AN EARTHQUAKE DEVASTATION IN LAHORE 1905
AS DEADLY AS THE QUETTA EARTHQUAKE OF 1904
No one remembers today of qiamat in city
A magazine in London carried the news of the Earthquake in Lahore on 4th April. The magazine is dated 1905, the earthquake could have been earlier. Maybe 1905 is also possible. We have no access to detailed record. Suffice that the event was important enough to be a news item in England of that time. That besides photographs of the devastation, even paintings were made with the Wazeer Khan Mosque in the background. Keeping the history of Lahore alive is one thing. Imagining the terror of those days is another. Lahore has certainly been a witness to the strangest things possible. This was certainly one of those terrible events.
Our people are superstitious and feel that the wrath of Allah is upon them. The Universe regulates itself all the time. Earthquakes are a balance between shifting times.
The sad part is that to this day here is no Rapid Response Team in Pakistan to such catastrophes. They happen all the time, the Army comes in, the political leadership talks loud, go for photo sessions but COMPASSION none for victims. Only people care for people. The grand part is that the public is always saved by the public, no one in command. The Government sits idle in the true way of NERO FIDDLING WHILE ROME BURNT. Today Pakistan is burning in the hands of nincompoops of our times.
OFF SHOOTS OF BACCHUS AND FORMULAS OF REVELRY MAKING US
FEEL ASHAMED OF OUR OWN VALUES OF MODESTY AND VIRGINITY
It has become disgusting. The international imagery of today’s Bacchus and his ideas of drinking and partying. Jumping up and down, lots of girls and boys indulging in poltergeist situation. Acrobatics as dance. The height of some one far ahead of others by moving upside down on his back or even on one hand. Drinking your heart out, and hunting for seduction without remorse. Many surveys are carried out as to how the media teaches you immodesty as a favourable behaviour. How teen boys and girls are made to loose their virginity and to revel in its ecstasy. No account is taken of heart breaks, tears and stress young teenagers accost on their way. Statistics of how many lovers a young man or a woman has even before attaining puberty is shocking and indeed disgusting for humanity. And the Devil’s lobby keep on stressing us the thrill of it.
The most beautiful relation between a man and a woman is traumatized. Belittled. As an everyday thing without remorse, without morals, without ethics. Love has been degraded through the years by referring to it as a second hand emotion, “What love has got to do with it?” Beautiful love songs were routine a couple of decades back, now the shout is about “Be mine tonight!”, not even a one night stand, but a partying to share in a group adventure, without guilt of any kind. An American friend shared the misery of her daughter and two friends dead drunk on the floor, and her divorce from her husband who would not tolerate that. Broken homes, broken ideals!
The evolution of human kind brought in strange physical developments. We are told that when the physical evolution stopped, the creative evolution started in depth. Henri Bergson taught us that long ago. But God teaches us morality in God’s particularly own ways. Have you ever thought that the female human species is the only living organism which carry something like a vaginal hymen. The great anthropologist Theo Lang writes:
“The hymen, nevertheless, is something of a mystery. Actually the hymen is a distinctively human characteristic, non-existent even in anthropoid apes”.
Amazing is it not! No other living thing has something analogous to a hymen. Where did it come from in human evolution? Here the direct hand of God is evident. When God preached us Modesty and Virginity, God also ensured us certificates of same. The hymen indeed is a divine creation like no others. A test of our life. Theo writes further:
“Thus the hymen has become integral to our concept of a state which is near to sacred. Just as the word ‘virgin’ also represents to us untouched, unsullied, unexplored and untilled territories or thoughts or materials, virginity has assumed also an aura of sanctity. The Virgins immaculate conception is one of the most treasured legends of all time. Tristan, the perfect Knight, and Yseult lying side by side with a sword between them represent an ideal of noble chastity.”
In our culture the word “IZZAT”is used in an extensive way. To lose ones ‘izzat’ is a blot to ones life. And here the Devil’s advocate is to throw same at first instance to Bacchus and his leopards party having fun. What is our definition of fun? A moment or a life time of positive energy. Stop getting on the band wagon of Western culture. Girls and boys running on some sea shore, in a tryst of some cold drink. It is not us. Take pride in being a Muslim, a Pakistani Muslim. For us Modesty and Virginity are sacred to our esteem of womanhood. Be a proud Muslim. Believe in the Laws of Allah!
WHO RAVES AGAINST PAKISTAN AND PAKISTAN ARMY?
BROKEN HOMES, INSECURITY, AND MOST OF ALL GREED.
We grew up in a house where Pakistan was the most cherished word. Through thick and thin, our family braved all storms. Although most of our family was Lahore based, there were family members stranded in Amritsar. In a jeep and five armed guards, a saviour brought some members back to Lahore. On the way they could see all kind of bodies butchered by the malignancy of people on the other side. Stories are being spun today to change the narrative of partition. All hogwash!
A study was done to understand the behavioural patterns of those who rave against our country, our Ideology as well as our valiant Pak Army. And indeed it was surprising. We found a couple talking bullshit on the media all the time had a past of a broken home and childhood insecurity to the full. Now greed was compensating for their childhood grievances and they were being amply rewqrded by foreign lobbies to spin the narrative. Utter shame on part of nincompoops!
The real fact is that Pakistan and the Pakistani Ideology has survived 70 years through the efforts of our Pak Army. However much you may belittle the many Martial laws, REAL PROGRESS IN PAKISTAN WAS ACHIEVED THROUGH THE EFFORTS DONE IN THOSE PERIOD OF TIME. The contributions of Field Marshal Ayub Khan are a record to this day. They believed in the sanctity of Pakistan and its Ideology and most of all they believed in the welfare of the people of Pakistan. Trucks still carry pictures of President Ayub Khan, for those ordinary people know the achievements of those regimes. What is forgotten is that the Army does not rise through rigged elections, they rise from every nook and corner of Pakistan, through a pure merit system and they from day one, are inculcated love for Pakistan. The kind of democratic representation as in Army is in no where else. So if your grandfather and grandmother had a bad time in life and had a broken home, there is no reason to break the home of Pakistan. Make your home stronger, for there is no other home for us. We live and we die here! And Allah watches us all the time.
FRIENDSHIPS WITH ALL BUT IDEOLOGUE LEAVING FOR NONE
RISE PAKISTAN RISE AGAINST INTERNAL ENEMIES FIRST OF ALL
Reassure yourself every day. The enemy without is not as dangerous as the enemy within. You have to have full faith that we will restore Pakistan from the viruses of internal enemies. Spoiling the exuberance of our younger generations with innuendos, the mischief will fail in the end as exposures begin of reasons behind the charade. Remember the whole world is in anarchy now, spreading hatred and committing sins to deface Islamic values of peace and love. Do not trust the Mullah in what he says, nor trust the Secular. Both are two sides of same coin, in spreading unrest in country. Your heroes are Dr Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam, no one else can take their place.
Keep your vision clear., Do not look at Pakistan with the spectacle of foreigners eyes. You can see things clearly yourself. There is envy in the world why Pakistan has not fallen yet. It will not fall. In its struggle it has you, the bastion of Islam in the world.
LIONEL HEATH AND THE HONOURABLE MEN AT MAYO SCHOOL OF ARTS
IRRITATIONS, RESIGNATION AND INDIGNATION SURROUNDING ARTIST
STORY OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AND JEALOUSY
Not everything in sequence is recorded but M.A. Rahman Chughtai passed his Secondary Certificate Examination from the Railway Technical School Lahore in 1911. In 1913 he was married to Wazeer un nisa Begum, a relative of his family. In this period he was also experimenting with professions. Because of the death of his father in 1913, and no other possibility of earning, the three brothers opened a Fire wood shop inside Yakki Gate Lahore. Master Miran Baksh cajoled M. A. Rahman Chughtai in completing his education and the artist enlisted at Mayo School of Arts to learn photo lithography. This was related to his profession of photography, making portraits of well known people at that time. His desire to illuminate cards and books and facilitate publishing as a designer. After taking the two year course of Photo lithography, he enlisted in the department itself as a teacher. He was soon heading the department itself, for Master Feroze uddin was perhaps promoted to other ranks. In 1915 he was certainly part of the staff of Mayo School of Arts. He was sent to Gujranwala Mission School on deputation. From there he returned, to be able to teach in Lahore. He was sent as a Drawing Master to Government Education College, Lahore. Then back to school. That is when he went on a Sick leave.
There were those who envied him on his rise and his success. When on sick leave, colleagues reported to Lionel Heath, that M.A. Rahman Chughtai was malingering and was seen watching a Drama at a theater in Bhatti Gate, the very night. Lionel Heath summoned Chughtai for an explanation. He said an honourable man had seen you at a drama yesterday while you were on sick leave. This perturbed Chughtai so much, that he immediately retorted to the Principle of Mayo School, that whereas an honourable man had reported he was at a theater that night, that meant that he himself had no honour. Lionel Heath was surprised all the more when this young man tendered his resignation in front of the strong English administrator. The surprised Lionel Heath requested that Chughtai should not leave the school as he had the potential to become the Principal one day. But of no avail to the artist, who had felt slighted by the accusation.
Strangely the principal ship of Mayo School of Arts was offered to Chughtai three times in his later life but he never accepted, and a fact that he never walked inside the Mayo School of Arts ever again. Lionel Heath had written well of the artist in the 1924 Wembley Show and later on kept in touch with his progress in the art world. A letter written by MARC s in the archives of NCA. It seems that the artist sent a copy of Murraqqa Chughtai to Lionel Heath in 1929. Interesting record of an event noticed by art history.
THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
CONTRASTING REPULSION AND LOVE OF PIGS
There are thing which are same in all cultures and there are things which are in sharp contrast with each other. Allah has declared a PIG as a filthy animal and has made it mandatory for all Muslims not to eat the flesh of a pig. In the Western world we see pigs being eaten all the time and their flesh is relished as a delicacy. An animal who eats its own poop. Science has proven beyond doubt that the flesh of a pig is most prone to bacterial invasion and is not a proper flesh to partake. And yet that community refuses to accept scientific proof and do not stop having pig flesh in their daily meat.
And the Muslims are not alone in this prohibition. Our Jew brethren are equally in league with us on this aspect of life. The Pig stands as HARAM to us as well as the Jews. Equally important is that we Muslims do not partake blood in our food as it is considered harmful to us. That is the concept of butchering an animal so that the blood is oozed out of the same. NO PIG, NO BLOOD. Pretty sane advice.
Unfortunately sanity does not prevail in this world!
AN INSCRIPTION OF PERIOD OF RAJA JAYAPALA OF UDABHANDAPURA (HUND)
PERHAPS THIS LAHORE WAS NEVER EVEN THEIR DOMAIN AS ONE EXISTS THERE
The suicide Raja Jayapala is supposedly attached to Lahore. We have read local writers spin their tales about Jayapala, and his escape from the gutter of Mori Gate, Lahore. We could die laughing at this nincompoops, who do not know that Lahore as it is now never existed in the time of the Ghazanavids. This is Akbar’s Lahore. And these are Gates of Akbari period. Mori Gate is a Mughal period thing. The Ghaznavid Lahore was inside the city related to the Old Fort of Lahore (not this one), and that center is actually the area which includes Machi Hatta, Shah-almi (Mughal name), Kashmeeri Bazaar, Chabuk Sawaran, Chowk Wazeer Khan, Buzurg Shah de galli, etc. All these areas include old remains of Pre-Mughal period. The relic of Ganj-Shaheedan, the Generals and warriors who died defending the city is in Mohalla Sadhuan. Also at other places.
Dr Abdur Rahman is indeed a great scholar and dedicated to the task of Lahore. Perhaps only three inscriptions of 1000 years old are known of Jayapala period. And all of them are not known to exist, or to be in existence where? Even this one was discovered by Dr Abdur Rahman in photograph only. Its whereabouts are unknown. But it tells a tale. The writer is CANGULA, grandson of Secretary PADHIDA, son of PANGULA. Cangula talks of the kingdom of Jayapala, and the period is from 964 AD to 1002 AD. The greatest valour of Lahore is around 1050 AD and we will talk about it in another blog. Compare the aesthetics of this inscription with one of the period of Sultan Mahmood, and the difference is crystal clear. Till then, enjoy!
THE ENIGMA OF A MISSING GATE OF LAHORE CITY
A SECOND RATIONAL ATTEMPT AT IDENTIFICATION
In a journal in France, there appeared a gate of Lahore, which we could not identify easily. Our first guess was its similarity to the Roshnai Gate in Lahore, but the sketch was of three storeys, and Roshnai Gate is only two storeys, although in similar design. We surmised overhaul of same in 1900 with visit of Lord Curzon to Lahore Fort. Further research makes us look into the matter again.
The Wazeer Khan Serai existed and is on photographic record in 1904. We have published photographs of it. Check our book on Wazeer Khan Mosque. In fact Lord Maclagen in his writings describe the Serai as having ANGELS on its doorway in the same spirit as the Lahore Fort as well as the Wazeer Khan hammam. We now feel that the drawing is Gateway to the Serai of Wazeer Khan. It has real similarities with the gateway of the Wazeer Khan Mosque. Check our analysis!
THE OBSESSION OF M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI WITH STUDY OF VAN GOGH
THE BOOK, THE FILM, THE URDU TRANSLATION ALL IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS
We entered the Van Gogh Museum in reverence, after waiting in a long line, for entrance tickets. And this was all in rain itself. People thronged at Van Gogh when there was hardly any Van Gogh inside. Paintings of his times, of his students and other things. The SUN FLOWER waited for us to be unraveled. A mad artist who cut his ears, attempted suicide, and who could not sell his works even for the price of an empty canvas. Now he is worshiped by the West at discovery of interest in him. And comparing his career with that of M.A. Rahman Chughtai is like a contrast of nowhere. M.A. Rahman Chughtai was a success from day one to day last. But the agony of the artist M.A. Rahman Chughtai could understand. He was fascinated with the life of Van Gogh.
We would find M.A. Rahman Chughtai deeply involved in reading the letters of Van Gogh and his brother. Perhaps it was due to the fact that M.A. Rahman Chughtai was himself deeply involved with his own brother Abdur Raheem Chughtai. The brothers loved each other immensely and according to their own wishes are even today buried side by side. In some ways like a loyal slave, the brother served M.A. Rahman Chughtai twenty four hours a day. The two artists we hear of most in the studio of Chughtai were two names of Rembrandt and Van Gogh. Both were loved for different reasons.
Fascinated we would attempt Van Gogh and others ourselves. Works by children of that period is in existence. But our hearts were in American comics and cartoons. And we drew that all the time. The interesting part is that drawing and painting were like fevers in our house. Even the servants got the fever all the time and some of the servants work is really touching. The children of the house drew fantastic imagery. Unfortunately being an artist in Pakistan and surviving is one of the most difficult things possible.
THE STRANGE COINCIDENCE OF ASIAN ART AND ARTISTS ON SIMILAR TRAIL
M.A. RAHMAN CHUGHTAI AND MAI TRUNG VISIT TO FRANCE IN 1937-1938
Mai Trung an artist from Vietnam visited France in 1937 and stayed there till the end of his life. M.A. Rahman Chughtai an artist from Lahore visited Paris in same year. It is reputed that Chughtai met a lot of artists in Paris, and discussion about art took place there. Unfortunately this time Elza Huiffner was not there with him. He was all alone this time. His Dutch friend Rose Cera had also opted for Paris on her own, and even she was not there with him. He bade her good-bye in London itself. This we do know that he was short of money and conspired with his brother in law, Gulzar Chughtai to sell some of his pencil sketches on the bank of the river Sienne. This was to be a secret sale so that nobody would know that the artist was making these works. Probably he was making Western responsive things for the French market. Gulzar Chughtai told us how he was able to sell all of them on condition of the artists name. M.A. Rahman Chughtai resented that Gulzar Chughtai had divulged his name in Paris.
Dr Abdullah Chaghatai, his brother, was also in Paris the same year, for his doctrate on the Taj Mahal of Agra. Abdullah had gone and met Pablo Picasso on his own and presented him with a copy of the book Murraqqa e Chughtai, the drafting of which Pablo Picasso liked very much. Paris was a hot bed of art and artists, and there is a chance that these two artists met each other. But there is no record of the name of artists he met there. In any case both would recognize each other and see that they were meeting in the cross roads of Asian Art in a foreign land. Maybe more comes out later.
In any case M.A. Rahman Chughtai died in 1975, and Mai Trung in 1980. It looks like they were both blessed in same time frame of life.