June 10, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Essay: Nani ka Ghar by Abha Prakash

1 min read

In this personal essay, Abha Prakash takes us through the lanes of Old Delhi as she reminisces about her childhood and Nani ka Ghar.

Civil Lines was considered a stately neighbourhood to grow up in. Nestled in the east end of Old Delhi, an area relatively uncongested and less polluted than the busy roads of Kashmiri Gate and Daryaganj that flanked the walled city, more commonly known as Chandni Chowk, Civil Lines had wide roads shaded with Gulmohar trees and large pavements for pedestrians to walk their pedigreed dogs. 

Underhill Road, where we lived, branched off from the main Ring Road and sloped up towards the wooded area known as the Ridge which spread out north into the university campus where my mother taught Botany at Daulat Ram, a women’s college. With only a single bank and a couple of schools in the vicinity, Civil Lines was landmarked by the Secretariat, the Indraprastha College for Women where one of my aunts was a professor, and Exchange Stores, a glass-fronted department store that sold imported candies and chocolates. The fancy Oberoi Maidens Hotel with its colonial style, white-columned facade marked the other end of the locality behind which Commissioner’s Lane, where my maternal grandmother’s palatial house stood, snaked down towards the river Yamuna. 

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