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Fighting Flames in Indo-Pak War, Barmer 1971

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I C Srivastava was born in 1943. A student of English Literature, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1966. During his 37 years tenure, he was Collector/ District Magistrate of three districts, served as the Chairman, Board of Revenue, Rajasthan, and retired as Chairman, Rajasthan State Mines and Minerals Corporation. He has authored several books in Hindi and English. Nowadays, he is associated with various social and cultural activities in Jaipur.

In 1971, I was the Collector and District Magistrate of Rajasthan's Barmer district (area over 28000 sq. kms.), which has a border with Pakistan.

After the outbreak of Indo-Pak War on 3 December 1971, Barmer  witnessed a series of bombing operations by Pakistani warplanes. These planes would usually fly out from Badin Airfield in what was West Pakistan at that time. On the very first day and the night itself, Pakistan Air Force planes destroyed an Indian Air Force aircraft at Uttarlai airfield in Barmer district and martyred one Indian airman.  After random and intermittent bombing of Chohtan, a border tehsil town, and the bed of a rural water tank near Parehpadra Tehsil headquarters, Pakistani warplanes mounted an air assault was mounted on the Railway Station in Barmer city on the night of 8 December 1971.


India Before Independence: Memories

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Subodh Mathur and Sfoorti Mathur, with help from Rakshat Hooja, have co-edited and published a book India Before Independence: Memories. This is a collection of true stories related to the lives of people before India became independent in 1947. In a few stories the narrative continues beyond India's independence. There are 31 contributing authors. They are Indians from different parts of India, Britishers, and one Pakistani.

The stories are based on the memories of the authors, which we know are sometimes fuzzy and selective. Some of the memories are about national events, some are personal remembrances, and some are mini biographies.

The purpose of collecting the stories in this book is to convey a sense of life as it happened during the pre-Independence years. We hope older readers will find the book nostalgic, while younger ones will enjoy the personalized narrative of history.

The stories originally appeared on this website. There are many more pre-Independence and post-Independence stories on this website.

Cover Page. 2019
Top. Left, A Punjabi couple in Lahore 1930s. Right, A man from Rajasthan who went to Assam as a teenager in the 1980s
Bottom. Left, A Bengali woman, 1930s. Right, a Kannada family, early 1900s
Middle. Left, A Parsi gentleman, 1940s. Right, An Agra woman's wedding proposal photo, 1930s

An excerpt from the book is available here as a pdf file.

The full book is available at:

Amazon ebook $ 3.00

Amazon ebook India Rs. 200

Amazon print $ 12.99 plus shipping

India print - Rs. 500 plus shipping

© Subodh Mathur.  Published July 2019.


The Day Prime Minister Nehru Died

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Editor's note: Several people have written their memories of the day Prime Minister Nehru died in May 1964. If you have memories of that day, please contribute your memories.


The story of Rambagh Golf Course, Jaipur

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President of the Indian Peoples Theatre Association and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Ranbir Sinh has lived a multifaceted life as an actor, director, playwright, historian, author, and public intellectual. He resides in Jaipur and is still going strong with his research, writing, and theatre.

In the British period, the golf course in Jaipur was situated where Hasanpura is now. However, over the years, it disappeared. It was Maharani Gayatri Devi, a tennis player of the standard of Davis Cup, and an excellent, keen golfer, who thought of having a new golf course.


Growing Up in Turbulent Times, 1947-1956

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Satinder Mullick received his doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in 1965 in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering, with a minor in Economics. He was Director of Economic Planning and Research for Corning Inc., where he worked on different consulting assignments for improving growth and profitability for 30 years. Later, he helped turn around Artistic Greetings (40% owned by American Greetings) and doubled the stock price in four years. He received Lybrand Silver Medal in 1971 from Institute of Management Accountants.

Turbulent times have affected many all over the world. Having met some people from Europe and USA, I realized that some hard times are forcibly imposed, like Holocaust, and some were economically imposed like depression of 1930’s.

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