Mysore

Life around Kukkarhalli tank Mysore in the 1940s

Author: 
M. P. V. Shenoi

Category:

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues.His email id is mpvshanoi@gmail.com.

In the early part of the 20th century, the former Princely State of Mysore, covering the southern part of the Deccan plateau, had an excellent network of water tanks (lake), with water overflow from one tank draining into a downstream tank, and so conserving water to the extent possible without any modern technology (see Annex for more details.

However, since these tanks, with their stagnant water, were also associated with malaria, over time many of the tanks within and near the major towns were drained out.

By the time I was ten years old, in the 1940s, in Mysore city we had only the Kukkarhalli tank at the western end and the Karanji tank at the eastern end near the zoo. Both were in disrepair, yet they were the source of pleasure and adventure for boys like me who loved the outdoors. These were the places where boys from the poorer families could learn how to swim, perform crude aquatics, and catch fish. Though there were a few swimming pools in Mysore, they were in palaces or hotels, and few people had access to them. So, the tanks did attract a sizable number of people.

WW II Rice-Wheat Nonfermented Dosa

Author: 
M P V Shenoi

Category:

Vegetarian, main dish, spicy

M P V Shenoi

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues.

There are innumerable varieties of dosas. This is one type that my mother, B. Sharada Bai, used to make. My wife has helped me in putting together this recipe.

Chikka Narsappa

Author: 
M P V Shenoi

Category:

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues. His email id is mpvshanoi@gmail.com.

In the 1940s, in Mysore, Chikka Narasappa operated a small (10 feet by 10 feet) grocery shop, which covered half the frontage of the rented house we lived in.

It was a modest house, perhaps around 700 square feet, and part of a vatara (what could be called as a gated community). Our home had a hall (multi-purpose room), a bedroom, and a kitchen and a bath. The bath was large enough to include a copper water container encased in brick, in which water could be heated with firewood.

A Pearl of Water on a Lotus Leaf

Author: 
T.S. Nagarajan

T.S. Nagarajan (b.1932) is a noted photojournalist whose works have been exhibited and published widely in India and abroad. After a stint with the Government of India as Director of the Photo Division in the Ministry of Information, for well over a decade Nagarajan devoted his life to photographing interiors of century-old homes in India, a self-funded project. This foray into what constitutes the Indianness of homes is, perhaps, his major work as a photojournalist.

Editor's note: This story is reproduced, with permission, from Mr. Nagarajan's not-for-sale book of his memories, A Pearl of Water on a Lotus Leaf &amp\; Other Memories, 2010.

When I think of my father now, in my twilight years, the picture that forms in my mind is one of a thin tall man with no great looks, clumsily dressed, who led a simple life and remained till the end just as God created him.

His cotton suit was never pressed\; shoes never polished\; tie invariably shrivelled, the knot he tied was not bigger than a red cherry. Added to this, he wore a felt hat when he went out to work looking somewhat like a taller version of the great Charlie Chaplin.

Navamaniyamma: The jovial stork that came walking

Author: 
M P V Shenoi

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues. His email id is mpvshanoi@gmail.com.

Midwifery - this profession had its heyday in Indian cities from 1900 to 1950. Modern maternity clinics came up one by one In the 1950s, and by the end of the 20th century, most Indian cities were full of them.

Today, in the 21st century, no one seems to remember the friendly neighbourhood midwife. Has the profession has completely vanished from the scene in metropolitan Indian cities?

In the 1940s, Mary Ebenezer Navamani or, more simply, Navamaniyamma was a familiar figure to all of us who lived around Siddappa's square in Mysore - at least to lower and upper middle class people. Navamani means nine precious stones. The literal meaning of the suffix amma in Kannada is mother. Amma is used as a mark of respect for older women and those with high status in the society, with the status based on caste, wealth or professional standing.

Uncle Ponnu

Author: 
T.S. Nagarajan

T.S. Nagarajan (b.1932) is a noted photojournalist whose works have been exhibited and published widely in India and abroad. After a stint with the Government of India as Director of the Photo Division in the Ministry of Information, for well over a decade Nagarajan devoted his life to photographing interiors of century-old homes in India, a self-funded project. This foray into what constitutes the Indianness of homes is, perhaps, his major work as a photojournalist.

Editor's note: This story is reproduced, with permission, from Mr. Nagarajan's not-for-sale book of his memories, A Pearl of Water on a Lotus Leaf &amp\; Other Memories, 2010.

My mother's brother, Uncle Ponnu, was a man apart: apart from good looks, apart from erudition, apart from any social life outside of his addiction to alcohol and the automotive world of the C. Perumal Chetty (CPC) Motor Service, where he worked as a bus conductor.

Low in stature and ungainly, he was a bachelor not by choice but by lack of choices. His face, which hinted of a hundred thousand hangovers down the drain, was heavy, eyes reddish and fierce like his body, which suffered from a congenital deformity. His hands were clubbed, bowed inwards, and the forearms markedly short. All this made him look grave and unfriendly.

Early Years in Mysore

Author: 
K S Krishnaswamy

Category:

Dr. K. S. Krishnaswamy, an economist, was at the center of economic policy formulation in post-Independence India, working initially in the Planning Commission, and later at the Reserve Bank of India, from where he retired as Deputy Governor in 1981. Throughout his career and later, he remained deeply committed to the task of improving the life of the common man in India. He grew up in the small towns of the state of Mysore (now Karnataka). He recalls in his book the experiences of small-town traditional life, its charms and shortcomings.

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared in Dr. Krishnaswamy's autobiography WINDOWS OF OPPORTUNITY-Memoirs of an Economic Advisor and is reproduced from there with permission.

There is not much that I can remember very exciting about my early childhood. My brother (who was a couple of years older than me) and I spent our days mostly in or near the house. My father, Kadur Shamanna, was a sub-assistant surgeon in the medical service of the state of Mysore, posted in a taluq headquarters. We lived in a modest house across the street from my father's dispensary, which we could visit only occasionally, under the care of a servant.

The dispensary was not by any means large and catered only for outpatients. But it constituted our entire concept of a “hospital”. Apart from catching a glimpse of our father at work, the attraction for us was the large compound in which we could play without hindrance when the sun was not severe.

How Dalda mesmerised us in the 1940s

Author: 
M P V Shenoi

Category:

Shenoi, a civil engineer and MBA, rose to the rank of Deputy Director-General of Works in the Indian Defence Service of Engineers. He has also been a member of HUDCO’s advisory board and of the planning team for Navi Mumbai. After retirement he has been helping NGOs in employment-oriented training, writing articles related to all aspects of housing, urban settlements, infrastructure, project and facility management and advising several companies on these issues. His email id is mpvshanoi@gmail.com.

 

Introduction to Dalda - 1940s

In the early 1940s, my family lived in Mysore in a complex known colloquially as Nanju Malige (shops built by Nanju).

Nanju, a wholesale grains merchant, had bought a triangular plot and enclosed it with shops at the front and houses at the back, with a huge open area serving as inner court. One road defining the triangular plot was a macadam (non-tarred) highway leading to Manandavady in Kerala, which was known for the tropical forests surrounding it and the forest produce such as timber and honey. The other was a new tarred road from the city to Chamundipuram, leading ultimately to Chamundi hill.

A Time of Wonder

Author: 
Vijay Padaki

Category:

Vijay is a theatre educator. He has been a life member of Bangalore Little Theatre (BLT) since its inception in 1960. He has written over 30 plays, produced widely in India and abroad. In addition, he has adapted and translated several Indian plays into English. By professional training, Vijay is a psychologist and behavioural scientist, and has vast experience in management consultancy, policy research and training in the areas of Organization and Institutional Development..

 

It was Platform No. 1 of Allahabad Junction on the East Indian Railway. The year must have been 1945.

"Hello, sonny, want a bite of chocolate?" It was a Tommy (a British soldier), seated on a wooden crate, a kit bag next to him and a great big smile on his face. Which little boy of six would decline a chunk of chocolate? A fat bar of dark chocolate in a black wrapper with silver lettering. "Hard rations", the Tommy explained, offering the whole bar if I cared to have it. He had lots more in the kit bag, he explained. I shook my head, not able to make conversation in English, but taking a piece anyway from the bar held out.

Fond Memories of India

Author: 
Rodney Hall

Category:

 

Rodney trained for a nautical career at HMS Conway in Anglesey and joined the Cunard Line in 1958. He went on to command various vessels around the world until his retirement in 1993. He lives in the UK.

Editor's note: This article is an expanded version of My First School Days, which is available at http://rmhh.co.uk/ooty.html.

 

I was born in 1940 in Vizagapatam (shortened to Vizag, now called Vishakapatnam), on the Bay of Bengal.

Rodney Hall, held by his Telugu-speaking Ayah, 1940, Vizag.

My father was then the chief pilot in that port, and he went on to become Harbourmaster. However, my story in India really goes back to 1906, when my paternal grandfather, Harry Hall, came to Calcutta to bring Pathé News ( Ed: Pathé News produced newsreels, which were shown in cinema halls.) to India for the Pathé Frères, whom he knew from his days in Paris. With him, he brought his wife, Suzanne and his 5 year old son, Herbert, my father. This was Herbert's introduction to India.

Harry Hall

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