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Meet the Pied Piper of Hamlyn

Text and photographs: Ramananda Sengupta

Rats.

That is the first thought that springs to mind when someone mentions Hamlyn. And of course, the Pied Piper, who merrily led away the town's children after the mayor refused to pay him as promised for ridding the town of it pesky rodents.

But that is the least of city Mayor Klaus Arnecke's concerns when we meet him.

Addressing a group of Indian journalists at his office on the top floor of the City Hall, which has a panoramic view of the picturesque town, he explains he has to rush to chair a meeting on whether or not to allow a modern mall to be built in his town.

Zoning laws prohibit modern structures in the city limits, in an attempt to preserve the historical architecture of the quaint old town made famous by the Brothers Grimm and their tale of the Pied Piper.

After a brief introduction and toasts raised to the town and its latest visitors, the mayor hurriedly rushes off for his meeting.

But not before announcing that down below, "the Pied Piper awaits."


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