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Youthful memories of the Punjab of long ago

Joginder Anand


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.

Long retired. Widower. A son and a daughter, their spouses, five grandchildren, two hens (impartially, one black, one white) keeping an eye on me as I stand still and the world goes by.

I was a teenager when the Punjab was carved, north to south, by an English lawyer called Sir Cyril Radcliffe. He did not do it of his own volition. The politicians of the then India agreed to the carve-up. Little did they know of the butchery that would follow - the natives would carry the art to heights never witnessed before.

It was then, that many lost their childhood. They were hurled in to adulthood.

The earliest that I can remember, perhaps when I was around three years of age:

Street vendors, wearing a kurta and a dhoti used to carry small earthenware (clay) models of boys, girls, cows and other farm animals. These were very often brightly coloured. I looked at them, sometimes put them in a corner and forget all about them. Sooner or later they would break in to pieces and be discarded. Dust unto dust.

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