Dadi Nani Foundation

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Captured Memories


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Life Back Then
Remembering (?) the Day India Became Free by T.S. Nagarajan Print E-mail

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.

Chikkanayakanahalli is a small town about 130 km from Bangalore. I still remember vividly that a group of people – volunteers for the Independence movement – stopped my friends and me as we were walking to our school. They snatched the felt hat I was wearing and threw it on a bonfire of clothes. As the rising flames swallowed my hat, I felt a sense of shock at losing my precious possession and walked back home, crying all the way. It was the Quit India year, 1942.

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From Balloki to Shimla – August 1947 by Veena Sharma Print E-mail
Veena Sharma

Veena is a scholar in African studies, in which she has a PhD from JNU, Delhi, and Vedanta, in which she is self-taught. She retired as the Head of All-India Radio's Swahili Service, broadcasting every day in Swahili for 22 years. For over 15 years, she has taught the philosophy of leisure at the International Centre of Excellence, Wageningen, Netherlands. She is the author of Kailash Manasarovar: A Saced Journey (Roli Books 2004). In recent years she has given talks on the Upanishads in many countries. At present, she is the Chairperson of Prajna Foundation, an NGO dedicated to educational and cultural activities, and the development of economically non-privileged youth and children

In 1947, I was six, getting on to seven. My parents, elder brother, a younger sister and I were living in Balloki, a small township in western part of undivided Punjab, located on the site of a headworks from where the Bari Doab canal emerged from the Ravi River. My father, the Executive Engineer in charge of the headworks, had been posted there three years earlier.

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Roses Red and Papers Brown: Five Years at Delhi University by Surjit Mansingh Print E-mail

Surjit was brought up in many different places in India, went from Delhi University into the Indian Foreign Service, and subsequently joined her husband in academics, shuttling between India and the United States. Now a semi-retired professor with two grown-up sons, she lives with her Himalayan cat, music, books, and walks in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally written for “Down Memory Lane: The Platinum Year 1922-1997”, Delhi: University of Delhi” 2000 when the author was a Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. The author was a Delhi University student over 1953-58 in Miranda House.

Roses. Roses. It was not roses all the way, not by a long stretch, and there was no myrtle strewn on the muddy paths. But it is roses I remember best, in serried ranks of yellow and white, pink and flame and hectic red, encircling the fountain. Where on its steps I was accustomed to pass winter afternoons, book in lap, heady with the scented air; until a sudden chill, a change of light, or a dry throat, reminded me that it was time for tea.

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A Fun Bus Journey in Tough Times by M. P. V. Shenoi Print E-mail

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Times were tough for our family in the mid-1940s. My father had died young, most probably with heart failure – he just did not wake up one morning. My mother was widowed at the age of thirty with four children to look after. My father’s family had migrated to Mysore, then a Princely State, after a business loss in trading of copra and coconut oil in Bombay. My father’s elder brother had found job in the Mysore Palace, while my father was clerk in the Municipality, with an income of, I was told, Rs. 25 per month.

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A Memorable Mix of Grammar and Football by M. P. V. Shenoi Print E-mail

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 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Somehow, the forthcoming (2010) FIFA World Cup in South Africa has reminded me of my English teacher in Maharaja’s High School in Mysore in 1948.


Maharaja’s High School, Mysore was one of the earliest to be started in India on the model of English Higher Secondary education, and was one of the prestigious schools of Mysore State. In the pre-Independence days, some of its graduates were absorbed in Subordinate Cadres of the Government of Mysore, some became teachers, and some went for higher studies to Madras and Bombay. Never short of patronage, grants and good teachers, it enjoyed a high status for many years.


The link, weak as it is, is that Mr. Syed Ibrahim, or 'SI' as he was called by all the students, was a great football fan, though naturally his area of interest was local, not international. In addition to his football wisdom, SI had many other interesting attributes that made him the most admired and, at the same time, the most feared among our teachers.

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