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Our Beautiful Old Estate

January 31, 2011

Our Beautiful Old Estate

Remembering Abba Jee (Grand Father) by  Wasim Syed (Grand Son)

I still cherish my childhood memories at a beautiful estate of my grand father in Jalandhar city, Punjab, India.

It was before the partition of India in August 1947 that my grand father Syed Abdel Haq a little before his retirement built a palatial mansion in Civil Lines of the city near the residences of deputy commissioner and commissioner at that time.

My grandfather and some near relatives moved to the mansion to manage the whole estate around it. It had many fruit gardens, wheat and vegetable farms, and cattle farm. There was also a tube well for irrigation and water supply. My father and his family including myself also moved to the mansion after some time. All the affairs of the mansion including the farms around were managed by my father and uncles with their teams regularly.

We had several cows and buffaloes at our farm and milk was in abundance. As it was much beyond our needs we also sold pure milk to others in the vicinity.

We also established a strawberry farm-the first in the city. Also because of it’s abundance we sold strawberries in small packs inscribed ‘Haq Farms’ to people. The fruit was in high demand due to its deliciousness and quality.

We also had tennis and badminton and a cricket ground in the mansion where many friends also used to play with us.

About a mile from the mansion we had a poultry farm where there was a pond and various types of ducks were kept there. A farm house was also built for residence there. Outside, there was a Persian wheel to irrigate the fields around. Although the poultry farm was reasonably secure but fell pray to repeated attacks by a big fat cat due to which we were loosing a lot of our hens. One fine day one of my uncles who lived on the farm decided to watch for the cat at night with a gun. At about midnight the cat tried to jump into the poultry farm but was immediately shot by my uncle. After this our hens were safe and no other cat dared to attack.

One day my grandfather was sitting in cool shade near a tube well on the farm. There was a track leading to ruler areas outside our premises. A poor pedestrian came to the tube well one day like many others to drink water. He started talking to my grand father. He was not aware of the fact that my grand father was the owner of the estate neither my grand father mentioned it. Addressing my grand father he said ‘This big mansion with beautiful garden and farm must have been built by a big businessman.’ My grandfather in a very humble manner replied: ‘No, he is just an ordinary man like you and me.’


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