ANARKALLI, PURANI ANARKALLI, ANARKALLI BAZAAR
THE BLASPHEMY OF WILLIAM FINCH BASTARD
The tale spinning of sick minds
This narration is not about the Mausoleum of Sahib Jamal, beloved wife of Emperor Jahangeer. The said lady was a beloved of the young Prince and died in Lahore in 1008 AH. As he was only a Prince then, he was not in a position to do wonders with her last resting place. In 1023 AH, when he was Emperor of Hindustan, he ordered construction of a perfect mausoleum on her grave. That was done and everybody knew about it. A garden already existed at the place and was known as Bagh of Anaran or Bagh of Anarkalli. Various historians, including Dara Shikoh has mentioned it as Anarkalli Bagh. Jahangeer enlarged the garden to suit the memory of his beloved wife.
Its history is complex. At times it was given as a baithak to Kharrack Singh, son of Ranjit Singh. At times it was with Sobha Singh, and it suffered bombardment too. It was a residence of General Ventura too. It became a Church for many years, and later it became a Record Office. It is still a Record Office although care has been given to it as a Mausoleum. One day that may come too. In any case the vicissitudes of time does not matter as it survived the most difficult times in history, when nearly 2000 Muslim monuments of Lahore were obliterated by the meanness of the Sikh rulers, envious of past civilizations.
When the Anarkalli Church was created, so were created many other Anarkallis. First was the Anarkalli Cantonment. Then there was the Anarkalli Gardens, a new garden laid by the British, and originally called the Bandstand Garden. A Police Station at Anarkalli lines along with a Purani Anarkalli, a bazaar of a sort, and the first house of the Prostitutes of Lahore under the British rule. To get rid of these prostitutes from Anarkalli, the British outlawed prostitution from all areas except specified Red Light Area and that was declared to be the Ghala Market of Sardar Hira Singh. In 1850 most of the prostitutes of Lahore were resident of Anarkalli Bazaar in Lahore.
The story deliberately concocted by William Finch haramzada found place as a romantic tale with story writers and dramatists and that kept the thing alive for centuries. But the Anarkalli Bazaar itself, both the old one (Purani Anarkalli) and the new Anarkalli (Nawan Anarkalli) was place for people to shop, intermingle, buy oddities, exchange gossips, and eat their heart out of various delicacies. The Bano Bazaar became the hot shopping centre of its age. The best products were all here. Sheikh Inayatullah salesman of Kashmeeri Bazaar, made his own famous store here. Traditional clock shops, photography stores, ready made clothes, book shops, news-stands, beauty stores, and the most famous TOY SHOPS of Lahore.
Who was William Finch? A British con artist working his way through various cities of Hindustan, trying to do business here and there. I think it was Indigo for which he came to Lahore. Denied access to Mughal Courts and Kings and Queens, he could sit in the bazaar looking for gossips to hear and write about. There the bastard made the story of Anarkalli, as a consort of Emperor Akbar and Saleem was secretly having an affair with his step mother. As this story did not seem very romantic in depth, later writers turned it into a full scale romance. Muddled for decades and centuries of truth with blasphemy of highest order. This is the same moron who saw the Lahore Fort full of images of Jesus Christ and Mary and Jahangeer on the verge of Christianity. In fact he affirms that Jahangeer not only had three of his nephews converted to Christianity, he also affirms that (Nous-billah) Jahangeer used to attack the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as well as the Al-Quran in his court. Curse on this haramzada to indulge in such blasphemy even at that time. A person who may have never entered the Lahore Fort, saw it full of images of the Cross, Jesus Christ and Mary. The interesting part is that he saw it in a pavilion which was made after his death in August, 1913 in Babylon. All his indigo got stolen and he lost his life. So take his invented stories with a grain of salt. Sick minds have sick thoughts.
It was said then that if you have not seen Lahore, you have not seen anything. But if you have not seen Anarkalli, you have not seen Lahore. That is matter of past as Anarkalli is neglected place now. Once a canal ran in its centre, supplying water everywhere. Even that is a thing of past now. Lahore is a romantic place and attaches itself to love stories with passion unimaginable. But truth matters!