Life Back Then

A Plantation Manager in Malaysia

Born in 1933 in Dijkot, a small hamlet in district Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan), I (Sangat Singh) came after about eight attempts, including miscarriages. I  grew up in Lyallpur as a  pampered child. At the age of five, I was sent to nearby one roomed primary school where spartan old Jute Hessian bags (borian) were used  for  mats.  I refused to study there, and was enrolled in Sacred Heart Convent School  for the next 9 years.  After getting his college degree in India, he moved to Singapore in 1954, and then to Malaysia in 1957, where, now a retired plantation manager, he lives with his wife.  More about him at this link.

Editor’s note: This is an edited version of an article that first appeared here.

Read more: A Plantation Manager in Malaysia

Delhi 1947-48

Born in 1933 in Dijkot, a small hamlet in district Lyallpur (now Faisalabad, Pakistan), I came after about eight attempts, including miscarriages. I grew up in Lyallpur as a pampered child. At the age of five, I was sent to nearby one roomed primary school where spartan old Jute Hessian bags (borian) were used for mats.  I refused to study there, and was enrolled in Sacred Heart Convent School for the next 9 years.  After getting his college degree in India, he moved to Singapore in 1954, and then to Malaysia in 1957, where he worked for Guthrie & Co., a large Scottish plantation company. He retired in 1988. He lives in Malaysia with his wife.  More about him at this link.

The India Coffee House in Connaught Place was an institution in Delhi.

Read more: Delhi 1947-48

The Breast-Beater


Born in 1941, Vinod was brought up and educated in Amritsar. He attended Government Medical College, and subsequently trained as a surgeon at PGI, Chandigarh. He left for USA in 1969, and retired in 2003 as Director of Critical Care Services at a teaching hospital in Michigan. Married with two grown sons, he continues to visit India at least once a year.

Ed. Note: This is closely linked to the author's My brother: handsome, witty, generous, tragic

Read more: The Breast-Beater

The Rise and Fall of the Princely State of Alwar

R C Mody

R C Mody is a postgraduate in Economics and a Certificated Associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers. He studied at Raj Rishi College (Alwar), Agra College (Agra), and Forman Christian College (Lahore). For over 35 years, he worked for the Reserve Bank of India, where he headed several all-India departments, and was also the Principal of the RBI Staff College. Now (2017) 90 years old, he is engaged in social work, reading, writing, and travelling. He lives in New Delhi with his wife. His email address is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Introduction

I hail from a well-known family of the erstwhile Alwar State called “Modis.” The family was close to the Durbar for many years. The initial part of this narrative is based on stories I heard from my grand uncles. By 1933, however, I was grown up enough to see and assess events for myself. My description from that year onwards is an eye witness account.

Read more: The Rise and Fall of the Princely State of Alwar

A few visits to the Golden Temple at Amritsar

Dr. Anand - an unholy person born in 1932 in the holy town of Nankana Sahib, central Punjab. A lawyer father, a doctor mother. Peripatetic childhood - almost gypsy style. Many schools. Many friends, ranging from a cobbler's son (poorly shod as the proverb goes) to a judge's son. MB from Glancy (now Government) Medical College Amritsar, 1958. Comet 4 to Heathrow, 1960.
Widower. Two children and their families keep an eye on him. He lives alone in a small house with a small garden. Very fat pigeons, occasional sparrows, finches green and gold drop in to the garden, pick a seed or two and fly away.

I was born in to a family that  did not hold with priests of any sort,  to put it mildly. In my childhood, we did not go on teeraths or yatras (religious trips). Nor did I ever hear teerathees approved of or criticised. These were people - other people - who did what suited them.

Read more: A few visits to the Golden Temple at Amritsar