Life Back Then

Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School – The Beginnings

Born and brought up in Jaipur, Chandralekha Mathur received her education at Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School, and Maharani's College, Jaipur. Married to a tea planter, she lived in the tea growing area of North East India. Reading and writing have all along been my hobbies. After three decades on the plantations, she relocated to Jaipur. Along with some social welfare activities has authored a book on her life in the North East.  She has also been actively involved in the activities of the alumni association of MGD school, and has been the Editor of its newsletter 'Guild Today' for the last 15 years.

Editor's note: This memory was originally written for the coffee table book "70 Glorious Years - MGD Platinum Jubilee" published in 2013.

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Jamboree de La Paix (Jamboree of the Peace)

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.


At the end of the Second World War it was decided to host the World Jamboree of Boy Scouts. The battlegrounds where the fierce battles were fought in north of France were selected as the venue. In all about 70,000 Boy Scouts from all over the world attended it. The Indian contingent consisted of 165 Boy Scouts from all parts of India. The Rajasthan contingent consisted of seven Boy Scouts from Mayo College, Chanchal Singh, Nahar Singh, Prithivi Singh, Bhim Singh, Guman Singh and myself, and Aftab from Jamia Miliya of Ajmer. Jasdev Singh and Kaul (I have forgotten his first name} from Jaipur State, and in Nasrulla from Bombay's Daly College joined us. Mr. Dhanmal Mathur of Mayo College was our Scout Master. Mr. Thadeus was the leader of the Indian contingent.

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Memories of A Home in Delhi’s Exchange Stores

Mira Kathuria Purohit had her early education in Presentation Convent, Delhi, MGD, Jaipur and Hindu College, Delhi. She is a Pediatrician, having pursued her medical studies in SMS Medical College, Jaipur. She served in Rajasthan Government devoting her working career to treating children and teaching budding doctors to treat kids. She retired as a Professor, and now leads a retired life in Jaipur.

My Bhupi Mama (mother's younger brother, Bhupendra Hooja) was working for BBC in London in 1949. He met his soul mate, Usha Rani Joseph there.  She was studying sculpture. They got married there the same year. In 1954 they decided to relocate to India. Their first home was a spacious apartment on the first floor of a building called Exchange Stores, in Civil Lines of Old Delhi. It was also their son, Rakesh's (who had been born in London) first home in India.

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My mother’s blue kitchen

Meera was born and brought up in Madras, Tamil Nadu. She graduated from Stella Maris College with a BA in Sociology, and got her MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila. She has enjoyed living in Manila, Istanbul and Hong Kong, and currently lives in a suburb of Washington, D.C. with her husband.

Editor's note:  Lakshmi Raman, the author's mother, was born in 1922. The memories in this story are of mid-1960s to early 1980s.

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My Village, My Kith and Kin

M. P. Vasudevan hails from a small village in Kannur district of Kerala state. After post-graduation in Zoology he worked on a research project at the University of Calicut. He joined the Central Board of Excise & Customs as a Preventive Officer through the Staff Selection Commission exam. He started at Goa Customs in 1981, and became Assistant Commissioner in 2014. He retired on superannuation in June 2015. Post-retirement, he devotes most of his time to maintaining his website, which serves as a reference library for both tax officers and tax payers under Government of India.

“Where am I?”

“Where are others?”

I am lost!

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