YES THOUSAND THOUGHTS RUN THROUGH AN ARTIST MIND; FEW REACHES CLIMAX. MURRAQQA PAINTING WASTED VIGIL.
No work by M.A. Rahman Chughtai is ever made without a thought and with it comes symbolism, an entire story much before the creation of a master piece. The work “The Wasted Vigil” is very much there in the various editions of the Murraqqa and much appreciated. An author even named his book on the same subject. There is so much poignancy in the subject of a beloved waiting for the appearance of her lover, person who never came and left the ache of waiting in the entire body. The romantic aspect of Ghalib’s poetry catches us immediately, and we can imagine the various feelings he went through in his life at personal level.
But the same verse is qualified as an image by the artist. There are alternatives. Enjoy an alternative which never got made but was conceived by the artist and after all he selected version which he thought was best. Bu this version is no less. The empty bed, the blook of verse as she holds either a flask or a diva in her hands. Her clenched hands show her anxiety of missing her lover. We saw it, we shared it. Enjoy!
Remember the original paintings were on same paper, same size, same year of 1926 or so. Relish the mystery.
MURRAQQA E CHUGHTAI: THE BEGINNING, THE PROCESS; COMPLETION IN ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES AND SUCCESS.
In 1926 Sir Akbar Hydari, Prime Minister of Hyderabad Deccan was in Lahore, and Dr Allama Iqbal wanted to meet him. He requested the Chughtai brothers to accompany him to the House of Justice Sir Muhammed Shafi, and later to house of a Parsee couple. on Fane road, behind Lahore High Court. Dr Iqbal took the brothers in his own car at that time and a long discussion was held there. In that same meeting Sir Akbar Hydari was told of the proposal to publish an illustrated Murraqqa related to Mirza Ghalib. For details see blog
The same was also discussed with the art critic G. Venkatachalam, of Madras, who knew the Maharani of Cooch Bihar well as a patron. The result Rs 5000 came from the Maharani in 1926, and the project started, but as a commercial partnership. It was a business arrangement. But the cost of publication was staggering and the artist ran out of money. This is one of the reasons that the First Edition has different binds to it. In 1927, Dr Allama Iqbal requested the Nizam of Hyderabad to fund the project more, by supplying further Rs 5000 for the same. This help probably never came. The letter is preserved and published in Hyderabad Archives.
The obvious reason resulted in variations in the First Edition as well as variations in the editions that followed. Many paintings were also changed in the process and had different versions. Complete guideline are required obviously. The editions were depending on availability of paper, Rexine, book binders, printing presses as well as the old London based letter press plates. Even the same pigment inks were no longer available. The Press imported never worked, was sold and replaced with another press “Art Falcon” from another publisher, on Mohan road, Lahore. For lack of money, the printing was even done by the two brothers, as well as his maternal cousin. It was an uphill task but the resolute will of the artist carried him through to his first international success as a publisher. The rest is history.
Finally the artist had offered the complete set of paintings to various organizations. One place was Aligarh University and Vice Chancellor Sir Ross Masood (letter there). Others too. But Princess Durre Shahwar came to rescue and bought the whole set for the Nizams Palace in Delhi. The works hung there for very long time. Where they are now, NO ONE KNOWS. Perhaps even in Australia, perhaps in some Governmental coffers in India. Subject to research.
ARCHIVES OF ETCHINGS AND ETCHING PLATES; AND INTENDED SKETCHES: A MISSING TREASURE.
We know that reputation is that M.A. Rahman Chughtai made 300 etchings. We have a record of at least 239 etching and aquatint prints. But we also have a record of more than a hundred plates, with many plates showing works, which never got to the printing stage. And we have hundreds of sketches made for etchings which never got etched on plates. A phenomenal artist of all times, and this society has become so philistine with time, that it has forgotten its aesthetic background.
In any case we present a few impressions of scanned plates with powder in the lines and photoshoped to clear them. Enjoy a missing treasure! The full realization that indeed he was Modern Master of Islamic civilization.
THE LAST MUSLIM; YES THE FIRST MUSLIM ISLAM CAN NEVER DIE THE QURANIC LAW OF MUKAFAT (As a mere story)
It was the grandest feast in the history of mankind. The whole Caymann Islands were lit. Delegations had arrived from all over the globe. It was a celebration par excellence. The most sumptuous food was being cooked. Naked girls walked around in the hall letting delegates do their liking. Pole dancers entertained the crowd. Acrobats worked wonders. Bacchus would have envied the get together of the BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN, the modern Freemasons of t.he world. The cabal of all cabals had invited all the other cabals to the fun fair party. The event the physical execution of the LAST MUSLIM in the world.
Million of millions of Muslims all over the world were by now exterminated. The leader of the Brotherhood would behead the last Muslim with the most ancient diabolic sword available. A tray had been placed under the neck of the last Muslim. The choicest cabal members would as vampires drink his blood. Glasses of champagne with the choicest crystals from Czechoslovakia were there for the vampire show. The leader and all others relished the moment for extermination of Islam. It was befitting that the last Muslim should be allowed to say his final words and he was allowed to say them.
“YOU CAN NOT FINISH ISLAM”. The last Muslim shouted through his blood filled eyes. Our Quran is still everywhere in your museum collections. You have not been able to finish it. Your greed prevents you from destroying expensive antiques of great value. Our civilization is preserved in your museums and antique places. There is not an iota of doubt in my mind. Allah will prevail! Allah o Akbar!
Shemihaza the leader of the Brotherhood of Satan smiled and said “Repent that you can live. Embrace our cabal!” The last Muslim kept on shouting Islam cannot be finished, Allah will prevail! The house shouted like the ring of the gladiators, “Cut the head of the bastard!” Thumbs down.
The Ancient sword flashed. The head was cut. Blood started dripping in the tray. People were shouting with glee. All ready to sip the blood of the last Muslim. But something had happened. Shemihaza saw the poignant luster in the eyes of the dying man. Utter relaxation. Utter strength of faith.The spirituality of his eternal belief that Islam cannot die. A miracle happened. The same twinkle burst into the eyes of Shemihaza.The Last Muslim was dead, but another Muslim had been born at the same moment. Shemihaza knew he was Abu-Jehad now and it was his job to dismantle the Brother hood of Satan forever or die trying. Islam outlived that moment! Truly it could never die.
Finishing the Muslim Nations will never work. Your own people will be converted to the Way of Allah, for that is the way of the Truth!
LANGUAGE OF TRUTH SPEAKS AND ASSERTS FOR ITSELF; DO NOT GET TWO BIT INTELLECTUALS DEMORALIZE YOU.
Yes, we were born in a family, which respected traditions, but not at cost of intellectual advancement. Guided by the teachings of the Quran, our saviour was Dr Allama Iqbal and his reconstruction of religious thought in Islam. The revered Quaid e Azam put us on the track of execution of moral standards. Pakistan had an edge over all countries in the world.
Two-bit pseudo intellectuals bombarding us with falsehoods on the Empire of falsehood that is the internet. And rating themselves as Aristotle’s of all times. Even a cursory look at them, you find stomachs lined with haram and faces bloated with intakes of alcohol. And they want to teach us by distorting every truth of our past. For petty games, yes, but finding strength in following satanic admonitions. No doubt it is a fight between Truth and Evil.
Allah tells us of the Law of Mukafat. Good deeds bring rewards, bad deeds bring punishment. But these people believe in the present. They have no conception or fear of the next world, for they do not believe in the next world at all. Keep on playing with distortions, and their characters become distorted too.
We are proud in our saying, that here at CHUGHTAI MUSEUM, whatever we say is HUNDRED PERCENT TRUTH. No haram in our bellies, no alcohols to sway us from truth. We advise you to see with caution the distortions in our society in these times.
THE LEGEND OF MURRAQQA E CHUGHTAI IS EVER THERE; BUT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE FIRST EDITION?
The legend is that there were 210 copies of the First Edition of the Murraqqa e Chughtai, drawn, printed and published by the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai. It says so on the book itself. You read about it but no one has ever explored it, even in cursory manner. I was told by my uncle that there was an important separate file of the Murraqqa and he used to complain that his son had displaced it, or even sold it to the kabaria, not only by mistake but by deliberate action. Who knows the truth? I think I once saw a list of the people the book was given, either by presentation or by sale. That was a long time back, and that list may still be found.
However, my knowledge isolates these persons as possible owners of the First Edition:
Dr Allama Iqbal. Presented to him, but he refused to accept it as a very expensive thing. Persuaded to keep it, he later presented it to a girl student, who we are told finally became Principal of a famous Girls School.
Nizam of Hyderabad. It was dedicated to the Nizam himself, but by a terrible blunder created by Abdullah Chaghatai, its benefits could not be realized. The brother gave it to the Nizam after Friday prayers in an Un ceremonial way. Sir Akbar Hydari, Prime Minister got irritated with the brother, that the proper forum for presentation was the Court of the Nizam, whereas suitable rewards and presentations would have been given. Sibling rivalry manifestation.
Maharani of Cooch Bihar Indira Devi. A business deal of the Maharani with the artist, through the goodwill of art critic of Madras, G. Venkatachalam, in which the Maharani had given Rs 5000 Rupees for the publication, in exchange for Fifteen of the original paintings. Not a bad deal for the Maharani.
Mirza Ghalib. The first copy was presented to the late poet, by putting a copy on his grave, early in the morning. It is recorded who found it and later took it. A separate story by itself. In fact, the artist’s note in the book itself spotlights Mirza Ghalib clearly as a patron.
Lahore Museum. A copy or even two were bought by the Curator of Lahore Museum for the library. Later various editions were also bought by the museum.
Maharaja of Patiala. A patron of art and culture in the Punjab.
Nawab of Bhawalpur. A destroyed copy, missing pages and illustrations, and crumpled bind is with a member of the family, descendent of the Nawab himself.
Nawab Ahmad Yar Khan Daultana. A famous feudal political figure of Punjab and father of Mumtaz Daultana, was very much a fan of the artist Chughtai. There is an invitation from him to the artist at Shalimar Gardens on an important reception.
Har Kishan Lal Gauba. The famous industrialist of Lahore (Owner of Shahdara Power House), provided the electrical connection to the house of the artist in Chabuk Sawaran, to enable him to run the press, to print the Murraqqa itself. His son Kanaya Lal Gauba, later Khalid Latif Gauba, was also a fan of Chughtai artist. Migrated from Lahore to Bombay.
Kallianjee Hormuez. A famous collector of art in Bombay, requested purchase of the First Edition by letter on 17th, May, 1928. Must have been supplied.
Even today some leftover residues are with us, disjointed, without illustrations, but ready to be used for repair, or replacement. At least three First Editions, only one has a number to it. On box number is 30, on book it is 25. But I have seen the signatures on the First Edition, and it seems the signature has changed and matured if not at many, at least a few times. But the big news comes from the writing of the artist himself that forty copies were given to Abdullah Chaghatai for possible sale in Hyderabad Deccan, and were actually sold. Interesting part is that the Royal Palace of the Nizam, now an exclusive hotel, has the Royal library still there. Many volumes destroyed but a lot still intact and not removed. The First Edition is probably still there and perhaps with pencil notes of the Nizam.
Dr Abdullah Chaghatai has written minute details in production of the book, not everything is correct but still reliable as the only source of important background of production. Chughtai artist himself informs us in an article that the entire 210 copies edition were sold, but malignant and selfish traders had deprived him of important revenue for same. The only redeeming happening was that the entire paintings of the Murraqqa were bought, and that money led him to build his new house, and finally move from his at least 250 years old residence in Chabuk Sawaran Mohalla, Lahore. That next time!
The next popular edition evaluated at times at 5000 US dollars, can safely be said that the First Edition is in excess of 10,000 US dollars, with signatures.
ACTIONS OF GOVT OF PAKISTAN ROLE IN PROMOTING CHUGHTAI ART; GIFT OF A CHUGHTAI PAINTING INTERNATIONAL POSTAL UNION BERNE.
The initial governments in Pakistan recognized the importance of spreading the capabilities of the new country Pakistan in various fields. One such field was the Aesthetics of the country as represented in its art. The artist selected for same was M. A. Rahman Chughtai. All things on record but Chughtai paintings were also presented to various international centers. This included United Nations Headquarters New York. International Court of Justice Hague as well as International Postal Union Berne.
The painting selected for Berne was the RED FLAME by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. News of this presentation came in international media, magazines and newspapers. It was also later printed as an Eid card in Pakistan. Enjoy!
THE ATTACK ON LAHORE (1043-1049) BY COMBINED HINDU RAJAS THE PLANNED ATTACK ON LAHORE 2017 BY COMBINED LOBBIES MARTYRDOM AT ITS BEST IN PAST AND IN FUTURE OBVIOUSLY
In the year 435 AH (1043 AD), the Raja of Delhi was able to rally other Hindu Rajas to accost and drive the Muslims out of India. The religious motivation drove them into a frenzy, for they were loosing their commoner subjects by the thousands, each day, through voluntary conversions. Fearing there would be no vassals left to serve them, they started recovering one town after another. They took Hansi, Thanesar and then Nagar Kot. In the year 441 AH (1049 AD), they laid a siege to the city of Lahore.
Sultan Maudud was not in Lahore. Maudud undertook a campaign against Khurasan, and had gone through the city of Kabul. He reached the Fort of Sankot and was seized with a violent bowel movement (food poisoning of the worst kind). Probably poisoned by adversaries. On a litter tied behind a horse, he was taken to Ghazni, where he died, and the rest of the time there was chaotic fighting for the throne. A four year old son was put on the throne, which led to further infighting in the Ghaznavid ranks.
Without the protection of the Sultan, it was up to the citizens of Lahore to defend themselves. The Hindus gained initially a lot of ground in victory. Their number was ten thousand horsemen, as well as innumerable foot soldiers. Five thousand Muslims were taken prisoners, mosques were razed to the ground, and a general loot and plunder started outside Lahore in the suburbs. A group of valiant soldiers assembled in the Purani Kotwali Lahore and resolved to face the wrath of the Hindus. The siege was for about seven months and the soldiers held their ground. Thousands died defending Lahore, including many of their Generals who were controlling the action. The nature of Lahore was thus that in the course of fifty years or so, the citizens of Lahore had made the city as their own.
The soldiers who gave their life for Lahore and by their action were able to save Lahore. The place where they died was Mohalla Sadhoaun, Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran and the area of Chinay-wali mosque (the residential area of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and his ancestors). This place was known as GANJ SHAHEEDAN, and they were buried at the same place where they died with full honour, some individually, some in mass graves. A few graves existed till partition, and now the 968 years old incident is represented by the Mazar of one unnamed General only. I too was born in Lahore, very near the mausoleum of Ayaz Abu-Najm and my ancestors lived in the Mohalla Chabuk Sawaran, the area of the Ganj Shaheedan. The soil of Lahore on which you are born and where you live welcomes also those who die. The warmth of the soil is there for all to taste, but more specifically for the SHAHEEDS, the people who give their life in defending Lahore.
The 1965 Pakistani Indian war was similar in many ways., A surprise attack was launched on Lahore, and the war revolved around the KANGRI PULL, or the BRIDGE OF THE PROSTITUTE. This is the same bridge where Ranjit Singh on returning from victory from Amritsar met Moran, the femme fatale of his life. In radio broadcasts of that time the name of the ‘Kanjri pull’ came again and again. It was people like Major Aziz Bhatti who held the enemies at bay, and destroyed the General Chaudry’s proud assertion of drinking at Lahore Gymkhana. The plan ruined finally. After the 1965 war, the brother of Major Aziz Bhatti came back from Dacca, and opened the GO-GO restaurant in Liberty Market Lahore, frequented by most, before it got vacated out of the premises. The nephew of the Shaheed was with us in Forman Christian College. One Shabbir Syed was our senior in Saint Anthonys High School, Lahore, and as Head of Munster House, we used to buck him up in his races all the time. In a sudden sweep, the Shaheed and his aura walks tall in the area where they gave their life, and in Paradise, which await only selected people from Planet Earth.. Allah-o-Akbar!
This time the plan is in motion again. The butcher of Gujarat, with his version of divine mission, plans to take over the country and for that Lahore is a must for their design. This time it is said that the war will be fought NOT ON KANJRI PULL but on the METRO BUS TRACK, where the enemy tanks will run to quell Lahore. The dream is that Lahore will wake up one day to be an enslaved city . I am sure that the Army who blew up the ‘Kanjri pull’ once, will have to blow up the Metro bus track too, for the safety of Lahore. But much before that Al-Nasr will be proving its worth to us. Yes, it is all possible, and just read between the lines in any news broadcast, and you will see that the think tank donkeys of the world are braying about the demise of Pakistan.
Just what saves Pakistan all the time? Ask anyone on the street and they say the same thing. We are protected by Allah. It is only due to Allah that Pakistan is still in existence. It is a belief which does not go away. It is futile to say that we have stopped following Allah. People believe that Allah will never desert us. And that belief gives us one UNCONDITIONAL EDGE OVER ADVERSARY. REAL MOTIVATION. And that motivation makes us know fully that a death for the sake of the country does not go unrewarded. We call that SHAHADAT and that is part of JEHAD of life. Jehad the most beautiful expression of need to help all others in need. A jehad which brought Muhammed bin Qasim here. Fret not General Sahib, the people of Pakistan are with you all the time!
AN INSCRIPTION OF PERIOD OF RAJA JAYAPALA OF UDABHANDAPURA (HUND) PERHAPS THIS LAHORE WAS NEVER EVEN THEIR DOMAIN AS ONE EXISTS THERE
The suicide Raja Jayapala is supposedly attached to Lahore. We have read local writers spin their tales about Jayapala, and his escape from the gutter of Mori Gate, Lahore. We could die laughing at this nincompoops, who do not know that Lahore as it is now never existed in the time of the Ghazanavids. This is Akbar’s Lahore. And these are Gates of Akbari period. Mori Gate is a Mughal period thing. The Ghaznavid Lahore was inside the city related to the Old Fort of Lahore (not this one), and that center is actually the area which includes Machi Hatta, Shah-almi (Mughal name), Kashmeeri Bazaar, Chabuk Sawaran, Chowk Wazeer Khan, Buzurg Shah de galli, etc. All these areas include old remains of Pre-Mughal period. The relic of Ganj-Shaheedan, the Generals and warriors who died defending the city is in Mohalla Sadhuan. Also at other places.
Dr Abdur Rahman is indeed a great scholar and dedicated to the task of Lahore. Perhaps only three inscriptions of 1000 years old are known of Jayapala period. And all of them are not known to exist, or to be in existence where? Even this one was discovered by Dr Abdur Rahman in photograph only. Its whereabouts are unknown. But it tells a tale. The writer is CANGULA, grandson of Secretary PADHIDA, son of PANGULA. Cangula talks of the kingdom of Jayapala, and the period is from 964 AD to 1002 AD. The greatest valour of Lahore is around 1050 AD and we will talk about it in another blog. Compare the aesthetics of this inscription with one of the period of Sultan Mahmood, and the difference is crystal clear. Till then, enjoy!
SEARCHING FOR AN INTELLECTUAL AND AESTHETIC COMPATIBILITY;
INTELLECTUAL WOMEN OF REGION AND RABIA SULTANI BABUPURI.
There is a unique background of extraordinary women of this region, with no access to persons of their picked-up standards, searching for compatible relations with other extraordinary men. A beautiful example is of Lady Hijab of Hyderabad Deccan, who admired the intellectualness of Imtiaz Ali Taj and used to write to him, letters of appreciation. It naturally ended in a meeting and marriage. But this problem dates centuries back. Even the daughter of Iltutmish, Princess Razia passed through same issues and found consideration with a slave. Same applied to the Princesses of Mughal household. The chance meeting of Princess Zebunnisa with the poet, and like a scion of Royalty, she rewarded him for his recited poem, but had him expelled from India. Our is not to list such historical facts, ours is to explore the Princess of Oudh, Rabia Sultana Babupuri, of Lucknow, with residence in the Jahangirabad Palace, Lucknow.
Jahangirabad Palace is reputed to be a place, once visited by Emperor Jahangeer , and the last Nawab of Oudh, Wajid Ali Shah, had a desire to create the ultimate palace of Hindustan, and he was himself responsible for the design of same. Built between 1848 and 1850, elements of rebellion were found here, and the Nawab exiled to Calcutta. The Princesses were offering resistance too, so the palace was systematically destroyed by the British. The estate at present was owned by Raja Muhammed Jamal Rasul Khan, who has now converted it into as first-class hotel.
In our archives are a number of letters in Urdu written to the artist Abdur Rahman Chughtai, and roughly the letters start from 1947, and move on to at least 1960. There are a number of them. The first one is a request to the artist to dedicate some book or article of his to the lady. The lady in question has a watermark special seal on her letter pad, and she addresses herself as Miss Rabia Sultani Babupuri, Lucknow. Babupur is a district in Sitapur, also known as Mahmudabad, and the Raja of Mahmudabad was at one time a great supporter of Quaid e Azam and the idea of Pakistan, and that is a separate history. The address also states that Jahangirabad Palace is situated on Laxmi Bai Marg, which is a road, on which it is situated. There is also mention of an Asmat Manzil in it.
The letters contain many things. Regrets over illness of family members. Shock over death of brother and sister. Condolence on death of aunt (Khala) Maharani of Jahangirabad. Appreciation for receipt of copy of Murraqqa e Chughtai. Decoration of her room with prints of Chughtai Sahib. An ardent request for an original painting of the artist. Regrets about not extending an invitation to the artist to visit Babupur because of lack of proper facility for same. Enquiry about the artists proposed visit to Delhi in the 1950s. In short, she shares everything, personal and nonpersonal. She echoes her emotional state of life, but there is not word of any romantic overture. On some letters Chughtai Sahib has written replied to letter. But letters received are many more than letters sent. She seems to find an emotional rapport by exchanging things about her personal life. But in one letter. She talks about the position of women in the Indian region. And that is really something to remember her by. We print that letter in original for others to read. A Rani speaking about the things never said from the harem. Sharing after seven decades or more. Perhaps by reading this people will point out who she was and is remembered for her articles in books and magazines, and in that respect found the company of Chughtai sahib interesting for her development, intellectual and emotional. An episode in the life of Chughtai artist.