THE EXPERIENCES OF SHAUKAT THANVI IN LAHORE
The allure of Lahore brought humourist Shaukat Thanvi from Bhopal to Lahore. An Urdu speaking person pitted in a very Punjabi town. The writer wrote a book on Lahoriath with his varied experiences here. He says it is difficult to ask a tonga driver to take him to Radio Station, when most probably he would take you to the Railway Station. He talks about Bazaars like Anarkali, where he says there are lots of damsels moving around, and warns that short of calling them sisters and daughters, one should not enrage their modesty in any way. He expresses an opinion that in Lahore you see both things at the same time, destruction of things going on as well as construction of things going on too. You have to decide what to choose to see. He talks of the clean Mall road, the Kulfa shops in Anarkali, made not of Vanaspati Malai but that of Desi Ghee. He talks of the Mausoleum of Jahangeer being separated from own, deserted Shalimar Bagh and even talks of the low attendance of Namazis at Badshahi Mosque. He observes that as a spectator for he was not from here.
Shaukat Thanvi suggests that you choose big chadars (sheets) for your charpai, for there are plenty of mosquitoes and qatmals in Lahori hotels. He says it is best to sleep under the charpai to avoid them. He took charge of Pancholi Art Pictures and as he lived on Mayo road and his office was in Muslim Town, he had to travel on a bicycle at least five miles one way both sides, making it a ten mile journey. The result he says that with this travel he was constantly hungry. He talks of second hand book shops outside Lohari gate, and enjoys the company of Zaheer Sahib of Urdu Book Stall, who hesitated to take money from him for his own book. Wives in Lahore never blame their husbands but blame the friends of their husbands for his wrongs.
Shaukat Thanvi ended up in Lahore and his death in 1963 was a national loss. I think one of his sons was a well known television artist.