Sweet Memories of Rawalpindi

By Brig Asad Hakeem, Retd (2nd SSC)

Brig Asad Hakeem

Asad Hakeem

Lt Col Rashid Zia Cheema’s article Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi and Brig Akram Malik’s article Rawalpindi, as I Remember have prompted me to write this article.

Pics, images of Rawalpindi - Double Decker Bus at Chandni Chowk, Rawalpindi in 1963

Chandni Chowk 1963: Photo by Lt Gen Tahir Mahmud Qazi

Well, I have been living in Pindi and Islamabad since 1963 and studied in Central Govt Model School’s senior section (Class 6 to matric) near Chandni Chowk, ‘C’ Block, Satellite Town. Its junior section was in ‘A’ Block, Sattellite Town. I used to live in 1-C with the ‘A’ Block just across the street. This Model School was the pioneer school of all the model schools that we have in Islamabad today. In the senior section we had coeducation classes of around 25 students.

Just across our house M.r Sher Zaman Babar an ICS officer and a Joint Secy at that time lived. I saw him cycling to office occasionally. We had American and Iranian Embassies in Satellite Town near our house and lot of Americans lived in A Block. Law Ministry, in which my father worked, was in the hangars in Chaklala (Now Army  Stationary Depot is located there). The PTV Station at Chaklala was one Km away from my father’s office.

For getting training of hockey, I cycled from Satellite Town to Army Stadium a number of times and would never forget the juice of gannas (Sugarcane) with tukham malanga at Taillee Mohallah where there are still some Gratto (Jalaibee) Shops. I also remember Majid Jehangir scoring a century before lunch in Pindi Club Ground against an English team, if my memory is serving me right.

Later we shifted to 101-A, Satellite Town which was later Passport Office and now Alladdin Shaadi Hall stands there. Once I walked from my house to Faizabad with the funeral of Ch. Ghulam Abbas, a famous Kashmiri leader. Would you believe, we at times cycled from our school to Zero Point, Islamabad and hardly a couple of cars would cross us.

I vividly remember the horrific scenes of Shuhadas of 6 Sep 65 bombing in Sadiq Abad just behind our house and the roar of F-104s following the already retreating Indian aircraft. At that time there were all open fields behind the boundary wall of our house in C Block, Satellite Town. Once in the summer afternoon we moved cross-country to tress pass into the Air Field (Now Benazir International Airport) and climbed up a freighter aircraft to steal some reported clocks but without luck. In fact, somebody mistook the gadgets as watches. Ha ha ha…..

And now the answer to the question which Cheema posed in his article Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi (The Question was, “Does anyone remember the name of bald owner of Super’s Ice Cream & Restaurant at Bank Road?”). The name of that Ganja (Bald) was Mukhtar. Myself and quite a few of our school fellows used to tease him on telephone. A group would go and sit in the Super’s and another group would give him a ring and inquire if he could do outside catering. After fixing up the menu rates and the date of delivery, the other group would say,”It would be on one condition.”

He would say “Jee Sir, jee Sir! What is the condition?”

The group leader would say, “Kukkar ganjay honay chahian.”

On hearing this, he used to buck down under the counter and hurl abuses while those sitting in the Ice Cream Parlour would watch the poor guy’s plight and enjoy themselves at his cost. May Allah forgive us.

Related Articles:
Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi

Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 

Photos of Rawalpindi 

Rawalpindi Memorabilia

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  1. Daud Sharif says:

    I remember the very hot summers as we were out and about whilst our parents slept in the afternoons. I remember flying Keil Kraft’s Bandit at the Intermediate College, and behind the open fields near Zero Point.

    I remember a PAF jet crashing onto the rear wall of Survey of Pakistan. I think my father, M.M. Sharif, was Director of Photogrammetry there. I have lived in the US for 36 years and it is strange to have to get a visa to visit Pakistan or ask permission from perfect strangers to visit my father’s office.

    But, it was a different time and different century. My class fellows have maintained a Facebook page though I rarely visit it; I just inwards, into my heart, for my nostalgic visits and smile at our mischievous deeds of a long distant past.

  2. Daud Sharif says:

    I too have fond memories of Pindi and of both sections of Central Govt Model School.

    I had matriculated in 1972, Farooq Sharif, my elder brother, was four classes my senior, and Zubair Sharif (late), my younger brother, two classes my junior.
    How can I forget Sirs GM Shah, Waheed, Kiyani, Farooq, the PT teacher, who rammed down algebra down our throats, Miss Naqvi, Miss Surya, Miss Nighat, Miss Hamida, Miss Shagufta and the Bengali teacher, who’s name now escapes me.
    And of course my class fellows Arshad Magid, Shahood, Atta, Tanvir, Jamil, Rana, Rakshanda, Yasmin, Iffat… the list and the accompanying memories are endless.
    We too used to go to the airport for similar adventures and ride our bicycles to the British Council, near Odeon.

    • Asad Hakeem says:

      Good to hear from you. Farooq Sharif was our class and I have been to your house near Holy Family Hospital a number of times. Any contact details of Farooq?

      • Daud Sharif says:

        Farooq is living a quiet life at 91-E; perhaps pay him a visit.

        • Asad Hakeem says:

          You mean 91 E Satellite Town? Can you share his telephone number so that I can coordinate with him before our visit. I will take along some class fellows as well. You can send details on hakeemasad11@gmail.com.
          The name of the Bengali teacher was Sir Ghani.
          Shahood is younger brother of Javed Arshad another of our class fellows.
          Best regards,

    • mansoor says:

      The name of the Bengali teacher was Ghani Sahib .
      Add to it that there were only four or five who went back on car or any mechanical transport .

    • mansoor says:

      My urdu comes from Ms.Naqvi , chemistry and hygiene physiology from Ms.surraya , and maths from sir kiyani . tita Sir Waheed died rather young in 1983 , his emphasis on calligraphy and his beating me for being late despite his being my dad’s regular client escapes my understanding.
      Miss Hamid , Sir cheema (late period) were met by me later as well . Ms.Hameed in 1983 had an operation so met her , Ms.nighat in junior school who was the most beautiful of teachers was also seen by me in 1983 , she probably was a little downcast.
      You and me and some other sifarshis used to avoid PT sessions . your dad and my dad knew each other .

  3. Mirza Sajid Baig says:

    Asad Bhai, AOA. I would like to contact your friend Akbar who was your Course mate and my classmate in Central Government Model School. I would also like to contact Arif and Sohail. I was in Gordon College between Sep 1967 to Sep 1969 where I completed my FSc premedical group and then came to UK. My friend from D Block Satellite Town, Mushir Hussain, who is ENT Consultant in UK and myself used to go on bikes to Gordon College riding down Muree Road and Chachi mohalla. It used to be so much fun.

    I had some other friends in GORDON College, one was Javed. l remember that majority of that class ended up in the Army. Cycling used to be so much fun in those days. We cycled up to Sadder to Super’s ice cream, then Banni for gajar ka halwa adn jalebis with pao milk with malai on top. I am not in a position to digest that now.

    Once we went on bikes up to Murree. Going was hard and we walked up to Charapaani as it was all uphill but coming back to Pindi was hilarious. I got told off by my mum. Often we would go on bikes to Aabpara in Islamabad. There was a cinema in Islamabad where I saw the movie ‘Fall of the Roman Empire’ on 70mm screen and the hall was air conditioned which was a treat in 1968.

    Asad Bhai, if you can trace any of my old friends from that time, I would be obliged. My email address is: sajidbaig2@gmail.com

    Khuda Hafiz.

    • Asad Hakeem says:

      Sajid Bhai, I just spoke to Arif to get the details. We recollected some fond memories. Shahid Ahmad Khan had gone to UK sometime back and searched a lot for you but could not find you. Let us know your contact numbers so that Arif can call you. Available details are as below:-
      muhammadarif_@hotmail.com 03215163212, Arif doesn’t check his email a lot so you shouldn’t get disappointed.
      Akbar 03008503416
      Shahid Ahmad Khan 03008260959
      Which Sohail are you asking for? Is he Sohail Qayuum, Asif or our class fellow Sohail Ahmad?
      Arif was saying he will get you married to Asma. Hehe.
      I had emailed you on your email address I wonder if you received it .

  4. Asad Hakeem says:

    Mirza Bhai, Assallam o Allaikum. I wish I could see the blow up of your picture. You were a class senior to me if you passed out in 1967. If my memory goes right you lived in A Block and Mirza Rizwan was your younger brother and senior to us by a class and you were class fellow of Yousaf Niazi, etc. and senior to us by two classes. I am settled in Fazaia Colony Rawalpindi and keep on interacting with many class and school fellows. Will look forward to hear from you and give you more details about school fellows that you may be remembering. My email is hakeemasad11@gmail.com

    • Asad Hakeem Bhai, Walaikum Assalam. It is so nice to hear from you. You have amazing memory. I actually lived in B-709 Satellite Town. My dad late Mirza Anwar Beg was an officer in Radio Pakistan Pindi. Mirza Rizwan you mentioned was my class mate. Yousaf Niazi’s younger brother Younis was my class mate. He was a bully. They lived in A block. Mirza Rizwan’s father was a section officer. My other friends were Raja Liaqat. His father had a share in Pindi-Muree transport. I remember Akbar from A Block. His father was Major in Army his cousin Farooq was my class mate. My own mammoo jan Late Col M A Mirza lived in Pindi Cantt. We came to UK in 1969, my father served in Pakistan High Commission. Sadly he passed away in 2006. I did my degree in Aston University, worked for HM Revenue and Customs and retired in 2012. I have one granddaughter Zara.
      Shahid Ali, another class mate, used to live near school. My Email: sajidbaig2@gmail.com
      I am on Facebook. Please be in touch. It is all very nostalgic.

  5. Brig Asad Hakeem Sahib, you are a very skilled blogger. I am just a beginner. I enjoyed your article. I also enjoyed riding bikes and went to Murree on bikes with friends in 1966.

  6. Mirza Sajid Baig says:

    Brig Sahib, I did Matriculation in 1967 from Central Govt Model School located at 37-C Chandni Chowk. Our Head Master was Sir Iqbal. I remember Ganja in Supers. After Matric, I went to Gordon College. I would love to hear from anybody from that time.

    • mansoor says:

      Sir Iqbal son is a pharmacist and in good power circles and was at PIMS hospital all his career. In later years Sir Iqbal some how had a shop in melody .

  7. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post. Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

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