A Journey Through Life-3

Jatinder Sethi



Jatinder Sethi was born in Lyallpur, now Faislabad, in pre-Independence India. He finished his M.A. (English) from Delhi University in 1956, and went off to London to study Advertising in 1958. He passed his Membership Exam of The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (M.I.P.A) in1965, and joined Rallis India in Bombay. Later, for over 20 years, he worked for the advertising agency Ogilvy &amp\; Mather. Now retired, he helps his son in his ad agency in Delhi.

Editor's note: This is the third, and final, part of a three-part story. The first part of the story is available here, and the third part is available here. Part 1 ended with the Sethis leaving Cochin (now Kochi) on a ship for Europe. Part 2 ended with Mr. Sethi getting a job.


This is a story of a part of our journey through life. It is a journey of a couple, from student days through five decades of life together and work, and finally a retired life.

My wife gets a job

A time to depart for Saat Samundar Paar

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.
Widower. Two children and their families keep an eye on him. He lives alone in a small house with a small garden. Very fat pigeons, occasional sparrows, finches green and gold drop in to the garden, pick a seed or two and fly away.

It was the 29th of January, 1960. My parents had insisted that I spend the day with them and my maternal grandparents in Karnal, before departing from "India". Yes, India as it then was. Not the India I had been born in. "My India" was really Trans-Ravi. One could stretch it to Trans-Sirhind Canal. Sometimes, we Punjabees regarded Sirhind Canal as the boundary between the Punjabi speakers and Hindi Bhasha speakers. It was often just fun, but sometimes ended in anger and in quarrels.

On the evening of 30th January, I caught a flight from Delhi's Palam airport to London's Heathrow airport. (London was Saat Samundar Paar - seven oceans away.) In those days, the airport was very, very quiet. The check-in was very civil. I hugged my parents and my uncle (my father's sister's husband). Shook hands with my cousin. Then, went in through the Departure Gate. Literally on to the airfield.

A Family Photo – Hoojas

rakshat Hooja



Chandra Sayal is a retired doctor, now living in Derby, England. She worked for over 30 years in the NHS in UK. She was a specialist in Community Medicine and Public Health.

As narrated to Rakshat Hooja, Usha and Bhupi's grandson.



Hooja family
Hooja family. London. 1953.

My brother Bhupendra Hooja took this photo in London in 1953. We used to call him Bhupi. At that time, Bhupi was working for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). He later returned to India and become an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer in Rajasthan. After retirement, among his other activities, Bhupi edited and published Bhagat Singh's jail diary, which you can read here.

The boy in the front is Bhupi and Usha's son, Rakesh Hooja. He was born in London in 1950, grew up in Jaipur and like his father, became an IAS officer in Rajasthan. After he retired, he became the head of the Indian Institute of public Administration (IIPA).  He passed away in 2012 while he was still in this post.

USHA RANI: A very personal memoir

Khushwant SIngh

Khushwant Singh was an Indian author, lawyer, diplomat, journalist and politician. His experience in the 1947 Partition of India inspired him to write Train to Pakistan in 1956 (made into a film in 1998), which became his most well-known novel.

Editor's note:  Rakshat Hooja, Usha Rani's grandson, has provided this material. The memoir was given by Khushwant Singh to the Hooja family, and was originally included in the private and limited circulation only booklet forms and figurines. The booklet was printed in 2005.


Cover page

It was sometime in 1949. I was working as Press Attaché of the Indian High Commission in London. One morning the High Commissioner, VK Krishna Menon rang me up and said "Sardar, I am sending an art student to see you. See what you can do for her." A few minutes later a younger lady glided in to my office. I gaped at her for a while, she looked more like an artist's model than an artist. She introduced herself "I am Usha Rani, I have a year's scholarship to study sculpting. It is a four year course. After my stipend is over, I hope to make it on my own."

A Wedding Remembered

Mira Purohit


Mira Kathuria Purohit had her early education in Presentation Convent, Delhi, MGD, Jaipur and Hindu College, Delhi. She is a Pediatrician, having pursued her medical studies in SMS Medical College, Jaipur. She served in Rajasthan Government devoting her working career to treating children and teaching budding doctors to treat kids. She retired as a Professor, and now leads a retired life in Jaipur.

It was early 1950. We were living in Daryaganj, Old Delhi. There was a knock at the door (there was no doorbell). I ran to see who it was. A saree clad elderly lady stood there. She was carrying a packet. I didn't recognize her, but folded my hands and said ‘Namaste', anyway.

‘I have come to meet Savitri. Is this the correct house?' she asked.

Savitri was my mother. I called her, and she introduced herself.

‘I am Mrs. Joseph 'she said. My daughter Usha lives in London. She is getting married to your brother Bhupendra Hooja.

This was my would-be aunt's mother, and she had brought sweets as shagan!

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