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Lajwanti: Triumph and Tragedy

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Lakshaya Grover: I am a history enthusiast, on my way to become a lawyer. The enamouring world of the past seems intractably intriguing to me, and I spend my days exploring it. I read a lot. I think a lot.

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.

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Growing up in a Punjabi Town

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TCA Srinivasa Raghavan grew up in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. He has a Master's degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and a BA degree from Hindu College, Delhi. He worked for Macmillan as the Economics Editor before switching over to journalism in 1980. He has been the Opinion Editor of various newspapers, worked on the RBI's history project, and written two books on the government and the economy in India. His novel centred around publishing is due out soon.

I arrived in Delhi at the age of seven in 1958 when my father was posted there. I went to Sardar Patel Vidyalaya for six years. There were many children there whose parents had come from Punjab, both West and East. They had many prejudices, of which the three major ones were that all Madrasssis were black, that they all ate only rice and that they were darpoks (cowards). I didn’t fit this description, and was therefore a bit of a curiosity. I describe some consequences below.

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Memories of pre-1947 Kohat and a visit in 2004

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I was born in Kohat, now in Pakistan. After partition, my family migrated to Delhi. After my B.E. (Civil) Engineering degree in 1962 from University Of Roorkee, I worked as an engineer in UP’s Irrigation department, and retired as a Superintending Engineer. Now I live in Saket, New Delhi and am the President of M-Block (NE) Saket Cultural and Niwasi Welfare Association, New Delhi. I also served as honorary secretary of the Association for 4 years. It is my endeavour to serve humanity at grass root level.

Editor's note: If you have photos of pre-1947 Kohat, please send them to us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We would like to include them after the story.

The city

Let us start with conditions prevailing before India's Partition - starting from the year 1945 or so.

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Who was that visitor?

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Sadhona Debi Chatterji was born in October 1931 in Calcutta to Hari Prasad and Subarna Bannerjee. She did her matriculation, and got married to Birendra Kumar Chatterji in June 1948. She has a son and a daughter. Her husband, like her father, was in the Imperial Bank of India, which later became the State Bank of India. Her husband retired as Chairman UCO Bank in 1984, and passed away in 1989.

She has had a tremendous interest in national and world affairs, with her own opinions on many issues. She is an avid reader. She has been a popular and well-loved person among the family and a very large circle of friends. Even at the age of 85 and ailing, she got phone calls from all over the world. She passed away in 2015.

Editor's note: Sadhona Chatterji wrote this note in her diary in the 2002. It has been typed and provided by her son in 2018.

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Travels to many cities - loving life in Lyallpur

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Sadhona Debi Chatterji was born in October 1931 in Calcutta to Hari Prasad and Subarna Bannerjee. She did her matriculation, and got married to Birendra Kumar Chatterji in June 1948. She has a son and a daughter. Her husband, like her father, was in the Imperial Bank of India, which later became the State Bank of India. Her husband retired as Chairman UCO Bank in 1984, and passed away in 1989.

She has had a tremendous interest in national and world affairs, with her own opinions on many issues. She is an avid reader. She has been a popular and well-loved person among the family and a very large circle of friends. Even at the age of 85 and ailing, she got phone calls from all over the world. She passed away in 2015.

Editor's note: Sadhona Chatterji wrote this note in her diary in the 2002. It has been typed and provided by her son in 2018.

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