The above scene is of Hazrat Ganj , the heart of Lucknow, it has great shops, eating places and offices, this shows my father's office of Northern Railways.The rickshaw in the picture is a very popular and cheap mode of transport , it gives a livelihood to thousands of migrant workers and is also pollution-free!Its a great feeling to take a rickshaw ride and slowly reach one's destination.Even today it transports me to my carefree days of youth!
Ganjing or walking around Hazrat Ganj is a good pastime for many.Ganj is actually quite small, just a straight road maybe about a kilometer long.There is also Halwasiya market, included in Ganj along with a shopping complex called Janpath to house the old mini shops of Lover's Lane.Janpath has many shops selling awesome 'chikanwork' dresses and clothes for both men and women. One is assured of meeting old school friends, colleagues , relatives roaming around in Ganj on a Saturday evening.
Surprisingly there are many bookshops in Hazrat Ganj, 30 years ago or earlier there existed a massive Universal Book Depot , a huge bookshop from where we got cards, school/college books, stationery ,pencils and later ink pens! But it closed down and gave birth to several Universal Book Depots! Apart from these there are plenty of other book shops selling novels, magazines cards etc.
Even today when I visit Ganj I make a beeline to the shops I frequented with my Mom , Bhabhis and friends.I can still locate the best shops for most of the things including crockery, clothes , toys, books and other things though I have been away from Lucknow for decades .
Ganj holds memories of movies seen at Mayfair, Basant, Capitol , Novelty,Tulsi apart from shopping, eating expeditions.We never ventured beyond these movie halls due to various reasons. Now of course new spanking glittering Malls have sprung up replacing Ganjing!
The attraction for Lucknow never fades , I have yet to find a city which is better than my hometown. The best chat is served right next to the above building as also 'pan' which melts in the mouth............