Named after a Himalayan flowering bush commonly found in these hills, Mussoorie was established in the early part of the 19th Century. Largely shunned by the British aristocracy, Mussoorie society in the 19th Century comprised of English businessmen and Box Wallahs with Indian princes and wealthy merchants thrown in for good measure. Things began to change after independence in 1947. The British left and many of their larger mansions were bought by wealthy businessmen from Calcutta and Bombay. Smaller houses were also bought by professionals from UP and Delhi. These stories are largely set in the Mussoorie of the 1960’s. The British had long gone but many of their traditions and institutions still lingered. An army band played in the evenings at the Band Stand near the public library. Miss Mussoorie contests were still the highlight of the season though the contestants were no longer the white ‘missy log’ . The schools – Waverly Convent, St. George’s, Woodstock and many others were thriving. Families still took long summer vacations and there was no television and hectic activity to disturb the quiet flow of life. So, dear reader, enjoy the gentle charms of a forgotten time.
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