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Sunday, August 29, 2010

KOLAR GOLD FIELDS - DOWN MEMORY LANE

Kolar Gold Fields is a small mining town in the erstwhile Mysore State (now known as Karnataka) in India. It was owned by the John Taylor and Sons Company, a British Mining Firm for almost a century. It was well known for its Colonial ambience and was called ‘Little England’ due to its British and Anglo-Indian population. It was one of India’s earliest industrialized towns and was unique for its secular and egalitarian society.

“Kolar Gold Fields – Down Memory Lane” undertakes a nostalgic journey of almost 150 years, beginning with the historical and mythological origins of the Kolar Gold Mines, its golden progress through the years under the John Taylor and Sons Company, its gradual decline, and the final closure of the once prosperous Kolar Gold Mining Company in 2003. Thus ending a golden chapter in History, which now lies buried in the annals of time.

It recalls the glorious and cosmopolitan life led by the tiny vibrant Anglo-Indian Community (a living legacy of the British Raj) in the early days of KGF, who lived in sprawling bungalows with beautiful gardens and domestic helpers at their beck and call. It recalls the grand Christmas Balls and Dances held at the Skating Rink and the Jam Sessions and Pound Parties in Buffalo Lodge.

It finally focuses on the author's childhood memories of growing up in KGF in the 1950s and 60s, and of life’s many simple pleasures – home, family, school, playmates, entertainments, games, etc. It recalls memories of old familiar haunts and landmarks of KGF and the people who were an indispensable part of life in those days. The book succeeds in capturing and preserving the ethos and nuances of a bygone era