Bandook Gali – Gun Lane

Weekend Stories by Trishikh

Fourteen-year-old Abadan finds a one-hundred-year-old Mauser Construktion 96 semi-automatic broom-handle pistol encased in its legendary walnut holster cum detachable shoulder-butt, wrapped in a disintegrating rag with the faded tag – Messrs Rodda & Company, buried under a rock in the garden inside the Zoroastrian fire temple of Anjuman Atash Adran.

The year was 2014, and the boy was helping his hundred-and-six-year-old grandfather Adarban remove weeds from the small garden of this Parsi temple located on Kolkata’s Metcalfe Street colloquially referred to as Bandook Gali meaning the Gun Lane.

Adarban was the caretaker of this temple of one of the oldest continuously practised religions of the world founded in the 6th century BC, based on the spiritual teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster. This Temple was built in 1912 by Ervad Dhunjeebhoy Byramjee Mehta, four years before Adarban’s birth in the caretaker’s quarter where his parents lived, as his father just…

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