Major Events Pre-1950
I was eight years old, on 15 August 1947, India's independence day. My family had an invitation to the flag-changing ceremony, where Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last British Viceroy of India and the uncle of Prince Philip, the current Duke of Edinburgh, lowered the Union Jack and Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, raised the Indian flag in its place. We got this prized invitation because my father was an executive in a British company.
The rooftop of our house situated at the right side entrance of Rasala Bazaar, Purani Anarkali, Lahore, was from where I saw fire all around the city in August 1947. The fire, which started from Shah Almi Gate, is one of my earliest memories. The Anarkali police station was situated at about two hundred metres from our house, and from our rooftop we could see its entire courtyard. At times, wailings of the detainees could be heard clearly in our home.
Editor's note: Lakshaya has written this account of his family at my request. This account is based on what he has heard from his older family members.
I was then fifteen years old. We lived in what was to become Pakistan. Several months before that happened, discretion being the better part of valour, my father, his sister, and his brother rented a bungalow in Solan, Simla Hills. The younger generation reached there separately in the summer - as soon as our, i.e., children's, schools and colleges closed.