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Captured Memories


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The Unforgettable
Barefoot from Burma to India, 1942 by Benegal Dinker Rao Print E-mail
Benegal Dinker Rao

Benegal Dinker Rao, born in 1917 in Rangoon, graduated from the University of Rangoon in 1938, and joined the Education Ministry, Government of Burma. After his walk from Burma to India in 1942, he joined the Refugee Government of Burma in Simla. In 1943, he joined the Indian Army Ordnance Corps. He resigned from the Corps in 1952 to work for a Calcutta-based British engineering company, from which he retired as Marketing Director in 1978 and moved to Pune. Presently, he is a consultant and partner in a Partnership firm.

 

Editor’s note: This story has three parts. Arvind Benegal, a nephew of Benegal Dinker, is the author of the first part, based on his uncle’s oral accounts, who remembers the events of 1942 clearly and precisely.

The Japanese Air Force first bombed Rangoon (now Yangon) on December 23, 1941. Then again on December 25, this time with incendiary bombs. Burma (now Myanmar) was part of the British Empire, and was now part of the Second World War. Soon after, the Japanese Army invaded Burma.

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Escape from East Germany 1972 by Kailash Mathur Print E-mail

Kailash, called Chanda by his parents, is an electrical engineer, who was born in Tijara, which is even now a very small city in Rajasthan. He lived in East Germany from 1965 to 1971, where he married Annemarie, a German, in 1969. Since 1971, he has lived in Vienna, Austria. He became a widower when Annemarie died of cancer in 2004.

Getting in

Taking off from New Delhi’s Palam airport, the Aeroflot plane flew over the Himalayas and over the vast planes, lakes and mountains of Russia, which was a part of the Soviet Union at that time, and finally landed in Moscow. It was the middle of winter, 30 December 1964. What a shock for the 24 year-old Indian man from the desert state of Rajasthan who had never flown before in his life and had never even dreamt of seeing the snow covered Himalayas and other vast tracts of this planet! The young man was delighted.

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The Turmeric Trick 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.

Gundu Rao was the postmaster at the Saraswatipuram sub-post office in Mysore during 1954-1956. But, he never behaved like a postmaster. He considered the post office his home. In fact, it was. He sold stamps, booked money orders, registered packets and even helped Gafoor, the postman, in the despatch work – all in one room. He used the other two rooms as his home.

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Taking a Photo of Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati 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.

(Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on http://churumuri.wordpress.com/ and is reproduced here with the author’s permission. The incident narrated in this article took place on February 2, 1975.)

As a photojournalist, I have had many opportunities to meet with the rich, the famous and the divine. But one of them stands apart as a great experience: my encounter with Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati, the late Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

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