The feature on lamplighters of London in a national English daily last Sunday literally dug out from the deep recesses of my mind the memories of gas lamps and their lighters in my birthplace Gwalior in Central India. More than 60 years ago in the early 1940s Gwalior was a small town of about 80000 or so but it used to be the capital of the princely state carrying the same name.
The hold of religion on people seems to be strengthening every passing day. The newspapers run regular features relating to religious activities that, one can sometimes foretell, might cause trouble and conflicts. Some narratives are about the conflict situations that have already occurred and some are those that could well end up in tragedy.
So snugly does the idiom fit Pakistan. The terror that it disseminated has now come to haunt it. Purveyor of terror has now become its victim. And the worst manifestation of it was the Peshawar tragedy where as many as 145, including 132 children, were literally gunned down in a mid-morning attack in its Army Public School.
In 1955 I was in my late teens and it looked like as if I had been somehow put on travel mode. I had just been to Bombay where I had spent most of my two-month long summer vacation. And now it was October and there was a chance of visiting Delhi. An uncle of mine was the touring officer of the C&E Morton, the confectioners, and he was going to be in Delhi for a week. He wanted my sister and me to visit him.