Friends, Romans (I mean Lucknowites) and Countrymen.. lend me your ears..
I came across Lucknow Book Club, during my endless search for information on my beloved city – Lucknow. Born and brought up in this lovely city, full of grace, communal harmony and good food, I have tried to be in constant touch with its lovely people. Since I am in an All-India Service, I had to leave Lucknow at a very young age, and could only visit the city sporadically. I promised Manoj ji that I will be an active member of this Club, and I hope I have lived up to my promises till now, in the FB page.
You may realize that we, the members of this Club are an anachronisms. Nowadays, people neither read books, nor do they want to be confined to a city with more of mannerisms, and less of professional growth. The modern generation would rather pore over a smart phone, or a tablet, and stay in Bangalore or Gurgaon. They would rather be seen in a mall, than in a crumbling monument, and they would rather eat junk food in a pizzeria rather than go for a calorie-laden Avadhi biryani. No matter. Its very encouraging that we, the members of LBC, despite being supposedly out-of-sync with times, have come together to share our love for books and share our love for this wonderful city. Being in the Central government, fortunately, I have had the opportunity to move all over India, and I have seen most of the prominent cities of this country, from the Punjab to Kerala, and from Gujarat to North East. India is very much the same.. all cities are very much the same. But even among a plethora of cities, Lucknow manages to stand up on its own. The only city, which is close, and perhaps surpasses Lucknow in old world charm is Hyderabad, but that is another discussion. Old Delhi has its charm, but post-partition Delhi has developed a certain culture, which is completely devoid of any culture (pun intended). Lucknow stands out for its cuisine, and its graceful mannerisms. Another outstanding feature of this city is the communal harmony, which still persists, despite efforts by elements to create a chasm between communities.
More in next.. Take care, keep smiling and keep in touch. And most of all, continue to be proud of being a Lakhnavi!!