THE SKETCH BOOK OF OF PRINCESS VICTORIA
ROYAL HOUSEHOLD PENCHANT FOR PORTRAITURE
No aesthetics move most of our dullard leaders
The quality of required leadership is indisputable in all ways. Leaders are supposed to be in a position to do things, to be able to rise above others. Emperors of the past were all versed in many professions. They were good at things and they appreciated excellence. The English Royal household was obsessed with Art and Artists. But some of them were painters themselves. Take for instance Princess Victoria, who later became Queen Victoria and ruled all over India. We find her not only interested in collecting Art or even looking at Art, we also find her interested in painting herself. Some of her private sketches from her book were published long ago. It is our pleasure to present a view of the Queen of India which may not be known by many. The statue of Queen Victoria adorned Lahore’s Charing Cross for a long time. Memories of her must be still there out somewhere.
RONALD I. SPIERS AMERICAN AMBASSADOR INTEREST IN CHUGHTAI ART
EXTRAORDINARY VISIT OF AMERICAN DELEGATION TO CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
AmerIcan Ambassador James Langley offered M.A. Rahman Chughtai a scholarship for United States. Professor Schuyler Wallace offered a teaching session at Columbia University. Did Chughtai Artist accept the same? It never even crossed his mind to leave his art profession for other things. He politely refused the same. But American diplomats continued to visit the studio of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and later his Chughtai Museum. The Americans felt at home in the museum and we made them welcome all the time.
Ronald I. Spiers was a diplomat of acute insight. Chughtai Art fascinated him and when he came to Pakistan in 1981, he immediately planned a trip to Chughtai Museum. Photographs used to be taken at that time and our ace photographer Majeed Bhatti was active in his work. The official photographer Salam Al-Makky was there on rare visits. Americans had questions to ask and we freely gave answers on our history and culture. Americans love their country , so do we. We love Pakistan and Americans were fond of the fact that we were patriotic Pakistanis in the spirit of Iqballian thought. The dividing line between the region did not create Pakistan, it was the Ideological base of our country. We wanted to live in peace but within our way of life. Americans of those times were highly intellectual and respected diversity as natural.
An air of dignity was left behind by those diplomats. Today bitterness is more the key feature of visits. Diplomats bring nations together. Art diplomacy is the best diplomacy for the purpose. Unfortunately today’s moronic leadership cannot even understand these concepts.
AMERICAN AMBASSADOR DEANE HINTON VISIT CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
DELEGATION ENTHRALLED BY CHUGHTAI ART AND WARM RECEPTION
Art and Culture bringing nations together
Ambassador Deane Hinton was Ambassador to Pakistan from 1983 to 1986. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and his background was military itself. Even with military background, he and his wife were interested in the Arts and paid a visit to Chughtai Museum. American Ambassadors were very fond of visiting art institutions in Pakistan at that time.
A complete delegation of American diplomats accompanied the Ambassador here, and he was warmly received by us. After going through the gallery, he was shown more paintings in the office of the Director. Later there was exchange of presents and these were endorsed for the future record.
Art and Culture brought USA and Pakistan nearer to each other. Today Art diplomacy is no longer there and one of the reasons for the present state of relations between the two countries. The quality of national leadership is responsible for this apparent decline in interest. Pakistani heads carried Art and Culture abroad. Today there is nothing like that on the horizon.
JAHAN ARA KUNJAN OF MONGHEER RISING STAR OF INDIA
DANCING AND SINGING FROM CALCUTTA TO LAHORE
Owner of her own theatrical company
On 25th February, 1938, Jahan Ara Kunjan came from Calcutta to Lahore and spent three months here with her theatrical company. She had spent Sixty thousand rupees on the project at that time. She was the owner of the company and administered it too. But she was also the singer and dancer of the shows, two of which were held daily in Lahore. Hakeem Yusuf of Lahore was her patron here.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai had just come back from a tour of Europe and Hakeem Yusuf wanted him to meet this singer and dancer, and introduced her to the artist. At the age of merely 20/22 she had started her career in a big way. She was alone at that job and under gaze of many rivals. Certainly M.A. Rahman Chughtai who was very fond of theater shows, viewed her performance in Lahore.
Jahan Ara went from Lahore to Amritsar and then to Multan. She would have carved an even greater name for herself in the region, but she died young. Hakeem Yusuf was constantly advising her on health issues as well as sending medicines to her from Lahore. At that time for Calcutta stars to take opinion of Lahori persons was a great achievement in itself.
THE SIKH CONNECTION OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
BHAI VIR SINGH AND SARDAR PURAN SINGH’S NARGAS
Ernest Rhys early tribute to M.A. Rahman Chughtai
There was a clash of interests between Hindu Bengal and Muslim Punjab. The Sikh community was attracted to all things Punjabi and hence supported M.A. Rahman Chughtai in letter and spirit. A lot of influential literary figures of Sikh community were in touch with M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Sardar Puran Singh was a great expert on Omar Khayyam and had seen the first published image of Chughtai Artist in Modern Review Calcutta in 1917. Puran Singh visited the house of M.A. Rahman Chughtai and together they visited the house of the Punjabi poet, Baba Hiyadat ullah of Chabuk Sawaran Lahore. The talk related to Heer Ranjha epic, as written by Baba Hiyadat ullah himself. Talks were also conducted on Omar Khayyam.
Sardar Puran Singh translated the work NARGAS by Bhai Vir Singh into English and it was published in England in 1924. It was illustrated with a painting by M.A. Rahman Chughtai. This work is closely knitted to another similar work by the artist which was exhibited at Lahore Museum in 1920 and bought by the Nawab of Bhawalpur for his palace in Bhawalpur. Sold by his heirs and it is some where in the West now.
The book is a living testimony of interfaith relations of those times.
MEDIA PROSTITUTES NOT EVEN WORTH A DIME
RAILING AGAINST THE IDEOLOGY OF PAKISTAN
Bandar tamasha at Master’s command
All intellectuals search for critics to analyze their out pours and give them constructive wisdom on issues. That is fair play. But when Abu-Jahls start speaking on issues as if they knew their subject well. No one had the courage to tear Dr Allama Iqbal or Muhanmmed Ali Jinnah in their life time. Now petty bandaris, literally media prostitutes, not even worth a dime, tearing the dauntless work of our icons apart and creating nobodies into icons of Pakistan. Has the Sun started shining from the other side? There are eternal truths which no monkey dance can undo from the hearts and minds of people.
A cable joke goes like this. A shameless man used to pass a street where there was a parrot. The parrot knew the value of the man and would call him BAY GHAIRAT every time he passed the place. The man got tired of being called shameless on his face and complained to the owner of the parrot. The owner promised him that he will not repeat the word BAY GHAIRAT again. Next day when the man hesitantly passed the place, the parrot looked at him and said, “Obviously you understand what you are and you are still the same.” The parrot did not mention the word BAY GHAIRAT but knew well that the man was one.
A person who spits on the Moon, the spit falls on him. To tackle icons with petty moronic minds and the ridicule is all yours. You are the shame of our history. Perhaps 500 people working against the interests of twenty crore citizens of Pakistan. Indeed work of bay-ghairat brigade in Pakistan.
A DURBAR AT LAHORE WITH ITS LANDMARK ANARKULLIE
JOHN LAWRENCE ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE IN URDU LANGUAGE
ASSEMBLY OF RULERS OF PUNJAB AT LAHORE 18TH OCTOBER 1864
The role of Lord John Lawrence is not a small one. The British were on the verge of losing everything in Hindustan. Had the Army in Lahore not been disarmed over night, the War of Independence in Delhi would have taken a different turn! The Multan rebellion suppression was on the cards too. Lord Lawrence made good decisions for the Empire and saved it from premature collapse. So that Lahore may never be able to be a threat, the walls of Lahore were brought down as well as the Gates of Lahore. Houses demolished and big lanes made inside the city for elephants as well as horse cavalry to go inside the city whenever that may be the requirements of the time. Yes, Lord Lawrence was the Saviour of the British in Hindustan. In recognition of crushing the Mutiny, he was made Viceroy of India.
A grand Durbar was planned in Lahore in October, 1864, and all the Rajahs and Maharajahs and Men of power were invited to Lahore, to feast and rejoice. Men of power do not travel by their own selves, each Raja came with thousands of attendants and all were camped on the bank of the river Ravi, that is the grounds of Anarkullie. By that time the Freemason Hall had already been built in Lahore again in Anarkullie. Lord Lawrence was received in grandeur at the Lahore Railway Station, of which he himself was responsible in a big way. There was a dinner at Governors House, a levee, even a grand affair at Shalimar Gardens Lahore, and a private Durbar for Rajahs was also held in Lahore. The famous LAWERNCE HOUSE was inaugurated and the word Lawrence was on a plaque outside it. All this from about 11th to 18th October, 1864. The finale was the great Durbar itself, where every Rajah was individually presented to the Viceroy. The Order of Merit was also granted by the Viceory to a certain Rajah. It was all well planned to the dot mechanism, which Lord Lawrence was famous for in action. The most amazing thing was that Lord Lawrence well versed himself in Urdu Persian language and addressed the gathering in local Hindustani. An amazing feat as each person listened to him with undivided attention. Today the Urdu speaking nation is addressed in English by the rulers of the country. A switch which cannot be understood in plain terms.
Years later Lord Lawrence on his death bed, said to his wife I AM WEARY. she kissed him and he expired. The services of the Lawrence brothers can never be forgotten by the British Empire.