By Maj Shahid Hameed (2nd SSC)
The articles of Rashid Cheema, Akram Malik and Asad Hakeem about life in Pindi in 1950s and 1960s also compel me to pen down my observations about this city. They have covered most of the aspects. I am also touching upon some untold versions.
Making no mention of activities in Ayub Park or educational institutions like Gordon and Govt Colleges and the Eid Melas would be unfair. Gordon College in those days was a real prestigious institution. Though it started in 1893 but in 1960s when it was no nascent but lot more fresh than what it is today, the attraction of co-education was too much for fuqras. Those who were on its Campus those days will bear me out that roaming around Ladies Garden used to be a treat itself. Bar and Minerva Club activities were some excitement. Those days fuqras would look for odd (yes, very odd) dating couples. Then their being unluckily trapped by fuqras who would fleece even that last teddy paisa from them.
The hustle bustle of Raja Bazar is yet another memory one cherishes. Said Mir and Shah Khan were names to remember in Ratta Amral area and Murtaza in Pindora. All of them had decorated their Tongas to go about and would have Tonga races on Eids which was an occasion.
The sight of Holy Family Hospital’s Tower from where Circular Road separates towards Banni is like a dream. The Great Pindi Club, when the shops in front of it were not there, and its two gates on The Mall with low boundary walls added to its grandeur. Sadly Pindi Club is now buried under the commercial thinking.
The old Murree Road near Chak Shehzad used to pass right through the centre of where the bed of Rawal Lake is. The remnants of that road stayed visible till lately when CDA in the beautification plan finished it all.
ganja (Bald) who was teased by the youngsters. While one party enjoyed his abuses on telephone, the other would, while sitting in the cafe, watched him bend low and try to whisper the kharafaat.
Yes, I still vividly remember those New Jehlum Transport Company’s Ford buses with that unique purr of them and rest of those transport companies with all bus terminals along Liaquat Road. Those Travel Waljis VW micro buses, plying between Pindi and Islamabad, had their terminal near Drug Store on Haider Road, in Saddar. Then the sight of those Hippies, who were always Tun under the influence of hasheesh, (staying in those hotels near the Railway Station) is still fresh in my memory. I also remember the sight of Army officers riding in and out of GHQ on bicycles. Cars were seldom seen.
These memories are really precious.
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