KHATT NAKUN (NAIL WORK) OF BABA MIRAN BAKSH
NAIL WORK OF HIS STUDENT M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
An exhibition was being planned in Glasgow and as a result of this T.N. Mukharji wrote a book in 1888 AD on the Art Manufactures of India. In it is a reference of a nail work sent by Baba Miran Baksh of Lahore, which was exhibited in Calcutta in 1888 AD, and valued at Rs 15. A grand sum at that time. As a student M.A. Rahman Chughtai recalled a long nail of Baba Miran Baksh, while he was a student at the Naqashi School of Wazeer Khan Mosque, Lahore. Obviously he would try the venture himself. Very few specimens of Chughtai’s nail works are left and we reproduce one, with an artificial tint, so that the work can be recognized at glance. It is a RADHA KRISHNA nail work, and very interesting for that time. We could date it from about 1915 to 1918 AD perhaps.
We always present unusual information about Chughtai Art. Here is one that few would have known. So enjoy this too!
HIDING BEHIND MUSLIM NAMES AND GREEN PASSPORTS
THE MISFITS WITH CAMOUFLAGE OF LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES
Take any icon of the world. To write about any icon, one needs to have an iconic person, with enough intellect and standing to understand the icon. To be able to analyze him and his role in their times. Today in Pakistan literal nobodies try to take a swap at our national heros. An anonymous person, who did not like to be named, told me, that if was in his power, he would castrate such nincompoops. I was amazed and asked him why so? He said basically these are impotent people, who feel sexually potent after taking a lot of alcoholic drunks and then try to cut down our heros to their own sizes. A literal Freudian analysis. I am no psychologist to judge all this.
The Ideology of Pakistan is a literal pang of endless pain for these moronic nincompoops disguised as intellectuals. Making us chose between religious fanatics and secular loonies, we are told to forget that Pakistan was not made for the fanatical Mullah or the clueless secular lot. Pakistan projected a way of life through Ijtehad to adjust ourselves to a changing world with grace and dignity.
Dr Allama Iqbal brought us to this path. After 1000 years of wandering in the dark, Dr Iqbal advised us to get rid of the baggage and look at Islam in the light of the Quran itself. People like Ghulam Ahmad Pervaiz, Dr Abdul Wadood, Rafiullah Shahab and others continued to show us the light. Stop obscuring the light emanating from Iqballian doctrines. OHAS BILLAH MINESTUWA NURJEEM. Allah says that as chicken seek refuge under the feathers of mother hen, seek refuge under Allah’s principles and progress in the world. Live in peace and harmony with the world. You have no right to dictate a way of life to another. The choice is open to all!
US AMBASSADOR ARNOLD RAPHAEL VISITS CHUGHTAI MUSEUM
THE ONLY AMERICAN AMBASSADOR WHO LIES BURIED IN ISLAMABAD
President Zia ul Haque aeroplane was coming down in catastrophe crash down to earth. A number of Generals were with him. Strangely it included US Ambassador Arnold Raphael. He died with the President of Pakistan and there is no reason not to call him a Shaheed of Pakistan too. I really admired him and he was in a way a personal friend. Not only did he call once, he called again too. And used to ring me too. Once he came with the American Ambassador to India. I entertained both Ambassadors here on my premises, India and Pakistan, and I felt amazed that these two men held so much power in their hands. The US Ambassador to India was even more pleased, as I presented him Art things too, and he felt he did not deserve same. Winning friends was always our motto.
God bless his soul! Perhaps his love for Pakistan was so strong, that he joined this soil forever. Robin Raphael also remained a friend of Pakistan. So much so that people back home actually chose to suspect her. Incredible! She was a true American to the core.
A MUGHAL ROYAL MANUSCRIPT FROM LIBRARY OF PRINCESS HAMIDA BANO,
DATED 947 AH (1540 AD) ONE YEAR BEFORE HER MARRIAGE TO EMPEROR HUMAYOUN
STYLES HERSELF AS HAMIDA, BANO DAUGHTER OF ALI AKBAR
The Mughals loved books and as such every worthy person, supported a splendid library. On the manuscripts remain records of persons who owned the manuscript and the history of its travel from one hand to the other. Even Royal manuscripts were distributed in course of time or sold to other worthy patrons. The inscriptions on such manuscripts as well as the seals, tell us stories, we will never hear anywhere else. The manuscripts have preserved autographs pf great personalities and their reactions as well as costs of the manuscripts itself. It is a history on itself. So enjoy a manuscript which Hamida Bano had and that before her marriage to Emperor Humayoun. Amazing, isn’t it!
THE PRESTIGE OF BEING INCLUDED IN A ROYAL ACADEMY SHOW
A RAREST EVENT FOR A MUSLIM ARTIST M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
The Royal Academy Show was the ultimate dream of participation of every artist. To be included in that show was not a joke, for a panel of international experts had to give their approval to same. Two works of M.A. Rahman Chughtai were selected. One was Mourning of Shah Jahan and the other was Mughal Princesses. But due to lack of space, only one painting was exhibited, and made headlines here. Finally M.A. Rahman Chughtai was represented at the Royal Academy of Arts.
We do not know the latest situation but are sure that the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai even till today would be one of the very few Muslim artists represented at the Royal Academy. Take pride in your artist, Pakistan!
MEMORABLE TWO UNKNOWN EXHIBITION SHOWS OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI
JOINT SHOW HYDERABAD SINDH 1939 AND ONE MAN SHOW IN PESHAWER 1956
M.A. Rahman Chughtai enjoys the distinction of not only being shown around the world but also all around Pakistan. A little known show of Indian Paintings in Hyderabad Sindh in the 1930s, probably around 1939, in which a number of his works were there. The funny part is that with the invitation catalogue, attendance required an entrance fees of Two Annas. The location TRAINING COLLEGE FOR MEN, in HYDERABAD, SINDH. A number of other artists were there and there were sales too. Dr James Cousin, a famous scholar of India gave a lecture on the subject and the same man wrote an introduction to both books, namely Murraqa e Chughtai and Chughtais paintings.
M.H. Zuberi was responsible for the Peshawar show in 1956 and it was a memorable show at Abbassen Art Centre. Zuberi Sahi also wrote a note on the show and t was a very well attended, first show of its kind in that city. Not repeated to this day.
We share such rare information with others. Enjoy!
A STARTLING DIMENSION IN INSPIRATION IN SULTANATE PAINTING OF REGION,
HAJI MAHMUD HERATI, PAINTER OF SULTAN NASIR SHAH KHALJI 1500-1510 AD
Every one who is a student of regional painting knows that Emperor Babur and Emperor Humayoun brought painters here from the Iranian territory. Every one knows that the Persian Masters intermixed here and formed a new School of Art, that is known as the Mughal School of Art. We also do know the School of Art in Herat before those times, being spearheaded by Ustad Kamal ud din Behzad, the greatest painter of them all. But little do we know that the Herat School even before the Mughals touched the painting of this region and inspired Schools of Art here. One such painter was Haji Mahmud who also came from Herat and did work for Sultan Nasir Shah Khalji at MANDU. The period covered is even earlier of the father, that is Sultan Ghias Khalji. A Sultanate volume of the BUSTAN is preserved in the National Museum in New Delhi which testifies to this, with the title page listing all these details.
The painting era in the region has always been an enigma, for the lapse of centuries between Master pieces of Ajanta and other schools of art in the region. Stone was the basic unit of art work here and there was no respect for paper. It was the Muslims who brought paper in the region and gave spur to the creative upsurge of the miniatures. More is recorded and we will share such exclusive information. Suffice to talk of the Persian influence on painting in the Sultanate period here. Dr Abdullah Chaghatai has written a special book on the subject.
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARCHITECT GARDENER OF KHUSRAU BAGH
BY THE MUREED BA IKHLAS SALEEM SHAH, AGA REZA PAINTER
A portrait designated as the Chief Gardener of Prince Saleem, and obviously by some one concerned with the project of Khusrau Bagh. It is noted that Aga Reza is designated as mureed of Saleem Shah, which means that the person is there as a mureed of a Prince and not an Emperor. It was later that Prince Saleem became the Emperor Jahangeer. He was the painter who was given the commission to build the Khusrau Bagh complex for Prince Saleem. The calligrapher was Abdullah Maskeen Qalam. The portrait is designated as that of BAHISTH QUL USTAD BABA. Although the name written here is by different hand and a presentation signature only.
It is rare that we get portraits of every day personalities. It may be a commission from the Prince or merely satisfying a Gardener colleague by the Architect involved in the construction of same. In any case, enjoy a rare work!