Nice memories of Luton

Osama Siddiqui

When I went the UK, I always heard that Bradford had most of its population from Pakistan. However, Luton was more relatable to Pakistan. One could find a lot of people, speaking English but they could converse in Punjabi, Photohari Hindko, Pashto, and Urdu. I will always remember my stay in Luton for many special reasons.

I went the house of Naeem mamo and Hajra mami. Every aspect of their home was related to Pakistan and I felt that I was in Lahore. Their son Aman, whom I refer to as the tribal chief of the Kakar tribe was a very nice man. He made me comfortable quickly and we had a lot of mutual interests, ranging from cricket to football, and of course the Pakistani culture being followed in the UK.

Aman and I played football on play station. He won most of the friendly battles but I had recorded my historic win. Aman bhai’s wife whom I call Rimah bhabi, was a Pakistani at heart. She had frequently visited Pakistan during her childhood but had grown up in Birmingham. We used to discuss a lot of issues which British Pakistanis and Pakistanis have in their culture. Though I, Aman bhai, and Rimah bhabi agreed that one could debate on cultural issues but still there was no match for Pakistani food.

I was not used to pets and they had a cat named Leo. She and I hardly got along in the beginning. She was intelligent enough to understand that I was not comfortable. She was kind enough to leave the place when I would come. Credit goes to her training, however, after sometime we both managed to at least sitting at the TV lounge together.

Aman also took me to the famous Lutonian cricket club, where a large number of cricketers from England made their debut. Alastair Cook also played for this club and went on to become the captain of England’s cricket team. In almost every ground of Luton, I saw people with Pakistani facial features playing cricket. This made me clear of the fact that most of the generation born there was of the parents who migrated to England and stayed closer to their culture.

Similarly, Luton had some fine restaurants and I remember eating a lot of desi food over there. The city center of Luton will always be close to my heart as most of the restaurants I used to dine there were desi. Most of the owners were speaking Urdu or Photohari sometimes Pashto, were very friendly and cheerful.

My friend Shahwaiz Zeb, who completed his education from the Bedfordshire University was a bit surprised yet admired my love for Luton.

Although, every city in the UK tells a different story, however, the popular cities usually get a lot of coverage, therefore, cities such as Luton should not be missed, as it is very close to my heart and will always have a great place in my mind.

The writer attended Cardiff University and completed his Masters of Science in Business Management. He has great passion for modern South Asian history, politics, political marketing, and films. He may be reached at: He tweets @osamasidd97.

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