I often wondered what lies behind the red wall with its bronze plaque. The property probably belonged to a noble family in Britain. The crest portrayed a history of their family; a foot soldier trying to stop a knight leaving the castle on horseback – often wondered what he was fleeing from.
A few years earlier, a local historian revealed that it was a sweat shop in British times. Hundreds of men and women used to roll cigarettes and bidis (local cigarettes rolled in tendu leaves), sew dresses, and pack a number of Indian products for sale around the world. The crest belonged to a rich English businessman with extensive interest in tobacco.
Since then I have studied the coat of arms on cigarette brands like Rothmans, Marlboro, Pall-mall’s, etc. Heraldic symbols have a specific meaning for different images. A castle indicates safety, a lion ~ dauntless courage, knight on horseback ~ man’s journey through life, a common foot soldier ~ probably the poor exploited people. Indicative, if one considers these as key words.
However, a death stick between the knight’s lips may have been more explicit.