The ‘Gunja Kukkar’ of Super’s Restaurant, Bank Road, Rawalpindi

By Mehmud Ahmed (Canada)

I recently read two articles Nostalgic Memories of Rawalpindi and Photos of Rawalpindi which reminded me of my stay in that memorable place.
I am 81 years old former journalist and have settled in Canada since five years. During my years in Pakistan, I worked with various newspapers and news media. I was with the Pakistan Times for 13 years of which 10 were spent at Rawalpindi. Prior to the Pakistan Times I lived in Rawalpindi for 4 years as a student at the Gordon College while my father was at the E-in-C’s Branch, GHQ. In 1952, we shifted to Quetta when my father was transferred there. In those days Pindi was a clean, beautiful and serene city.

old pic of Shezan Restaurant, Kashmir Road, Rawalpindi Saddar, opposite GPO

Shezan Restaurant, opposite GPO, Saddar in early 1960s.

Shezan Restaurant, located opposite GPO, on Kashmir Road in Saddar area was a very fine eatery. Its sandwiches and chicken patties were very delicious and we often went there and enjoyed some other delicacies as well.
Some articles (Sweet Memories of Rawalpindi, and Rawalpindi Will Always Remain in Our Hearts) in a website, Native Pakistan, mentioned about Mukhtar, the bald owner of Super’s Restaurant (located on Bank Road). Who doesn’t know this ‘famous’ character? He was known as ‘Gunja Kukkar‘. All of my children knew Super’s and Gunja Kukkar and he too was very affectionate to them as my office, the Pakistan Times, was very close to his Super’s.
Recently my youngest son told me an interesting coincidence. He had taken a visiting friend to a restaurant in Mississauga (Toronto, Canada) and while eating they talked about Rawalpindi. A little later a middle-aged person came to them and introduced himself as the owner of the eatery and said,” I could not resist coming to your table after hearing you talk about my birth place.”
He then told them that his family was in restaurant business in Rawalpindi too.
My son asked him, “Which restaurant is being run by them in Rawalpindi?”
He said,”Super’s Restaurant”.
On hearing this, my son burst out “Oh! that of Gunja Kukkar”.
The man said, “Auh tay mairay mama jee nay“.
At which all of them at the table erupted into laughter.
إن شاء الله‎ I will write more about the Pindi that I saw in 50s, 60s and 70s.

Related Articles:
Nostalgic Articles about Rawalpindi 
Photos of Rawalpindi

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  1. Zoeb Lotia says:

    I was just looking through my emails and came across this one. I have lived all my life in Rawalpindi, studied at St. Mary’s Chaklala and then Gordon College.
    Yes, overwhelming & nostalgic memories of Shezan (had the best Chicken Tikka) and Super’s Cafe had the best Ice creams, Vanilla, Strawberry, Banana flavours or 3-in-one and of course the Tutti Frutti……wonderful days!!

    • Sir its being very interesting to read the bold stories. I still live in Rawalpindi near Mukhtar SB house and he is very good friend of mine though I am half orbits age he recently sold his hotel. I live near danis high school

  2. Jawed Aleem says:

    What memories! ! Thanks for the article. It seems like yesterday. Apart from the expletives, which was fun, my wife and I still remember the incredible ice cream and the flavors. Forgive us Mukhtar, and keep smiling wherever you are.

  3. Akmal Aleemi (USA) says:

    I remember Rawalpindi and Mrs. Davies Hotel. Agree with you that Pindi was a clean and beautiful city. An hadith comes to mind: “Do not let your cities spread beyond limits”. The saying of the Prophet (PBUH) was recited by Maulana Kausar Niazi in a Lahore gathering.

  4. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal says:

    Nostalgic indeed!! I am a 1964 matriculate from Kohinoor Colony School and a Gordonian who joined Army in 1968. Back in the mid 60s, one of our naughtier friends placed a long long order and the last item was a chicken karahi with a specific instruction, “Lekan murga ganja hovey!!”. We were on the counter and heard all abuses from the floor. Imagine Ch Nisar of PML(N), who wears an expensive wig and is far more intolerant, made to sit on that ‘Super’ counter!!! Col Younis (A very senior Aviator) is right; we must go and apologize to Sir Mukhtar who provided us so much fun inadvertently!! Long live Pindi. Best regards.

    • Aftab Zia says:

      Mr. Mehmud’s article took me back in time experiencing Super’s aroma when you walked and delicious taste of Tooti Fruity, three in one & other flavors – yet to be matched by any in the World. Gen Parvez Akmal’s article has done something to me, my childhood memories. I was born in Kohinoor Mills, even though I did not study at that school, I remember all of it. School Band marching in the street with Scotish back pipers & drums, sliding down the cement hard surface at the back side of the school, one of the best volley ball, cricket & hockey teams. How one can forget Bashir Sahib, maths teacher, who used to give me tution, & Head Master, Mr. Roy, one of the beautiful person I have yet to meet? Thanks General Parvez Akmal, do send me a personal email at

  5. Aftab Zia says:

    This article has brought all of us together having some thing in common which connects us dearly. How about if we meet all at Shalimar, suggestively March 30th at 6PM. If we all agree, I would welcome the opportunity to organize the event. Send me an email I really would like to meet with you all.

    • Jawed Aleem says:

      Aftab, Salaams. Its been a long time. I will be there in spirit on the 30th, as I am in Colombo. Warm regards, Jawed Aleem

  6. Maj Khalid Saeed Shah says:

    The legend was very popular amongst ABDALIANS as well.

  7. Enjoyed this. I remember my Pindite friends used to narrate stories of Gunja Kukar. There was a similar guy in Quetta, where I grew up. He was known as ” Mehrban Tangay wala” he also used to hurl abuses not caring even if ladies were sitting in his tonga :-) Good days of Quetta and Pindi. So much chaos now prevails.

  8. Aftab Zia says:

    Great article-back to memory lane. In 70s we used to hang around Super & Kamran restaurants – known as gang of bikers. I feel bad remembering our calls to Ganja Kukar & hanging on him before he started with most interesting abusive language.

  9. Shahid Naqi says:

    I am living in Toronto since 1995. It would be great if you could advise me the name of this restaurant in Toronto, which belongs to Mr. Mukhtar’s nephew. It would be nice visiting this place and patronising people with whom we have had some kind of a relationship, however odd. I lived in Pindi all my life, attended St.Mary’s Academy and Gordon College.

    • Mehmud Ahmed says:

      The name of the restaurant is Shalimar, located on Dundas-Winston Churchill in Mississauga. Its phone number is: 905-820-4303. The owner is Mr. Khawar (Mukhtar’s nephew). The eatery is small but very well maintained as the Super Cafe (Bank Road, Rawalpindi) and with same standard of excellent food.

  10. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah says:

    Indeed Mukhtar was a LEGEND and his ‘vocabulary’ of abuses was fantastic.

  11. Lt Col (R) Zafar Mustafa says:

    I was attending a course at School of Signals in 1961 when a friend of mine , a Lt , took me to Super Cafe and introduced Mukhtar as his brother-in-law. I still remember the bald guy who thereafter treated me with great courtesy whenever I visited the Cafe during the course. As far as the cities of Pakistan are concerned, it is not only Pindi but the same can be said of Lahore and Karachi ——-these are over-populated, unhygienic with unruly traffic and a far cry from what these were in 40s,50s and 60s.

  12. Maj (R) Shahid Hameed says:

    Mukhtar’s younger brother is our Course mate GC Gulzar, who couldn’t Pass Out. Later Mukhtar left Gulzar and started his own restaurant named Shalimar which is no more there in the Cantt Plaza. I saw him running another one on Cirose Cinema road. I sat with him for some little while in this restaurant and despite having had no appetite at all was forced by him to have something. Lovely guy he is so was Karim Samosay wala who died in early 2000, the business is now being run by his only son Saleem who honours people who go there for a second generation.

    • GC Gulzar died in Aug 2010. He had a printing press at Bank Road. Now his son is running the business. I got my son’s marriage cards printed through Gulzar in 2007. Then got other son’s cards through Gulzar’s son in 2012.

  13. Maj (R) Mujib Aftab (Old Gordonian) says:

    Oh My God!! How nostalgic. I can not forget. I was a frequent goer to that place. I miss every moment of that time. Pindi was beautiful.

  14. cobrajock says:

    These obnoxious calls were handled by proper procedure. On receipt Mukhtar Sahib would sit down behind the small counter and respond with the dirtiest language possible with his hand cupped over the mouth piece in this hidden position; so as not to let the customers hear what he was saying. Sitting in the restaurant when one saw him take cover behind the counter …………. you knew the reason.

  15. Arshad Ali says:

    Wonderful past can’t be forgotten. Rawalpindi is still young and fine but too congested; whole city, Cantt and old Pindi is full of vehicles and people.

  16. Your note about “Super Cafe” took me back six decades, when I was twenty years old. What times !!!! As you said, Pindi was a nice, beautiful and clean town, specially the Cantt area. I still live here but what a difference!!
    We used to go to Super for ice cream. One of us would go out and phone the owner and say “Oh Gunjay! tera kee haal aye“. Aur bahi Gunja us ko wo snata tha keh Allah kee panah and that too loudly. And we used to enjoy his beautiful (rich filthy) language. I forget his name now but if he is still alive I would go and apologise for what we did.

    • Sir, his name is Mukhtar. He is still fit ما شاء الله and running another restaurant “Shalimar Chicken Tikka” on Bank Road, 100 metres from Super’s on the same side towards Murree Road.

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