RARE WORK, RARE SUBJECT AND RARE ARTIST;
NADEEM LAHORI AT AKBAR’S STUDIO LAHORE.
Scholarship has become extremely poor in Pakistan. Journalists write about historical incidents and figures without any research work. Things already proven long ago are not used at all and we repeat mistakes made by others, even decades before our times. Smug anchors and writers pick up a couple of books possibly centuries old and weave their stories around outdated knowledge. This enables better research work at other countries, to manipulate our cultural background at will. And they are good at it.
A miniature made at Lahore and dated end of 16th century shows a subject extremely rare in Mughal art works. A sick Princess, surrounded by family and grieving women. Fifteen women, one child and six men. Who can this be person? Was she important enough to deserve a painting on her own? Obviously, she was very important. Certainly, it is a Royal subject. It is not an imaginative work. There is a sick Princess, surrounded by a lot of grieving ladies. There is a child being nursed by one elderly lady. There are dignified people looking at the incident. And a plumed Prince is watching all this. I think we can fit the incident that actually happened to all these characters well. The date is 25th June, 1599. Princess Sahib Jamal who had come from Kabul died in Lahore, beloved of Prince Saleem (later Emperor Jahangeer). Everything fits in place. And the most amazing thing in it is the tree of Pomegranate at the back, or the garden of Anaran in Lahore.
Writers cannot even solve simple dilemmas. How can they unravel the story of Anarkalli. Total blasphemy of an English visitor, William Finch, who concocted the story of Saleem having an affair with his step mother, Maryiam Bibi. Cannot even got through his mischievous head that society would not have even allowed a Prince to build a mausoleum for an illicit love affair. Mothers are most sacred institutions in Pakistan, as well as the Muslim world. The lady was obviously Sahib Jamal beloved wife of Prince Saleem and the mausoleum was built in two phases. First as a Prince and then as an Emperor.