By Maj Amjid Kamal Quamber (2nd SSC)
Various articles about Pindi written by my friends have also compelled me to write something about the city where I was born.
It was a humid day on 30 Aug 1953 when I was born in CMH Rawalpindi. There is only one Labour Room at 1st floor of Officers’ Family Ward and one can even today see its frosted glass if you drive from Lalkurti to GHQ Gate No. 7. (If you wonder why its on the 1st floor, here is why…each child has to be shown the GHQ Gate No. 7, so that he can enter his name for PMA without too much searching about later in life).
After a few days, I was driven back by my father in a Baby Austin to our house on Tulsa Road, Lalazar. Then my father was a Major in EME Dte, GHQ. We have lived in many houses in Pindi during my father’s service. PAF Base was one, then on Cannaught Road (Now in Chaklala Garrison) and 99-Jhelum Road (Opposite the District Courts mosque.) There was a track going from Chaklala to Ayub Park with a pipe line across Leh Nullah (Pipe line is still there behind the Askari flats) and one could cross over to Murree Brewery where a bucket of beer was boot legged for Rs 2 in the good old days (1964 to be exact).
I am still living on Tulsa Road but now am thinking of shifting to some quieter place because a number of schools have come up on this road causing frequent traffic jams during school opening/closing timings. I am living near Saint Mary’s School but back in 1953 Saint Mary’s School didn’t exist and it was a dead zone as there were Small Arms Ranges located where now Askari VII Housing Scheme stands. This dead area was used by the Army Veterinary Hospital to dispose off cast horses and mules. Later, the land was allotted to Saint Mary’s School by Gen Ayub Khan and the missionary school was built on that stretch of land in 1962.
What everyone has forgotten is the only disco in town. It was in the Intercontinental Hotel (Now PC). This was the only place in town for the interest of younger people in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
I also studied at three different schools: Saint Mary’s School Chaklala (Now called PAF School), then Saint Mary’s School, Lalazar, and finally the last but not the least, Faiz-ul-Islam School, Faizabad. I joined Gordon College where we had two miserable girls in our class. During college days, we enjoyed all the action of the times (Less the studies).
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. God Bless Pakistan.
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