Lucknow…uh…! the city of Nawabs, of age-old monuments and palatial Imambaras dictating splendour, epiccentre of cultural extravaganza, with exquisite chickankari or the fine needle work, biryani and Tunde ke kewabs (though I am a vegetarian) that will water ur tongue, exotic gardens – nimbu park, Hannthi (elephant) park, ambedkar udhyan - a more recent one, surajkund to name a few – to nourish your health, and the nafasat (finesse) and the nazakat (sophistication) of the local dialect(sad though, it is vanishing fast) – verily, why shouldn’t I be besotted !!!
Almost all my school vacations I had spend in Lucknow. The city gave me an intimate and a very loquacious neighborhood friend. We spend our evenings loafing around the nearby famous market, Bhoothnath, known for its Hanuman temple and the pretty gals……….on Tuesdays u can see the temple swarming with worshipers, and the number grow exponentially when exams are nearby or class Xth/XIIth results are to be out with the students coming back to God after having been glued to books for months ; ). The market is always inundated with shoppers; thanks to the whole gamut of shops …clothing, sweets,adjoining vegetable market, music stores, books and all those things that can appeal.
Whenever we were in this market, habitually we used to spend sometime at the Mahesh book center, browsing through pages of new magazines and usually asking for the one which we can’t find at his shop. That was the trick to beguile the book seller into thinking that we actually were looking for this magazine and were really disappointed having not found it with him. Actually we both are book lovers and voracious readers but money-factor was always a formidable hindrance in our quest to buy some; so we had to satiate ourselves by just flipping through the books at his stand….