The first weekend of December our friend Naila who studies Hindi at INLANSO in Varanasi came to visit us, for a tour of the city and also for us all to practise Hindi!
We went to several interesting places such as Sikander Bagh, which is a place dedicated to the Indian Independence movement since the army of the last Nawab was fighting there against the British during the Sepoy Rebellion or "The first war of Independence" as it is called by Indian nationalists.
More than two thousand Indians died there for their Nawab and to resist British colonialism. Several hundred British troops were also killed and the place was a seen of massacre. A forgotten massacre in the collective memory of the Independence movement.
After that we visited the magnificent Shah Najaf Imambara which we already have visited. A truly magnificent peace of Shia Muslim architecture of the Nawabs in Lucknow. After that we visited another beautiful Imambara at Sibtainabad, close to Hazratganj shopping district. It is undergoing reparations which is very good, since a lot of architectural wonders and historic treasures in India are threatened by neglect and lack of funds!
One of the most restored and beautiful Imambaras I have seen, and it is not even that famous, nor in tourist maps. A typical feature of Indian tourism. One has to talk to the people and to explore by oneself to really see this beautiful country.
After that we had some great Lucknow, Nawabi kababs at Dastarkhwana! The best kabab places in town. Lucknow really is a special city, culturally, historically and also in it's cuisine.
We also managed to see the beautiful parks of Begum Hazrat Mahal at night and we also met up with the leading Urdu newspaper's boss and his team at their office. The newspaper is called Avadhnama and is also distributed in other Urdu speaking cities such as Delhi, Bhopal and Hyderabad. It was really rewarding for us to see the importance of Urdu media as well as how important Urdu was for the Independence movement.