'...Punjabis have a deserved reputation for being philistines. I cannot avoid the genetic flaw, although I have tried to move towards learning and refinement. So, the reader of this autobiography should not be surprised to learn that no one in my immediate or extended family is a 'topper' or has won the Nobel Prize or even had the benefit of higher education. I was educated up to a certain socially acceptable norms - living up to the Tandons as it were!
On my mother's side some serious money had been gathered. Unfortunately, it stayed there. My maternal great-grandfather (Talwar) came from Afghanistan (whether he fled or shifted willingly is unclear) and set up a cloth shop in Rawalpindi in an area which came to be known after him. It acquired the name Talwaron ka Bazaar, and I had the good fortune of strolling through it on a visit to Pakistan. We told the taxi driver to take us to Talwaron ka Bazaar and he seemed to know it. Its name, of course, had been changed but my ancestors' name still rang a bell.
The Talwars were merchant-shopkeepers. My great-grandfather's cloth shop acquired some reputation in Rawalpindi. He became quite rich. In the family, however, my great-grandfather is remembered not for the successful business he set up but for his stinging rebuke in broken English to a fussy......'
- Debolina Raja Gupta