Interesting place names….. A nostalgic trip through Lucknow IV

Lets get back to our meandering through the streets of Lucknow.

Today (Tuesday, the 6th of April in the Year of Uncertainty 2010) was a day a colleague would have that I had finally gone round the bend. I was trying to recall some names, and whether a particular outpost was in a certain police station or not and had a most distressed expression. Asked what had happend, I elaborated the reasons given above and for my pains, was told that I was ma… well lets not dwell on it and lets get back to the main issue.

Before that one more thing… I have been using the terms police station and police outpost, but now I think I will go back into the vernacular and use the terms “Thana” and “Police Chowki”.

I left you last time and the point where you turn right from the Sri Ram Road onto the Aminabad market proper. Passing the Mata Badal Pansari on your left and Arora Pickles and Chutney Shop on your right, you came into the heart of Aminabad and had the choice of either turning left straight away or continuing through the melee and then turning left…. the markets to the right – Mohan market and so on – were not very interesting, except for perhaps the Goonga Nawab Park in its midst.

However, whichever left turn you used, you came onto either side of the Jhandawalan Park. For a minute, lets forget the road that stretches in front of you had you taken the first left and continue straight to the second left – just opposite the road leading to Naaz Cinema and Khayaliganj – where the delicious aromas waft from Tunda kababi’s branch on the left – as well as the Nazeerabad road.

Well there is nothing much on it save a row of textbook and stationery shops on your left and an intriguing old haveli slightly further on before the road before you turned left and came on the B N Verma Road I had already told you about. Intersecting it was the Gwynne Road, commemorating yet another colonial British officer (certainly not Nell Gwynne I gather).

And then the other road… this was a long, long road running all the way to Chowk – going through Maulviganj area of Aminabad – which was supposed to house a chauki of the Aminabad thana but despite a much diligent search one summer evening, I failed to find it, and local residents also had no idea. Maulviganj was the place where a close schoolfriend used to live and I visited him there twice at least. It was also the place where I came first with an old friend to breakfast on “kulche-nihari”.

After Maulviganj, the road rose slightly as it diverted – the left variant going towards Naka Hindola, passing Wazirganj’s Pandeyganj police chauki and Naka’s own Dugaonwa, before it terminated on the main crossing of the Naka area, bang opposite the Naka thana. The main right variant ran through the Nadan Mahal Road, housing the eponymous palace and the Rakabganj and Yahiaganj areas before it, in its turn terminated on the Victoria Street in Chowk.

Rakabganj was a wholesale market too – among other things of metals and it also had the Kundry Rakabganj in it – later found to be a corruption of the word foundry, which was there in the British era. Yahiaganj, which actually came in Chowk, and also had a chowki of the same name, was in popular pronounciation, usually called “Aaiyaganj” and it was only consultations with a learned elder of the city did I find the correct name.

Now, where shall I take you… ahead to Chowk, or retrace my steps towards the Naka Road? You will find in the next installment.

To continue….


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