Well, the last time I finally cleared Hussainganj…. However, its the eighth post and I realise I have dealt with only two thana precincts (Aminabad and Hussainganj) till now. There are still more than ten – Bazar Khala (or Khalabazar), Cantt, Chowk, Hasanganj, Hazratganj, Kaiserbagh, Naka Hindola, Saadatganj, Talkatora, Thakurganj and Wazirganj of the then 20 thana areas in Lucknow proper to go, while I had nixed the rest seven – Alambagh, Aliganj, Ghazipur, Gomti Nagar, Krishna Nagar, Mahanagar and Sarojini Nagar.
So where do I take you today? There are so many options. I can clear the other non-interesting areas first or move to to some other area with interesting names…. well, I think I will not shortchange you and plump for the second course.
So for this installment, I will go to Bazar Khala or Khala Bazaar, as it was variantly known. Ever since I heard the name, I was curious about it and had thought of visiting it on my own to see around…. the name had such an allure for me and I have never been able to understand why. I do not ever recall having ever visited it before as I think neither my parents – or for that matter, my grandfather who I used to accompany on his daily evening shopping trips around the town – had ever been there.
Well one evening – having already got the necessary information from the man who was not only by my driving instructor but guide in several key areas including orientation and fieldcraft, geography of the city and so on, I resolved to visit the area.
Bazar Khala (I will use this variant for convinience) could be approached five main ways – two of which I didn’t even know then but when I did, deemed unfeasible. One involved a lengthy loop along the Gomti from my home through Wazirganj, Chowk, Thakurganj and then coming to it from the far side from the city outskirts. Tricky and not at all possible in the time I had. The second was to reach Talkatora via Alambagh and then work my way to the area but I had no idea of the way. The third was to approach via Victoria Street (rechristened Tulsidas Marg but again not used most of us people)… this also I did not know at that time. The fourth was a slight variant, involving using the Nadan Mahal Road (I have talked about it a lot in previous posts) to reach Chowk and then turning left. This also I found out much later.
The fifth way – the one I used – was the simplest and the most direct. It involved going straight from my home, through Hazratganj, Hussainganj, taking the middle road at the Hussainganj trifurcation – onward through Lalkuan and Bansmandi to Naka, through Naka and the flyover to reach Aishbagh – one of the main areas under the Bazar Khala thana and also the site of one of its three chaukis.
Aishbagh was another old and sprawling area. As I recall, then it had a large industrial cluster and businesses, the idgah as well as residential areas. So as I said, as I descended the flyover and reached Aishbagh that summer evening of 1993 in my first visit to Bazar Khala and going a little way espied the Aishbagh police chauki on my left – a neat looking tree-shaded installation which also had the office of the Circle Officer (Kshetradhikari….if you want to know) , Bazar Khala (a title I was known by school – even having a badge of the name but lets not digress). I moved on and soon came to a t-point with the Victoria Street, an area I came to know was called Bulaki Adda – why I have never found out.
I turned left – after due consultations – and came to the thana itself, which was not that interesting. But my target had been reached and as an added bonus, I had even found one of the three chaukis. I now resolved…
To be continued…..