‘Round the silver domes of Lucknow
Moslem mosque and pagan shrine
Breathed the air to Briton’s dearest
The air of Auld Lang Syne
O’er the cruel roll of war dream
Rose the sweet and homelike strain
And the tartan clove the turban
As the Gomti cleaves the plain’
John Whittier’s famous lines still hold true for the magnificence and the beauty of the city called Lucknow. It is astounding to see how this city of nawabs and kebabs has maintained a composite balance between the rustic era gone by the and wonders of the modern world.
Whether it is the thriving city centre of Hazratganj, the handsome sandstone structures sprawled all over the city, the historic colonial age monuments or the relatively new skyscrapers which dot the city’s skyline, Lucknow has it all. Home to around 3 million people, it’s residents have been reared to follow the Lucknawi principles of courtesy and kindness, and continue to be living embodiments of the old school style of love and life. The older parts of the city seem to belong to a different age and time. A place where you can still haggle with the shopkeeper, admire the typical Oudhi architecture and cuisine or just sit back and relax. No worries about work undone, for that is another world.
Yet, Lucknow is not content to rest on its laurels. As the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, it has emerged as a big stronghold for regional development. Graced by reputed educational institutions of Northern India, it is also home to offices of some leading Indian companies. It is astonishing to see how the city is able to maintain a time machine like existence, switching between two such drastically different time zones. The amalgamation of the old and the new is what makes the city.
For me, home lies in the RDSO Colony, located in the suburbs, an area I have spent the better part of my life in. The leafy green colony with its verdant front lawns has many fond memories for me, growing up. In the vast expanses of this generous colony, I received an education and probably had the best years of my life. My visits to Lucknow after leaving for college were nostalgic, the fast-changing landscape would always have new surprises to offer and old haunts would forever cause a surge of emotion in my heart.
When back home, I am lost in the loving embrace of parents, friends and relatives. Every day, my small family of four would go for an evening stroll to take in the fresh air. Underneath the jasmine-scented canopy of trees, we’d chat and laugh our way back home. The visits home were incomplete without meeting my grandmother, the family matriarch. She would fuss over her visiting grandchildren, the way only grandmothers can, giving us extra portions of food and sneaking cash into our pockets without letting our parents know!
The true spirit of Lucknow lies forever in the hearts of its people and no matter where life may take them, they will always come back to the city they call home.
To me, who have big dreams to travel the world, Lucknow will always have a very special place in my heart – it has many aspects of what has made me into who I am, and will serve as a foundation, for me to continue to develop myself in my life.
Hi, I’m Sabhya. I grew up in Lucknow, India. After a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Lady Shri College of Women at the University of Delhi, I moved to Singapore in 2018 for my yearlong post graduate studies. I graduated with a Master in Management from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School. Since young, I’ve been a prolific writer who has travelled extensively across India and has also been a public speaker since the fifth grade. As I navigate and transits through my new life in the little red dot – Singapore, I hope that I can regale you with my anecdotal tales.