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Book Reviews

Lahore – My review

I bought this book for the purpose that Pran Neville wrote it; to get a flavour of a city that I probably wouldn’t get to visit, and an era that I surely cannot. My links to Lahore are through my grandfather and his father before him; students of medicine at King Edward Medical College (now University), Lahore. I wanted to time-travel back to those days.

Neville did not disappoint. From a shop-by-shop excursion through the bazaars to the various historical neighbourhoods to the famed red-light district of Hira Mandi – pre-war Lahore is alive in this book and you can get to almost immerse all your senses in the sights, sounds, and smells that Neville describes in touching detail. For people who knew Lahore before Partition this book is an invaluable experience; for those like me who didn’t – it’s a tempting taste. Take a walk down Anarkali bazaar or catch a film at the Regal; enjoy a lazy afternoon on the banks of the Ravi or a brisk morning walk in Shalimar gardens: Neville’s book has you covered.

The only stumbling block in the book is one of nostalgic idealization of the, “good ol’ days” that Neville isn’t immune from. While certainly understandable, the emotions, at times, take the text away from a lovingly penned memoir to the tenor of a schoolchild’s essay. Save for these jarring moments though, it’s an immensely readable narrative for anyone who remembers Lahore, or wants to know it.


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. I was, and am suffering from depression and things had gotten out of control. I had chronicled it in my posts, but I have removed them. Not because I wanted to hide that facet of my life; if that were the case, I wouldn't be writing this. But I was lucky to come across many, many wonderful people out here who helped me. Even if it was just to post and tell me I wasn't alone. I can't tell you how thankful I am for all of you. I've tried since, to tell my own story as an attempt at catharsis (didn't work) and as a means of telling others that they weren't alone either, not in their depression, nor in their cutting or burning, nor in their thoughts of and attempts at suicide. So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost dark self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on. I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice. I am a depressive, have been for some time, so some things do trigger me for no rhyme or reason; I don't expect anyone to understand that this happens, just maybe accept that it does. If not, I am sorry.


4 thoughts on “Lahore – My review

  1. Very good. Do read my blog and on Karachi. https://readbetweenthelines.blog

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by sarahbeg | 21/04/2017, 7:59 AM
  2. So very beautiful, Dr. Hb!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 30/12/2016, 7:50 AM

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