Friday, March 27, 2009

You know you grew up in Rawalpindi Cantt when.....

Parul is responsible for this walk down memory lane...I hope it strikes a chord for some soul out there for a particular 'moment in time, point in space' that existed before the current season of madness descended upon us.

1. Every spring the gardener painted the gamlas fire engine red with a white border...the kiyaris were lined with bricks (painted white every spring)...the whole street had trees with the tree trunks painted the regulation white.
2. Batmen were not comic book super heroes...but they were many a home maker's hero for saving the day and laundry.
3. “Ji, peechey sey bund hai’ was a perfectly good reason for the electricity complaint centre when you complained about a power failure. End of story.
4.You still remember the time PTV re-telecast an episode of Dhoop Kinarey FOR ALL OF PAKISTAN as there was a power failure in the greater Rawalpindi, Islamabad area. Good times!
5.There was only one way to eat corn...challi..baked in hot sand and topped with lemon, red pepper and salt. Roasting it on coal like the Karachites is going against the word of the Lord. So also is your mother insisting on boiling the cobs and topping it with butter and salt...Bleeecchhhhh.
6.Lal Kurti is NOT an item of clothing.
7.Boys, three a motorbike or ten piled in a car would park in front of your school and college ‘to pick up their sister’ was the highlight of everyone’s day.
8.You knew it was a cardinal rule for the support staff to salute everything that moved and whitewash anything that was stationary.
9.Heaters and geysers were switched on and off on a precise date of the calendar (that your grandmother and General Head Quarters had decided on some time in 1920) and there was no compromise whether you were sweating it out in a late summer or freezing in an early winter.
10.And you knew you were a Pathan in Rawalpindi when elders who had actually NAMED most of your cousins , parents, and you refused to take any peson's name as it was meant to be (or of the gender it was supposed to be)....Usman was an Usmania..Mariana a Marianey..and you will always be a NEEEEELAAAAAA.
11.Karachi was abroad.
12.Islamabad was a separate ‘temperature zone’ and state of mind. You so got the New Jersey-New York equation.
13.7pm was considered late.
14. Only apostates of the faith called between the hours of 1 and 4pm (siesta time)and after 930pm (when all shareef people go to bed).
15. No shopkeeper worth his salt would ever want to sell anything. Bhai ki dukkan hai and a shrug of the shoulders to fob off the more persistent.
16. Our proudest day was when they opened a KFC in Saddar way before Islamabad..still wiping the tears of joy.
17. The Army Museum was 'culture'.
18. You should know the difference between a SHODA and a SHEEDA.
(OK for the uninitiated a Shoda is a show-off and a Sheeda is a particular kind of Punjabi lout).


  1. Where did my comment go?
    I wrote about how I too could relate to the painted gamlas and white washed kiyari,of after noon siestas and 9 30 curfews, of powercuts that were 'peeche se' ....
    loved this post :)

  2. My dad grew up in Pakistan before partition. I have heard many of his tales from there and I love to hear them. This post brought me memories of all that he tells me about the place. :)

  3. IHM: yes, I wonder how they got and continually to get away with the "peechey sey" excuse without any sexual innuendo.
    P'schronicle: well until two years ago, you could mistake Pindi for being pre-1947...somehow modernity hasnt been kind to it.

  4. I've been to the KFC in saddar, ah good times and I think the only Mcdonalds (from what I know) is in pindi too and not isloo. I wonder whether Rahat with its awesome goodies was around when you were or not.

  5. hey mayya,
    isloo has a mcdonalds...f-10 park remember, so now little kids dont have to ask family members in lahore to send them a Macca!...rahat is a recent entry, im from the 'broadway' and their trademark hunter beef generation.

  6. Very interesting read !
    I am a Khi'ite but i can still relate !

  7. I never understand WHY people feel the need to paint trees? yeesh! According to a secret seven book i read like a lifetime ago, only idiots paint trees.

    and we do get corn roasted in hot sand in Karachi!

  8. omg Dhoop Kinaray! :)
    the first years i teach in college right now have NO CLUEEE what it is..
    so sad.
    those haseena moin/moinurrehman says were classic!

  9. awwww it does bring the memories back .I was born there but brought up in karachi.Yet, whenever we visit pindi it was just magical :).
    The serene life, lush greenery, the lokat trees, the wah-garden and the margalla hills.oh my if i ever return i would like to live there.Amin to that folks.

  10. oh no that you have done it,i,too miss, pindi a thousands of miles away,i can still feel the hmm of traffic on mall road.good old times.and lol about lal kurti;)


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