Life Back Then
Editor's note: This is an extract from the author's book 'Biswin Sadi Memoirs, growing up in Delhi during the 1960's and 70's. CinnamonTeal Publishing, Goa, 2018.
Author's note: My family settled in Delhi in 1967. We lived in Nizamuddin East, a residential colony of South Delhi. My neighbours included several Punjabi families, who had been displaced by the Partition, and one Anglo-Indian couple, Mr. & Mrs. Andrews. I write about our interaction with the Andrews family in this extract from my book. They lived in the flat just above our house. Though we were reserved with them in our initial communications, with time, living together for nearly two decades, we became close to the Andrews Family.
The result of my Matriculation Examination, the life-defining culmination of the ten years of studies in school, then conducted by the Panjab (note spellings) University, Chandigarh, was declared on 16th of June in 1959. When introduced in 1897 - with 1,779 candidates declared successful - by the then Punjab University, Lahore, the examination used to cover the entire original-i.e. the Punjab of Five Rivers- and also included the vast territories of the native states of the region.
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 India Rs. 200
Amazon print $ 12.99 plus shipping
India print - Rs. 500 plus shipping
© Subodh Mathur. Published July 2019.