St.Anthony's School

My memories of Lahore

Reginald Masssey


Reginald Massey

Reginald was born in Lahore before Partition. He writes books on various subjects pertaining to South Asia. A former London journalist, he now lives in Mid Wales with his actor wife Jamila. His latest book is Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the Forgotten Indian Martyrs, Abhinav Publications, New Delhi. A member of the Society of Authors, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

I was born in Lahore in 1932 in a Christian family. In the 1930s-1940s, Lahore was really a garden city, and a centre of education and culture.

There was, on the whole, harmony in Lahore. Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and the few Christians and Parsis had a good working relationship. On Eid, we went to Muslim families to offer our Greetings. Likewise, we visited Hindu families for Diwali. And we were visited by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs on Christmas Day. I can never forget the way we all celebrated Basant together.

Kite flying was an obsession with all Lahoris. The kite contests (known as पेचे बाज़ी pechae-baazi) were followed with passion. There were professional kite-flyers known as ustads उस्ताद who had their disciples cheering them on. It was all heady stuff.

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