over the papers to his father and boarded him on a small Cessna plane which landed at Chaklala airport. The very next day my father met the British lady who was the manager of Super’s. On seeing the sale deed, she handed over the restaurant to him. Read more…………………..
“I am Proud to be a Pindiite”. First time I came to Pindi was in 1966 to see the 23rd March Parade just after 1965 War…… Our group in Gordon College was known as Californians by the girl students, as we spoke a lot in English…….. It was great, we then were on motor bikes, 175 cc, Hondas, and were seen as kings, used to break Beer bottles at night just at main door of PC. Read more………..
“Pindi, I Miss You”. In 1965, Down Town Pindi Saddar had a different look. There were some old spots which were constantly visited by the young Army Officers. First spot was the Super’s Ice Cream cafe run by the famous bald man Mukthar on Bank Road. Second was the famous Karim Samosa Wala where you could eat the best potato samosas and pink tea (opposite Standard Bank, now Habib Bank Ltd). Read more……………..
“Bhai Dee Pant” (Class of 1965), Muslim High Scool, Saidpur Road, Rawalpindi. Our class fellow Sultan Ahmed was the only one who wore a trouser. The whole class was fed up of listening to the same story that how the pant was sent by his brother from England. Finally to keep him shut, I gave him the nickname of “Bhai Dee Pant”. That nickname, stayed with him for the whole life. Later on “Bhai Dee Pant” also went to England for higher studies and became one of the top scientists in UK. Read more………………..
My First Ride of Double-Decker Bus in Rawalpindi, 1963. It was 1963, when the first Double-Decker Bus of GTS arrived in Rawalpindi. GTS had three stands at that time; one in Saddar, adjacent to Poonch House on Adamjee Road, that was the main Bus Stand. One in Raja Bazar between Nishat Cinema and Imperial Cinema and the third in Faizabad. Read more……..
“Remembering Khan Cafe at Kamran Market, Saddar, Rawalpindi”. A Canadian Pakistani’s Rawalpindi nostalgia. I frequently visited Khan Cafe in the late 1960s. Gradually as its kababs, tikka, chicken karahi, chholay and naans became popular, it attracted sizable crowds. The owner was a very talkative young man who entertained his customers by his continuous discourse on politics and latest news while their orders were being prepared. Read more…..
“My Cherished Memories of Rawalpindi”. A Hockey Player’s Rawalpindi nostalgia. In early 1970s, intense hockey practice wore us out, but nights at Inter Continental Hotel were wonderful. Flashman’s manager gave huge discounts on Chocolate-pastries and club-sandwiches. We devoured like someone who has not eaten in days. Read more……
“A Town Like Pindi”. Nostalgic memories of helicopter flying over Holy Family Hospital and Govt College for Women, Satellite Town Rawalpindi in 1966. I was about to land on the roof top of my house when the radio in my chopper crackled and Chaklala Air Traffic Control asked me to immediately report back to Dhamial Airfield. Read more…..
‘Even Foreigners Called it “Pindi Nostalgia”. Memories of Rawalpindi Cantt by an Army officer during mid 1970s accompanied by foreigners who came for the mountaineering expeditions. Those silvery mornings and pollution free tranquil evenings are the cherished treasure of nostalgic memories of Rawalpindi Cantt. Read more…..
“Mukhtar Sahib! The Courteous Owner of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road, Rawalpindi”. In 1961, Rawalpindi Cantt was a wonderful area, always clean and without rush of traffic. Muktar Sahib of Super’s entertained us, then we had yummy ice cream, it was either mango or vanilla. Read more …..
‘Firing Incident in Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road, Rawalpindi in 1960s’. We studied in Gordon College in 1967. One day while sitting on the ground floor of Super’s, we heard two shots from the upper storey. Two boys descended the stairs and ran out of the restaurant onto the Bank Road. Two girls (One with a revolver) followed them while cursing them loudly. Read more…..
“The Battle of the Bald” in Super’s Restaurant, Rawalpindi”. In the early 1960s, my doctor friend often asked me to sit in Super’s Restaurant and himself went to London Book Depot and used their phone to ring Mukhar and teased him about his baldness. At times he rang from Shezan Restaurant . We even found college girls ringing him from London Book Company, Mukhtar Bhai was equally popular among females. Read more…..
‘Reflections on Pindi’. The article triggered a nostalgic chain of familiar places of Pindi Cantt of late 60s; the artistic ‘Drug Store’ at the GPO Chowk; Kareem Samosa Wala at Bank Road; the old GTS Bus Stand at Adamjee Road. Cirose, Odeon and Plaza, the posh cinemas of Cantt area, with a ’Khirki Tore Hafta’. Read more……
“The ‘Gunja Kukkar’ of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road, Rawalpindi”. I was a student in Gordon College. Later, I spent 10 years with Pakistan Times at Rawalpindi. Mukhtar, the bald owner of Super’s Restaurant (located on Bank Road), was a ‘famous’ character? All of my children knew him and he too was very affectionate to them. Read more…..
“Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi”. I have some nostalgic memories of Rawalpindi. In 1975 we used to go to Saddar almost daily from Charing Cross on a taxi or on foot to see a movie, eat out or just roam around on Bank Road and adjoining streets. We had cone ice cream from Bank Road, ate Dahi Bhallay from a vendor near National Bank, had tikka-kebab from Bau (Baboo) Mohallah. Then drank fresh lime with soda near Cantonment Board Hospital. Had ice cream from Super’s on Bank Road. Read more…..
“Rawalpindi Ramblings”. I started my education in Sir Syed School on The Mall in 1952-53 and went to Gordon College in 1964-65. We lived in a house opposite Ministry of Defence (also known as ‘Calcutta Daftar’ or ‘Calcutta House’). Adjacent to our house was Mrs Davis Pvt Hotel (Now of KFC fame). There were more tongas than cars on the roads. On our bicycles we also visited Taxila Museum and went on picnics to Misriot Dam beyond Dhamial. Read more…..
“Good Old Memories of Rawalpindi”. I have spent some quality time in Rawalpindi from 1975 to 1977 in Westridge. I purchased my first car in Pindi, a white coloured 1962 vintage Volkswagen. Although I was not a smoker, I tried my first smoke while I was driving my car on The Mall Road to maximize my driving pleasure. Read more…..
“Rawalpindi Will Always Remain in Our Hearts”. I lived in Rwalpindi in 50s and 60s. We 3-4 friends used to walk daily from Lalkurti to Saddar and strolled on Bank Road and Kashmir Road and had tea from Ciros Cafe, opposite BATA Shoes; half teapot (4 annas) or full teapot (8 annas). We would only see good English movies in Ciros, Plaza or Odeon cinemas. We saw “Ben Hur “, “Cleopatra”, “Genghis Khan” and “Gone with the Wind”. Read more…..
“Rawalpindi, as I Remember”. I had my schooling in Pindi. I remember ‘mashkees’ (Watermen) spraying water on the streets during summer evenings to make the evenings cool and dust free. The environment was so clean in Saddar that Shezan Restaurant (Opposite GPO) had a front lawn for people to have outdoor tea. It was not unusual for Anglo Indian ladies with skirts to roam in Saddar and Lalkurti. I wonder where have they all gone? Read more…..
“Sweet Memories of Rawalpindi”. In 1963, American and Iranian Embassies were near our house in Satellite Town and lot of Americans lived in A Block. I cycled from Satellite Town to Army Stadium for hockey training and would never forget the sugarcane juice with tukham malanga at Taillee Mohallah. Once I walked from my house to Faizabad with the funeral of Ch. Ghulam Abbass, a famous Kashmiri leader. We at times cycled from our school to Zero Point, Islamabad and hardly a couple of cars would cross us. Read more…..
“Precious Memories of Rawalpindi”. Gordon College in those days was a prestigious institution with the attraction of co-education. Bar and Minerva Club activities were some excitement. The hustle bustle of Raja Bazar is yet another memory of Rawalpindi one cherishes. Tonga races on Eids were special occasions to see. Waljis VW micro buses, plying between Pindi and Islamabad, had their terminal near Drug Store in Saddar. Then the sight of those Hippies, who were always Tun under the influence of hasheesh, is still fresh in my memory. Read more…..
“Rawalpindi, My Birthplace”. I was born in Rawalpindi on a humid day in Aug 1953. We lived on Cannaught Road (Chalklala) and later on Jhelum Road. There was a track going from Chaklala to Ayub Park with a pipe line across Leh Nullah and one could cross over to Murree Brewery. I studied at three different schools: Saint Mary’s School Chaklala (Now called PAF School), Saint Mary’s School, Lalazar, and Faiz-ul-Islam School, Faizabad. I joined Gordon College where we had two miserable girls in our class. Life has treated me well, my friends. I have enjoyed myself to the fullest and am fully prepared to meet my Master when he calls. Read more……..
“Oh Pindi”. Today I am a senior citizen………I often visited Shezan and the Silver Grill restaurants to spend a few moments of joy…….. I remember strolling on the Mall in the company of peace and quietness except for occasional disturbance created by the passing vehicle…….. In the end I would say; “Pindi, I miss you”. Read more…………..
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