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Gurgaon Memoirs

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Salil Dutt, born 11th August 1949, lives in Jaipur with his wife Suman. Their son Ashish is a financial analyst and their daughter Anuradha, a Clinical Psychologist. Salil's father, Wing Commander Mayukha Kanti Dutt (1915-1998) was born at Sreepur, Kharandip, Chittagong. Salil's mother, Biva Dutt (1924-2003) was born and brought up in Rangoon. She too hailed from Sadarghat, Chittagong.  Salil has four siblings. He graduated from St John's College Agra, and retired in 2009 as Vice President, Tata's Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. His interests are sports; music, particularly Jazz, Classical and fusion; reading, writing on travel & hospitality. He is a food buff.

Sitting under the winter morning sun in our terrace at Jaipur, overlooking the not too distant low-lying hills of the Aravalli range, I indulge myself in one of the most de-stressing activities that I had not done in a long time - shelling green peas. It is quite meditative, and I dare add, therapeutic. It effortlessly empties the accumulated clutter in the mind. During my childhood in Gurgaon in the 1950's and "Dilli" later, it was a favourite winter afternoon activity. Green peas were one of my favourite vegetables, tasty to the core. It made for some of the most popular Indian dishes anywhere - aloo mutter (peas and small potatoes), gobi mutter (cauliflower and green peas), and paneer mutter (cottage cheese cubes and peas), to name a few..

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My memories of Britain’s long and tortured exit 1931-47

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R C Mody

R. C. Mody has an M.A. in Economics and is 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, retiring as the head of an all-India department. He was also Principal of the RBI's Staff College. Now (in 2019), in his 93rd year, he is engaged in social work, reading, and writing. 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 .

I was born in 1926. My memories of national and international events go back to 1931, when I first became aware that we, Indians, were a subject nation, ruled by a small island country named England. I learned that England lay across seven seas (saat samunder paar), and its inhabitants were called the British and they, unlike us, were white, gore. Skin colour was very important; because they had fair skin, we felt that they were superior to us.

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My father’s gardens

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Manjula Mathur was born to Bengali parents in Kolkata on 29th May 1955. Her father was an Indian Army doctor, and her mother a home-maker. She travelled extensively in India with her parents, and lived in quaint, closely-knit Cantonments. She served in the Indian Defence Accounts Service, and retired in 2015. She is married to Satish, who retired from the Indian Police Service. She is a devoted mother to her sons Sachit and Suchir, and daughter-in-law Pankhuri. Manjula is an enthusiastic bird watcher and bird photographer. Her bird photos have been published in her book Bird's Abode. She lives in Mumbai and Poona.

In our childhood and early adult years, we lived in a succession of Barrack-type Army bungalows in diverse Cantonment towns such as Allahabad, Poona and Alwar. As my father ascended the rank hierarchy, we graduated to more modern duplex houses with garden spaces at Tenga Valley in Arunachal Pradesh and lastly at Bhatinda in Punjab. The common thread through all these residences spread over various corners of our large and beautiful country was the presence of verdant and fragrant gardens due to the efforts of one member of our family - our father.

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Lahore in August 1947, as etched on my mind

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Satish Chopra was born 1942 in Lahore, and his family moved to Delhi in 1947. After his M.A. from Delhi University, he became a banker, and retired from the Central Bank of India in 2001. He has a passion for learning, history, literature, and nostalgic film and light classical music. His book Forgotten Masters of Hindi Cinema was well-received in India and Pakistan.  In 2016, he got a National Film Award from the President of India. He is now working on his autobiography. His email is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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.

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Bhupendra Hooja – An Obituary

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Editor's note: This obituary was written by Hooja sahib's son, Rakesh, and edited at that time byt Rakesh's brother-in-law Subodh Mathur.


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