Lucknow – Not just Nawabs’

I had no clue how difficult it is to write something about Lucknow – in a few words.

This Lady takes exceptional and unconditional pride in her dialect, is gloriously engrossed in labyrinths of traditions, redefines the pace of time and your soul naturally gravitates towards the bygone eras of not just Nawabs but of the sounds of common people greeting and meeting each other with love, traders haggling with honour for a better deal, conversations while having a meal on what makes food such a special gift from God and what shall be the next meal, one which is more delicious and sumptuous than the current one, kids fighting with choicest of expressions and words that one would today consider to be a respectful conversation between friends and not an argument at all, ladies tending to kids and discussing family and house – none of the activities slave to time, Lucknow always had her own definition of time and even today one cannot make things move the way they would prefer; Lady Lucknow is enveloped in a time pocket and she lovingly wants to remain there. Look at me this is the first sentence that I could write – a brief!

St Joseph Cathedral In Hazratganj

St Joseph Cathedral in Hazratganj

This city has shown us vile Nawabs, given birth to phrases like “pehle aap” – after you, “deewaron ke bhi kaan hote hain” – even the walls have ears; redefined importance of fine cooking and sumptuous serving, endowed generations with the finest of poems and couplets, witnessed numerous lifecycles of kingdoms, thoughts and progress. Yet it is still called “Nawabown ka shaher” – there would be few which are just that but Lucknow will always be much more.

Tonga ride at Rumi Gate

Tonga ride at Rumi Gate

This regal city is a second home of sorts as it has my maternal house, don’t know why but maternal anchors have more warmth and a sense of comfort in our minds than the paternal ones for sure. I think it is the lesser time and fewer visits to mother’s home which generates heightened nostalgia for them!

Chhota Imambaara

Chhota Imambaara

It was sort of my idea to play Djinn to my daughters’ wishes – Papa we want to go to….we want to see….we want to eat….endless wishes completely honoured by their Papa Djinn! Nidhi for a change did not want to shop….she wanted to witness the unseen, experience the unkown – she wanted to explore and let Lucknow reveal Herself as she would want to be with friends. This meant no Tunday kebabs, no limiting ourselves to the Imambaras, Residency, Clock tower, Rumi Gate etc – in fact we went behind the scenes. Namaz at the Badaa Imambara (famously called Bhul Bhulaiyya – India’s most famous 240 years old labyrinth), chaat at Bhootnath market, Chinese at Jone Hing (while Ganjjing), vegetarian roles near Indira Nagar B block (pleasantly surprised at an old Sardar gentleman doling out delicious veg street food in capital of Oudh).

Bada Imambara

Bada Imambara

Bhool Bhulaiya

Bhool Bhulaiya

Bhool Bhulaiya

Bhool Bhulaiya

As confessed cannot write about this lady in short, She welcomes you to witness a time warp – harmony between new and old. Traditions thronging alive, alongside a modern and multitasking generation. I write while my daughters and sister (my maternal cousin) are watching a Hindi movie (in a modern multiplex surrounded by parks with more stones and less greens) aptly titled – Shandaar!

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14 thoughts on “Lucknow – Not just Nawabs’

  1. @Rohit sir: This is most likely to be one of the best description of Lucknow “The City of Nawabs” one could ever read and feel themselves to be there in the city even without having visited Lucknow.
    Have been there many times that is why – while reading this article – I was thinking something you would have missed to include for sure , however, every important and famous aspect has been covered by you and ma’am that very well illustrates” The City of Nawabs”.
    Proud to be working under you !!

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  2. @Rohit…Facts truly tempting visit to the place…Would love to visit the place at least once…Thanks for having this shared.. Cheers !

    Like

    • Thanks Atishhome good to know you liked it. We felt that the grace, poise, peaceful surrender to timeless beauty of change and perseverance to stand up in its own rights is something that only a lady is naturally capable of.

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