Pankaj Gupta
5 min readAug 18, 2021

Child Hood Memories

As promised, here is my Memoires write-up

I was born in …

I was born in Neemuch, a British cantonment of Gwalior Princely State and part of District of Mandsaur. Here my Nanaji was a practicing Lawyer and perhaps the Distt. Govt. Pleader. However my life journey actually started in Uttar Pradesh towns from east to west and from North to South as my father was in the UP judicial services. The four corners of his postings were Dehradun in the North, Mirzapur in the south, Azamgarh in the East to Agra, Meerut and Etah in west and of course Lucknow in the centre as capital.

I gained my bearings (जब से मैंने होश संभाला) in 1956, my father was posted in Agra. The most impressive thing about those years and the life spent then was the lack of automation and lack of speed in things done in general. The preferred mode of transport was Cycle and when with family, a pulled Rickshaw. The food was cooked on coal furnace(angeethi), the distances were traversed on cycle, music was heard on Radio (specially Radio Ceylon),or in few houses on gramophone with that loyal dog listening to His Masters Voice, time was seen in wrist watch or a table Clock and that eternal attraction, the films produced the sound and images, so life like produced from a box in a large closed Hall called Cinema House. Thus Cycle, Watch or table clock , Radio, Gramaphone and picture producing contraption were the machines that we came across on day today day basis. Motor Cars were a rarity, but public transport in state transport buses and the train Engine and bogeys following were the other important machinery that we knew it. For Office-goers typewriters was an Important Machinery.

Education and values were imparted at school and values were learnt by following the foot-steps of teachers and parents. Various activities done at repair shop and were a source of great observation. Like repair of cycle or pumping air in the tube or repairing of a punctured tyre. We used to watch it with great intent. Movies were a great attraction and our first movie was the silver Jubilee of Mother India. The utensils used were of brass and were regularly Tin-Coated. The cot used to have tied with hessian rope net or cotton webbing which has to be tightened regularly. Mostly sweet meats were made at home but on festivities,

Sweets were purchased from local shops. Most of the things were done by own hand and our inter personal relations were impeccable because we ate together food cooked by Mom, we went to school together, we slept at the same time and faced the vagaries of weather together. (We were 3 brother and eldest sister)

All games and sports were fun. We required an open field and the day was made. Be it Gitti-fod ( Seven flat rocks piled over each other and disturbed by a felt ball (Kirmich was the local expression, or used tennis ball), Gilli-Danda, or a Y shaped forked piece of wood with flat rubber strips and a holder of stone called Gulel, or marbles or simply curved stick and a ball to work it out as hockey stick. Sometimes in absence of all these, only few stones to down the Tamarind or Jungle jalebi fruit would do.

All in all life was simple and zest for life took away the displeasures if any, and we took them in stride. After the games, all of us were invariably invited to the nearest house of our friend and given a fine treat with home-made snacks or sometimes samosas or pakodes.

My elder brother was a hero of the house and his friends treated me as their kid brother. My brother was a good player of all games. Once, in a match of cricket, a teacher who was to umpire the game did not come. The place was Government High School Sitapur in UP. Now a cricket match must have an umpire and therefore a psychology teacher donned me with a large blazer and a cap from store and made me do the umpiring. I was as unaware of rules of the game as a duck knows about ping-pong but somehow I carried the day and decisions given by me were appreciated so much that every other game played henceforth in the School, I was called to umpire the match. Whichever team won but I was given a sumptuous treat. Life was so simple that a novice and ignoramus in cricket was given full honors and if I remember I was given a small medal also.

Few things that those times taught us was to do things ourselves and not to depend on others. The second was respect for the elders and certain capacity to listen. And lastly, first to do whatever one has learnt by rules and once one has mastered it, to do that thing by heart.

I think we gave good account of ourselves and made a good mixture of Knowledge and Technology. We can not sit in judgement of our own action and it is the posterity which will decide as to how we did on the world stage.


As the Lord Ganesh


E-231 Windsor Park

Indirapuram, Ghaziabad Pankaj Gupta

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Background of this Article

It is childhood life story.

हुआ यूं कि किसी भले मानूस ने बंबई में बिताए अपने बचपन की और उस समय के जीवन मूल्यों पर एक छोटा सा लेख लिखा जो हमारे एक पुराने यानिं रिटायर्ड डी जी पी ने आगे बढ़ा;k(फॉरवर्ड kiya) थk। उसपर मनन करते हुए लगा की क्यों न हम लोग अपने अपने बिताए दिनों पर कुछ लिखें, खासतौर पर उस समय के हालातों और उन हालतों का हम पर पड़ने वाले असर का? अतः इस सेवक ने प्रस्तावित किया की क्यों न हम सब उस लेख की पहली लाइन को शीर्षक बना कर अपने अपने संस्मरण लिखें। किसी अन्य वरिष्ठ ने कहा की पढ़ेगा कौन? तो मैंने कहा की हम सब। किसी अन्य वरिष्ठ ने कहा की विचार तो अच्छा है, शुरू कौन करेगा तो इस सेवक ने अपना नाम स्वयं अनुमोदित किया। परिणाम आपके सामने है।

इसमें बकरी यानिं मैं, मैं और मेरे का महत्व नहीं अपितु वो समय कैसk थे और उससे हम क्या शिक्षा ले सकते हैं यही बस एक छोटा सा प्रयत्न था। आशा है पसंद आया होगा।

Pankaj Gupta

A retired Police officer, he enjoys creative writing based on his experience of interacting with people. Why Dedicated to his three kids (tk)