Rawalpindi Ramblings

By Brig Humayun Malik, Retd (37th PMA Course)

Brig Humayun Malik

Brig Humayun Malik

Rashid Zia Cheema’s well written article Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi has compelled me to write something too about the city where I had my initial schooling. I started my education in Sir Syed School on The Mall in 1952-53. I have no worthwhile memories of that period to share with the readers. I later studied in Gordon College (1964 – 1965) prior to joining the Army.

Let me add an anecdote about Pindi here; One of my friends’ (also a fauji) daughter preferred Lahore over Rawalpindi, but her father insisted on living in Pindi as many of us do.

I asked her, “Why do you prefer Lahore over Pindi?”

Her comment on the size of Rawalpindi was very interesting. She said, ”Uncle, you know a village in Punjabi is called a ‘pind’. Well, Rawalpindi has an ‘i’ after Pind; so it’s very small place. I simply don’t want to live in a village.”

Rawalpindi Pictures: "Calcutta House" accommodates Ministry of Defence offices at Adamjee Road, Rawalpindi Cantonment - Photos, Images of Rawalpindi

‘Calcutta House’: Ministry of Defence offices

In those days there were only two known roads; The Mall and Murree Road. 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). Every one knew everyone in those days. It was the “pind ” my friend’s daughter described. There were more tongas than cars on the roads of Rawalpindi. All of us friends had bicycles to visit each other or go to school/college. We also visited Taxila Museum and went on picnics to Misriot Dam beyond Dhamial. The return time was before last light. No night missions were allowed but one could be out the whole day and there was no worry or panic. Can you imagine that in today’s environment?

One day, as teenagers do; I was caught by the Traffic Sergeant (an Anglo-Indian) for rash driving. He didn’t challan me; instead he told me that he will tell my father which was a VERY BIG CHALLAN. Needless to say, I was very vigilant to ensure that the Traffic Sergeant was not in the area on our future escapades.

The Pindi Club was not encouraged except for the swimming pool on weekends. In those days it was the most lively club as all foreigners and locals used this as their “home away from home”.

Related Articles:
“Bhangoo”, by Lt Col (R) Adil Akhtar, who was a POW in India with Brig Bhangoo.

Sewerage Water Tastes Saltish, by Brig Hashim Khan

The Highest Landing by an Alouette III in the World- August 1983, by Brig Hashim Khan

Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 

Photos of Rawalpindi 

Rawalpindi Memorabilia

Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi

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  1. Majida M. Khan says:

    Excellent article sir ! brings back a lot of childhood memories . I am sure we were neighbours as children . My parents home was next door to Calcutta House or ” Kalkata daftar” but across the ” ganda nala” We were next door to Keays Byrne Hotel .
    I am trying to find out the original name of Adamjee Road , do you remember it ? I will really appreciate it if you let me know .

    • Salman Younas says:

      Majida M Khan,
      I am trying to find the exact location of Keays Byrnes hotel for a friend who had lived here in 60’s. From your post, I can make out it was around the Ministry of Defence building.
      Appreciate your assistance.

    • Majida M Khan,
      Adamjee Road’s old name was Mackeson Road. It originates from Sarwar Road at Punj Sarki (5-roads) and crosses Murree Road and Kashmir Road and continues towards the Railway line and terminates at Muhammad Hussain Road near Pohree Pull. Ministry of Defence offices (Calcutta Dufttar), Poonch House, Old GTS Bus Stand and Haathi Chowk are the important landmarks on this road. After crossing Kashmir Road, you can find lots of shops of auto spare parts.

  2. Lt Col (R) Rashid Zia Cheema says:

    Excellent article about Pindi of yesteryear.

  3. Khalid Nawaz says:

    Thank you for this wonderful website and a nostalgic article.

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