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Memoirs of a Cricket fanatic

Ta'leem-o-Tarbiat - A stroll through Nostalgia

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Yes, I'm talking about that children's magazine which was (and still is) published monthly. "Ta'leem-o-Tarbiat "(ToT) was an important part of life during my childhood years. Ferozsons Ltd. claims it is children's first regular magazine ever published in Pakistan. And that claim might be true after all because this was the favourite reading pastime of every adult I know.

Eagerly anticipating the postman to deliver it at the start of every month and finishing it in one sitting had become a habit. And I savoured every minute of it. Not only were most stories enjoyable,highly informative and message-oriented, as a kid my Urdu vocabulary also improved rapidly.

There was lots propaganda in many stories of course but I loved them all the same. The cover below is typical Ta'leem-o-Tarbiat. Can any ToT veteran tell me what the cover story is about? The picture ought to be a dead giveaway.




Taleem-o-Tarbiat was also the source of my first foray into Science fiction. There were series in episodic form but also many that were standalone. Series like 'Chacha Bhulakar', 'Robinson Crusoe', 'Garhay main laash' reflect the variety of content found within its pages.

Everything from Comedy, Travel, Hunting, Mystery, History, Aliens and Mind control, this magazine had them all. And it was quality material, unlike the greasy lame stories found inside 'double roti' packs (or in Phool Magazine :P)


(Inspired by H.G. Wells ""The Invisible Man" I'm sure)


One of my cousins twice won first prize in the 'Ap bhi likhye' section. Feather in the cap moments for the family because everyone grew up reading this magazine. ToT used to give away books every month as prize to the top three best story-writers.

'Phool' was ToT's biggest competitor back in the day. But I found their stories to be mediocre in comparison. It also lacked in the presentation department as its magazine covers were, dull, colourless and unimaginative.

ToT stories had very strong jingoistic themes. I had mentioned propaganda earlier



(Whupping some Indian ass never felt so good. Except in Cricket maybe)


I was a regular reader till the age of 16 I think. That's when the core ToT team changed and its quality dropped alarmingly. The magazine was full of grammatical errors and mediocre pointless stories. Cancelled the subscription and never looked back since. I haven't read an issue in ages.


I actually learned a lot of Cricketing techniques through this magazine. The Sports section was highly informative and provided tips on playing drives and how to grip the ball to make it spin, swing and cut etc. In the age of no internet these tips were a blessing.

My memory deceives me because I can only remember Zakia Bilgrami, Qayyum Nazar, Hassan Zaki Kazmi, Saeed Lakht and Ishtiaq Ahmed from a long list of quality and regular contributors. I had around 80 odd issues from the early nineties in my possession. Can't believe they were given away as scrap because their antique value would've been pretty high these days.

A fact I would lament for a long time.
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  1. cobby's Avatar
    I came to know about TOT through my brothers I guess I still have that 1992 July one , I started reading it in late 90's when I was in grade 3 I guess , I used to read the old ones which my brother bought in past , I started with the drawings cause I used to love the drawings in it at the 2nd or last page I guess , my brother had 1-2 drawings published to in it , any way stories were full of patriotism war propoganda which is needed at that time cause of tense relations as alwaysx .
    i remember chacha bulakar as well , TOT helped in many ways it indeed improved my urdu which is still weak by the way any way , it made me eat butter I used to eat jam only , but saw a cartoon in it which had some guy spreading butter on toasts and serving .
    It helped my brother a lot as he was avid reader he use to read TOT , inspector jamshid novels any many thing which made him into sci gen fan thus watching sci if movies with him made me sci if fan as well
    though I never bought a copy of it , my brother did , I'm happy that TOT is still published and every child Shuld read it . It opened my imaginations specially the diagrams and pictures .
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  2. SohaibArif's Avatar
    Wow, looking at today's Pakistani TV(or rather being having to listen when my sisters watch in the next room at high volume), I never imagined Urdu lit could have science fiction or really any genre except drama, romance and incredibly stupid comedy(eg. Bulbulay). I only used to read Young World back in the 90s.
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  3. Maajid's Avatar
    Hello,

    Good post. Something I can relate to. The 'Ghaybee-insaan' issue is of my time, as I recall purchasing/collecting it.
    At our village storage, we also have issues dating back to the 60's and 70's. My aunt(father's sister) who is age 75+ was educated through these(a rare feat in those days for women) and when we would buy the 1980s/90s issues, she would reminisce fondly and tell us stories.

    Keep up the good work.
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  4. ShuAK's Avatar
    wow.......

    me and my elder brother use to have a suitecase full of Naunehal, Ankh Macholi ToT and Phool magazine.

    what a wonderfull time we have spent.
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  5. Hassan's Avatar
    i used to read this in early 2000s. kia yaad kara diya yaar :')
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  6. krazyhamad420's Avatar
    Phol and Taleem O Tarbiat ... I was regular reader ...
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  7. XAINEEE's Avatar
    Bam! - That brought back memories. ToT was my absolute favorite back in the day, second by a large margin was "Nonehal". Could not have summarized it better myself. The cricket tips. My favorite writer was Saleem Khan Gimmi with his hunting stories. He has passed away now, Inna lillah e wa inna alaihe rajiun. His grandson is my junior at work.
    My elder bro got to read it first, when he was done, I always finished it one sitting.
    Its a damn shame I also did not keep a single copy. Would have served as a great reminder of "jab ham jawan thay". The biggest fallacy of life is as a kid one wants to grow up, and once grown up, one regrets every bit of it.....
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  8. CrashBandicoot's Avatar
    واہ کیا یاد دلایا آپ نے.
    تعلیم و تربیت کا ہر شمارہ کئی سال تک ہمارے گھر آتا رہا.
    اس کے علاوہ ہمارے گھر کے بڑے, پاکیزہ اور اردو ڈائجسٹ نامی ماہوار رسالے پڑھتے.
    شاید آپ کو وہ بھی یاد ہوں.
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