By Col (Retd) Tariq Masood, 44 Long Course (USA)
Editor’s Note: Col Tariq Masood is from a Punjab Regt. He is also a Homeopathic doctor. He has settled in USA since 2001.
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.
It was in the news on radio and the local newspaper Tameer (which was issued from Asghar Mall Chowk) also informed that the bus will ply between Saddar and Faizabad. My house was near the famous Kalli Tanki at Said Pur Road. Chandni Chowk bus stop on Murree Road was closest from my home and I could very conveniently go there on foot and catch the bus. In the morning we all friends went to the Chandani Chowk just after the Fajjar prayers to have the first ride.There were already too many people in the line, we also stood in the queue and waited for the bus to arrive.
“Aye tay koi masla hi naeen. GTS kole barray wadday wadday crane nein”, another ‘wise’ guy informed him.
An innocent looking Baba Jee said, “Bus day driver vee dou hone gay? Per fayr ki hossi, jay utla driver brake laaway tay thalarra na laaway?”
A naughty lad teased the old man, “Bawa Jee! Fayr ki hossi jay thallay wala brake laaway tay uttay wala bhull jaaway?”
That discussion reminds me of an old Sardar Jee joke. Though it is a stale joke but I feel it is appropriate for the occasion:-
These discussions were still on when the Double-Decker Bus arrived. Everyone tried to go on the upper deck and sit next to the window. Later on it was decided that everyone should get a turn to sit next to the window. The front seats were occupied by us. The bus was fully loaded on the upper deck and there was nobody in the lower portion except the smartly dressed driver and ‘Cleaner‘ (Conductor). The ‘Cleaner’ had a whistle to stop the bus at various bus stops and at every stop the people would ride and try to get to the upper deck.
Finally the Double-Decker Bus arrived at Saddar at Main GTS Stand. What a ride!! What a fun!! I can’t forget to this day the excitement and pleasure of that memorable bus ride. How innocent, ignorant and simple were the people of that time. It was a great time. Sometimes ignorance is also blessing. Do you agree?
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