4 things that annoy me about Gujranwala

Having spent more than half of my life in Islamabad is a reason enough to hate a place like Gujranwala now. If you think I’m one hell of a despicable snob, all out to grumble about a rapidly-growing industrial city within this Land of the Pure, well, curse me —I deserve it—But I can’t help it. The more I share how I hate being in this city, the better I feel (catharsis, you see!).

So, let’s take a look at a few things in this “city of buffaloes” that pisses me off. Bet, I can come up with a hate-list, longer than the power outages in Pakistan but I believe in being a little loyal to the city, I live in. (cough)


# 4 – Eating like they haven’t eaten in months

If you happen to attend a wedding in Punjab and you find a couple of people pouncing on food as if they’d been fasting for the last month, it’s probably cause they’re from Gujranwala. Alright! I know, that’s our national modus operandi to attack food at weddings because that’s the easy way to vent our frustration, pent up due to price hikes, unannounced power outages, political instability, etc (I know these are the only reasons otherwise we are pretty civilised).  But Gujranwaliyay don’t believe in venting frustration this way, it’s below their dignity. If it were for this reason, Me, the Magnanimous, would have overlooked things.

This is how we vent… in Sparta!

But they have a genuine love for food. You’ll never, (REPEAT: NEVER) find any food stall/eatery owner of Gujranwala bellyaching about a waning clientele owing to sky-high prices of food items because people here earn to EAT! What annoys me most is that, they don’t even spare the cute little sparrows. Gross, I tell you, gross! They have an alien obsession with Roasted Chirray (sparrows). Jeez! What in God’s name do they find in roasted chirray to eat? No wonder this city is referred as ‘pehalwaano ka shehar” (City of wrestlers).


# 3 – Shopkeepers call you “aapi”!!??

Irrespective of your age, if you can still pass for a lass you’ll be called “aapi” by the gauche and overly-frank shopkeepers of Gujranwala (exceptions, of course, are always there). Why can’t they call you “baaji”, if not “madam”, like the normal salespeople in other cities do? Do you think “aapi” sounds more civil? And what if a man, somewhere inhis 40’s, while you being in the early 20’s, called you “aapi”? Do you think it’s even close to civility?

Call me ‘aapi’ one more time punk!

If you ask me, it literally makes you feel like taking a golf club to his head, hard enough to help him slip into coma for the rest of his life. I need a glass of water. Phew!! Even thinking about it, spikes my blood pressure.


# 2 – Fashion + Gujranwala = Weird Combination

Every sane Pakistani knows fashion hits Karachi streets before it hits any other city. In fact, by the time it reaches Gujranwala, the trend changes in Karachi yet the bolshie Gujranwaliyay seem to disagree with the fact. Gujranwaliyay have their own unique fashion trends which they flaunt pretty hubristically. They’re the descendants of Giorgio Armani and friends with likes of Louis Vuitton and John Galliano; they need NO crap from our dim-witted fashion industry gurus. Despite the scorching summers of Punjab, you’ll find men in Gujranwala wearing heavily starched shalwar kameez.

I’ve been standing here for near a week – waiting for the starch to wear off.

Starched to an extent that makes mobility almost impossible and you end up seeing robotic movements of profusely sweating creatures as if someone tried drowning them in Nullah Dek. Pulling such stunts needs balls I tell you! Fashion isn’t about being comfortable, is it? It’s all about looking drop-dead stunning; the Dashing Gujjars of Gujranwala. Women are no different either. If you come across women, drooling over rainbow laces for their big, flowery, multihued prints’ kameez; chances are they are from Gujranwala.  However, DON’T dare to argue with them about the ins and outs of fashion, they know they’re far ahead of you.


# 1 – No place to hang out with your female friends!

Though over the time quite a handful of eateries have made their way into Gujranwala, you’ll still need an eagle’s eye to find a nice place where you can have a decent time with your female friends. The term “Male dominated society” has been coined by someone from this city, I’m sure. Men here hold special degrees in ogling the fairer sex. Trust me, if Lollywood is still in business, it owes big time to Gujranwaliay.

Now figure out yourself how the two things relate, you’re smart enough, I know!

Enough said for today, I think.  Feeling lighter now!

*evil grin*

But all things considered, at the end of the day, the place has it’s own unique charms and niceties and I’m sure gien time they’ll grow on me and perhaps soon enough I’ll be writing about things that I love about Gujranwala. But till then…


 This article was contributed by Kanwal Cheema – The more she shares how she hates being in this city; the better she feels!



Categories: The World I Know


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14 Comments on “4 things that annoy me about Gujranwala”

  1. April 4, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    teacher is that you ?

    • April 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm #


      • April 5, 2013 at 10:51 am #


      • April 5, 2013 at 11:07 am #

        did not know that u could also write essays on blogs

  2. November 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    hay my name ali i read your all chapter i am impress good luck to you i feature you need any kind of help plz call me 0300 8646372 i am really impress again good luck and try best

  3. Arsalan
    October 27, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

    I totally agree just now i searched socializing in Gujranwala, a big difference between the City and the amount of money ppl have here…City needs to mature.. I must commend the writer i never thought this city could produce such writers………..

  4. Arsalan
    October 27, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    haha tell me about it… i searched hanging out with friends in Gujranwala and i got your blog…totally agreed City needs to mature,….. Dont know why i have a job here….

  5. Mahwash
    February 26, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    HEy girl, stop being so paranoid about sweet city gujranwala.
    i find your hatered for my city quite outrageous, you know

  6. February 6, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    I would call it the city of dusty, broken roads. The roads are so bad that you get a severe pounding even when you are driving.

    • February 8, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      oh yes, I forgot to shed light on this Very Distinctive quality of Gujranwala; the Dusty, Broken roads (seems like the entire city is Under Construction). In fact, travelling on such roads is nothing less than getting blood out of a stone. Gosh!!Gujranwaliyay Do deserve a pat at the back in this respect, at least!

  7. Anum Khan
    January 29, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    hahhahaha!:)…loved it:)….way to go Kanwal!:):)…acute observation, amazingly apt illustrations and kickass comments to go along:P:P:P

  8. Natasha Naseer
    January 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    appi kahan tb masla aur cherain tb bhi masla hai bai apko KANWAL APPI 😀 ab mai kia kahon shuru din sy apko to appi h kehti hun 😀

    • February 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      :p Well, You can call me aapi, No issue! 😀

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