THE MURDER OF FIFTEEN YEAR OLD SHAMSHAD BAI LAHORI
NAWAB NAWAZ KHAN OF DAB KALAN GOT AWAY WITH MURDER
Nawaz Khan came to Lahore on 28th October, 1941 for medical treatment, and during his stay at Faletti’s hotel, he became acquainted with a 15 year old Lahori call girl, Shamshad Bai. On 6th November, he made her stay in his room all night and gave Rs 1700 extraordinary for her rampant services. He became so infatuated with her, that he took her back to Multan district. In their family mansion, she was accompanied by her pimp brother, Talib Hussain.
Nawaz Khan was drunk to the core and wanted to be amorous to the girl. But his condition was pathetic and the girl made fun of his lack of masculinity. He got so irritated that he took out a pistol from underneath his pillow and shot her dead. It was a case which was started 6 months afterwards. Money poured in from the Nawab to save himself and his influence all over did save him from hanging. A doubt was deliberately created that he did not do it and planned to marry her. Why did he kill her? She laughed at him for his lack of manhood and he could not tolerate that. But he loved her so much that he stayed besides her dead body for ten hours. An incident which rocked Lahore in those days.
THE BIZARRE CREDOS OF MODERN ARTISTS
DOES NUDITY LEADS TO SPIRITUALITY?
Pablo Picasso posed in the nude in 1937 with a bull head and a forked stick. Sadequain did something like that in the Lahore Museum, in idealizing the starving Buddha at the back in the show case. I think Hinduism believes in eight ways to reach the Al-Mighty. For us normal Muslims, the last communication of Allah was through the Quran and the Quran is now the only way to reach Allah. Rest keep on trying! Self deception is not the answer to anything.
THE ASSASSINATION OF PRIME MINISTER LIAQUAT ALI KHAN
THE START OF A SEQUENCE TO DESTABILIZE THE COUNTRY
On 16th October, 1951 Pakistan lost its Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, known as the Shaheed-e-Millat. Various point of views. No pictures on Google of the incident. Sharing some from old reports. Reflect!
PATRONAGE OF A RICH HINDU FOR A RISING MUSLIM ARTIST
Strange anecdotes about the millionaire
The project of Murraqqa-e-Chughtai was on the anvil. Thee were not enough finances. It was decided to get the prints printed from Germany and the rest of the book here in Lahore. As money was limited, a small press was bought and the two brothers, M.A. Rahman Chughtai and Abdur Raheem Chughtai decided to do the printing themselves. The press was placed in the Chabuk Sawaran house, but there was no electricity. A power connection was not available. A request was sent to Lala Harkishen Lal Gauba, and his Shahdara Power station. A special concession was made for the artist and a power connection given at the house of the artist. A rare event. The book got printed there, and the LIMITED EDITION coveted in the world, was all done there. Certainly Gauba had a regard for artists.
Khalid Latif (Kanaya Lal) Gauba writes about his father:
“Although Lala Harkishen Lal built a palace, he preferred himself to live simply in a very small room in the top storey, which was a combined bedroom, dressing-room, and semi-office. For the decoration of this room he commissioned an artist to travel through Punjab and paint all the most interesting beggars he could find. Nearly a hundred types were painted and amidst these, he lived and did the best part of his work. Asked to explain what all this meant, he would say that there are two reasons for this:- Firstly, every man shorn of his trappings, is no better than a beggar, secondly, he personally started life in comparative poverty and having these portraits around him, he would never forget from where he began.”
It would be interesting to know the name of that artist of Lahore who made all these beggar studies for him.
Lala Harkishen died in 1937. M.A. Rahman Chughtai got a set of Murraqqa’s work printed in Austria by Max Jaffe of Vienna. The two works were DESERT IN BOOM and SERENADE (FOR A SONG). It was in 1938 that M.A. Rahman Chughtai was back in Lahore. Some how these two works got into the house of Gauba. As Lal Harkishen died in 1937, it is apparent that these two works were bought by Khalid Lateef Gauba. The proof lies in a letter we received from Bombay, from Khalid Lateef Gauba, after the death of M.A. Rahman Chughtai on 17th January, 1975. The letter said:
“I am very sorry to hear about the death of your father (MARC), who in the East had a position and esteem akin to Picasso in the West.”
Thank you Gauba family!
A NATIONAL ART GALLERY IN LAHORE 2ND NOVEMBER 1958
INITIATIVE OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AT ALHAMRA COUNCIL
M.A. Rahman Chughtai met Begum Shahnawaz at her home in 1946 and the idea of an institution to promote Muslim Culture was found and resulted in setting up the Alhamra Arts Council in Lahore. Even the name Alhamra was given to the Council by M.A. Rahman Chughtai in the background of Muslim Spain as the harbinger of the Modern Islamic Culture. It was inaugurated with a show of M.A. Rahman Chughtai by Governor General Khawaja Nazimuddin on 10th December, 1949. Other shows followed. There was a need for a permanent display of Pakistani Art at the Lahore Arts Council. The hall of Alhamra was designated as the National Art Gallery and various paintings of various artists were bought by the Council. About ten paintings of Chughtai Sahib were also bought by the Council. Most of them disappeared with time or were subject to neglect. Perhaps only two survived. One was the work PIGEONS which we found hanging in the Chief Ministers House many times and the other the SLAVE GIRL, the first version. The Slave Girl is still at the new Alhamra Art Gallery in Gaddaffi Stadium. Recently a foreign team came here to attempt restorations of such works at the gallery.
The past was so much brighter for Art and Culture in Pakistan. Today democracy has harassed the artist as well as the people of Pakistan and beaten them out of shape. No immediate relief is in sight as everybody is concerned with own self and national developments has been abandoned with sarcasm.
The issue of a pavilion on top of Jahangeer’s mausoleum remain unsolved to this day. Interestingly we have Inayat Khan Muhammed Tahir Ashana talking in full detail of the dome on the mausoleum of Empress Nur Jahan, and which is available to us in the Zafar nama Shah Jahan, abridged from Shahjahan nama. Interestingly the original Badshah namna also carries the detailed description which we have annexed separately. Missing dome on Jahangeers, missing dome on Nur Jahans. But another issue comes up! Was there a dome on the gateway to the Mausoleum of Jahangeer?
The earliest photograph we have is of 1862-64, and it shows us the Gate in more ways than the one which we see today. But there was a publication in 1285 AH or 1867 AD, and it gives us the same gateway but with a dome on it. We can dismiss both as erroneous but we can research on it., Not being research oriented we are least bothered about things of the past.
But what about the missing inscriptions on the Mausoleum? We are told that to pave the way for the mausoleum to be converted into AITCHISON COLLEGE, most of the inscriptions were removed by the British, or for that matter turned over to their back side. Charles Huegel in is travels note that:
“Two rows of black letters inlaid in white marble, over the entrance, contain the name and titles of the emperor, and in many places, the word Allah is inscribed in Persian and Arabic characters.”
Some people even dismiss that evidence. Fool proof evidence is never there. At one point, we have to jump the scrambled things for a conclusion.
Shaukat Thanvi came to Lahore and became a Lahori by choice. In a book depicting the various leading writers of his time, Thanvi’s pick up M.A. Rahman Chughtai, the artist of his times. Not only did he wrote a penetrating analysis of Chughtai, he also made a caricature of him. In the long forgotten book, we found the same and are sharing it with our viewers. Enjoy!
OUR HISTORIANS USUALLY THINK OF MAQBARA OF NUR JAHAN
AS HAVING NO CLUES TO ORIGINAL STRUCTURE BUT ARE WRONG
BADSHAH NAMA OF ABDUL HAMID LAHORI GIVES US THAT VIEW
The absolute truth of various notions of ours is not there. Research about long lost monuments is like working for a needle in a haystack. We have great love and respect for historian Anjum Rahmani, and feel sad that he dissects Dr Abdullah Chaghatai in his latest book on Lahore, at times right, at times with vindictiveness. That is not fair. We can all be wrong at moments. The correct way is to keep on learning.
Anjum Rahmani says that there is no reference about the Maqbara of Nur Jahan in contemporary times. We attach here two pages (from the printed book in 1867) from the Bahshah nama of Abdul Hamid Lahori (the official history) and it give us a clear cut description of same. Foregoing the details, three things we find clear in it:
1. There is a reference to a huge DOME on the maqbara.
2. There is a reference to a single grave in the maqbara.
3. The reference is to a mosque which is not there. And it had a jawab balancing mosque structure to same.
It is up to the experts to comment on same. Our job is to present the reference from the book as well as loosely translate same for use of our readers. That is:
“This Maqbara is situated gharb of Rauza Jahangeer. Its DOME is far high above the normal level Its circumference is 15 yards, framework octagonal, with eight nashman and outside eight entrance gateways. Every gate is seven by four and with eleven yards height, in guise of archways. Inside the building there is marble and outside is Sang Abari. Sang marmar and sang zarda and different kinds of precious stones are there. On the high plinth and chabootra, there is the inside building of the grave. The grave is embellished with countless precious stones in parchan kari. Ayats Quranic as well as the names of Allah in parchan kari abound inside. The floor inside the building is embellished with precious stones in gara bandi. The chabootra outside the DOME has a measurement 60 yards and is made of sartappa sang surk. Outside the chabootra on all four sides are fountains and measure 9 by 7.5 yards. This maqbara and Rauza Jahangeer sharqi wall is the same, meaning that the wall of Maqbara Jahangeer and Serai and Maqbara Asif Khan surrounds them. Same wall surrounds Maqbara Nur Jahan which is with Rauza Jahangeer. There is a mosque in the western district and on the east is another mosque which is not a mosque but the jawab of that mosque to balance it. In the janoob of the bagh there is a gate to all this building. Maqbara, and Bagh Nur Jahan were constructed by Nur Jahan in her lifetime at expenditure of three lakh rupees and in four years.”
The Diwan Masnavi of Nur Jahan was discovered recently. It also mentions a MASJID NAHR WALI in the vicinity of her maqbara. More research is required there. Anjum Rahmani is welcome all the time! Our archives are open to him.
A long time back some writers made the mistake of naming a male mausoleum in Nawan Kot as the Mausoleum of Princess Zebun nisa. They also made the mistake of calling the Bagh of Jahan Ara as the Bagh of Zebun nisa. Of course only the gateway known as Chauburji survives to this day only. That would be a natural mistake for confusing the nomenclature Zebinda Begum as Princess Zebun nisa. But the same has been corrected by a number of scholars over the time, and I wonder why morons to this day insist in not moving forward and retaining a century old void. Even the mausoleum of Nawan Kot has been identified as the Mausoleum of Haji Abdul Kareem, but nobody reads the latest researches on the matter. And then they do not even want to listen to facts. Judge Lateef made a wonderful contribution to Lahore with his famous book, but he did commit many mistakes, and this was one of them.
During her life time Princess Jahan Ara had willed her famous TEES HAZARI BAGH in Delhi to Princess Zebun nisa. Zebun nisa died in Delhi and the news reached Aurangzeb Alamgeer, who burst out crying after hearing same. He loved Zebun nisa so much. He immediately ordered her to be interred in Tees Hazari Bagh and a mausoleum to be built on same. The three persons entrusted with the job was Syed Amjad Khan, Sheikh Atta ullah and Hafiz Muhammed (we will write separate on this fact, as no one has really touched same in depth). A beautiful mausoleum was built and it had a red stone mosque attached to it. This was just outside the Kabuli Gate In Delhi. In 1875 when the Rajputana Railway was made, the whole structure was razed to the ground. The inscription on the grave was transferred to the Red Fort Museum in Delhi. It may still be there to this day. Sir Syed Ahmad has reproduced the same and we attach it here for the view of history buffs. A number of references are known about this mausoleum. Mirza Sabukatageen in his Sehr Manazil clarifies same in clear cut way. The writer Beale says same again. Mentioned in Punjab notes and queries. But one interesting reference is Shamas ulama Muhammmed Hussain Azad who mentions spending time in the mausoleum with his tutor Maulana Zauq and his own father. But one step further they even had a portion of BALA KHANA repaired at their expense, for it was so peaceful and serene there. Amazing reference of olden times. Maulana terms it as a beautiful structure.
Most of the facts about Zebun nisa are well known as well the the distortions of the Indian lobbies. So we need not go though them. But one thing rarely known is that Zebun nisa built a Sheesh Mahal for herself in form of a travelling tent. This is the first of a kind we have heard in Mughal history and a very interesting read for us.
It goes to the credit of the Mughals, that two ladies, namely Jahan Ara and Zebun nisa were such famous icons in our history, that the whole region named their favourite daughters after these immortal ladies. The iconic status is so strong that hundreds of years after the death of both, daughters continue to be named after the great ladies, who represented the best of Eastern womenhood.
ENTRAPMENT OF PAKISTANI RULERS CONCENTRATING ON PAKISTAN
THE CHRISTINE KEELER AFFAIR AND PRESIDENT AYUB KHAN’S SCANDAL
It is no secret. With time it has become a plain fact. When Pakistan get good rulers, Western and Indian lobbies try to destroy them in many ways. One way is to embarrass him in a dirty way. The progress shown in Pakistan under those 10 years of rule of President Ayub Khan is phenomenal to this day. He took Pakistan to the height of things, devised a workable constitution and presented us with well thought of economic plans. He was a leader par excellence. His speech on 6th September, 1965, is the stuff of dreams.
The progress Pakistan was making was being resented by many. The British War Minister was terribly involved in scandals dealing with models and call girls. Even today the Profumo scandal is subject of British nightmares. It led to resignations and even suicides. In a visit to London, President Ayub Khan was invited to the estate of Cliveden in Buckinghamshire. A big estate for western concepts of fun. There was a swimming pool there and models swam in same, completely in the nude, to appease leaders of the world. Enticing them away from their duties. Leaders swam with models in compromising situations and position. Pictures were secretly shot and I remember appeared in international magazines. The Australian government has a complete record and portfolio of same. Even today they sell it to make money. Nothing free from them even in public interest. There was acute embarrassment at home. Interesting that newspapers called President Ayub Khan of Punjabi origin. Nothing wrong in a Pathan being mistaken for a Punjabi, but look a the sinister design behind same.
The charisma of President Ayub Khan overcame that but in a couple of years, the 1965 war was imposed on Pakistan, to bring him down. He rose from those ashes with strength and fervour. Then a political mess was created by those who used to call him Daddy and it led to his honourable exit. The resignation of President Ayub Khan is a singular exception in our history. Today Christine Keeler must be remembering all that she did, with some sort of guilt, or perhaps pride of being a modern Helen of Troy.