MAUSOLEUMS FOR KINGS AND QUEENS – THE MAUSOLEUM OF EMPEROR JAHANGEER

MAUSOLEUMS FOR KINGS AND QUEENS
THE MAUSOLEUM OF EMPEROR JAHANGEER

A woman’s touch, Nur Jahan alive in Lahore

Jahangeers mausoleum
Jahangeers mausoleum

The Taj Mahal complex was put into motion by a King with immense love for his departed queen. The Mausoleum of Jahangeer complex is in reverse. It was put in place by a retired Queen with enormous love for departed King. Both results exceptional but both mausoleums are same and yet very different, due to the feminine touch in one of them.

Jahangeer died before Nur Jahan and the relation she had with the Emperor Shah Jahan was not sufficient to give her better place in society than she was getting at that time. Mumtaz Mahal died before Shah Jahan and all his plans for a separate mausoleum were dashed with his own circumstances. He had annoyed his son by trying to poison Aurangzeb himself. Few know about this at all. Aurangzeb buried Shah Jahan with Mumtaz Mahal herself. Nur Jahan could not get buried with Jahangeer because of her political circumstances. Now what did she do?

Older view of same
Older view of same

There is a concept of ASHIQ MASHOOQ in the mausoleum of Nur Jahan. Dr Abdullah Chaghatai tells us that contrary to common thought, the person so called buried with Nur Jahan is not at all her daughter Ladli Begum. Simply for Ladli Begum is elsewhere and her grave is well known, and that is a separate story. To fulfill her desire to be buried with her husband, she had an empty coffin, or false grave with her own grave. The grave is an empty one. There are only one set of rings at the bottom basement. The grave is a romantic empty grave of Jahangeer himself. The Sikhs removed the sarcophagus, otherwise this would have been very clear with time.

An amazing statement is made by Thornton and Kipling in their research on Lahore. Mirza Azeem Baig an artist of Wazeer Khan Mosque is termed as a direct descendant of Nur Jahan from her daughter and Prince Khusrow. This family exists in Lahore to this day, having lived in Mochi Darwaza (Murchi Gate) all their life. I have seen girls of the family and they resemble the Nur Jahan of the miniatures to ditto. We will present their photograph when available. So Nur Jahan is still represented in Lahore. We have a farman of Nur Jahan with us and will publish it one day.

The mystery of the Mughal monuments is always there but their aesthetics are an aroma with us even in their decayed condition in present days.

BADAWAHS (GOBLINS) OF LAHORE – WHAT EXACTLY WERE THESE FORCES?

BADAWAHS (GOBLINS) OF LAHORE
WHAT EXACTLY WERE THESE FORCES?

An enigma for the scientific mind

Goblin
Goblin

The word ‘Badawah’ occurs in the vocabulary of Lahore. From where the concept came, one does not know! But those were termed as small statured people who had horrible twisted faces and could silently jump long distances. They could mean harm to you or they could be innocent bystanders. We do not believe in anything that is not scientific in approach, but the term is in habitual use of Lahore, even ugly children on birth were termed with this term. I have seen the term applied to members of family I well know.

In ‘Maaseray-Alamgeeri’ for the year 1674, it is officially recorded that a basket fell down in a well in the havelli of Muhammed Shafi, Mir Suman of Prince Muhammed Sultan. Two men went down into the well to recover it and both died in the process. The third went down and started shouting for help. He was brought up unconscious and on recovery, told the tale of being accosted by a black goblin, hell bent upon killing him, for interfering in his safe space. That is on official record.

Goblins
Goblins

My grandfather used to recount such tales to my father, who told me the same. That on his way back from work, my grandfather used to feel the presence of someone walking with him. Jumping ahead of him and then making unnecessary noises. Now my grandfather was no child to tell tales from imagination. He was a perfectly rational man. So what were these Badawahs, if they ever existed? No one really knows.

Suffice that they were felt and considered in the way of life in Lahore. Some research may bring out the truth of such forces. But one may never know! My visit to Heidelberg castle made me familiar with the Goblins of the Fort of Heidelberg, and how they used to drink the Royal wine and pester the women. Now Germany is a perfectly rational society, with scientific minds, and yet the legend of the goblins exist there as well as elsewhere. So much so that every year they make and sell thousands of hand made goblin dolls to visitors and I hang one in my car from decades. This goblin amuses me and I am not frightened of it. In fact I love it.

CREMATION OF MUSLIM WOMEN – RESENTMENT OF SHAH JAHAN 1634

CREMATION OF MUSLIM WOMEN
RESENTMENT OF SHAH JAHAN 1634

Strange incidents in our history

Sati going on till 1829
Sati going on till 1829

A strange practice was going on in Gujarat in the 11th century. Inter-marriages were taking place. Muslims were marrying Hindu girls and Hindus were marrying Muslim girls. This was not in the knowledge of the Emperor at all. It was brought to him for the first time, that on the death of the Hindus, their wives (including Muslims) were subject to both ‘Sati’ as well as Cremation. Shah Jahan did not like the idea of Muslim women being cremated, and it repulsed his sense of being. An immediate order was placed. If the Hindus wanted to retain their Muslim wives, they had to immediately convert to Islam. If they were not willing to do so, the simple solution was that their wives would be divorced from them, and married to Muslim men.

Sati of a widow
Sati of a widow

The man who started this practice was JUKU, a leading feudal lord of Bhimbar area, and he was responsible for this actions. He realized that he was under scrutiny now, and immediately embraced Islam, along with all his relatives, friends and followers. Shah Jahan was pleased with this conversion act and honoured Juku with the title of Raja Daulatmand, and everybody rested in peace after that. This incident is related to the year 1634 AD.

Sati
Sati

The shameful tradition of ‘Sati ‘ was very much in vogue in Lahore, and perhaps the most famous, last Sati of Lahore, was that of the wives and concubines of Ranjit Singh, who were cremated with him, and today in his samadh small domes remember the departed women of Lahore. Strangely Gul Begum refused to commit Sati with her husband and kept away. On the corner of Mohni road, Lahore, that was made in 1904, a cremation ground for the Hindu women of Lahore. The dead bodies used to be taken there and put on pyres. Smoke could be seen from a long distance as the cremation went on. But the bold decision made by the British rulers was to ban SATI once for all, in 1829. In a modern age, to imagine a woman losing her life, with the death of her husband, was a repulsive act in itself. I am sure with the Bal Thackeray policy in place in India, with the winning of election of the Railway Station vendor, there is every chance that ‘Sati’ will be restored in India in our life times. God forbid for a day like that!

A MUGHAL EMPEROR IN PHOTOGRAPHS – LOOKS REAL NOT MYTHICAL

A MUGHAL EMPEROR IN PHOTOGRAPHS
LOOKS REAL NOT MYTHICAL

End of an era

Bahadur Shah Zafar 1858
Bahadur Shah Zafar 1858

Bahadur Shah Zafar is not Lahore in any way, but in some ways, Lahore is related to him. Most of the direct descendants were assassinated by the British. And murdered not in any innocent way but the most brutal possible. An Englishmen is reputed to have drunk the blood of the Mughal Princes just like a vampire to suppress the rage in them. But still some of the off springs survive in various corners of India, and perhaps the world too.

Bahadur Shah Zafar
Bahadur Shah Zafar

In Lahore migrated one wing of Bahadur Shah Zafar from a female Princess. Officially recognized by the British, the Pakistani Government recognized them too. Interestingly one of them, namely Jalaluddin Akbar was with me in school, as well as his cousin Sajjid Arif (from female side again). Their house in Model Town (still there) was shaped like the Naulakha in Lahore Fort. Some Mughal things they possessed with great relish, and they have posted their family tree on the internet, and it can be checked by anyone that likes to do research on them.

One of their female descendant was Dr Taimuri, who did her PHD in history from Punjab University a long time back. A very learned woman. She had a beautiful daughter Ms Nudrat, who was famous for her very long hair, and thought of herself as a Mughal Princess of gone bye days. Her favourite recluse was to hide in a trunk and by shutting herself from the world, she would recollect olden times in a very romantic way. She even had a Mughal name ‘Banqa’ for her beloved Cock-a-doodle do, cock.

A very interesting family, who like their ancestors, came back to Lahore, the city of the origin of Mughal kingdom. At least the roots are still here. We wish them well!

Only one photograph of him was known. Another calotype photograph has recently been discovered with a Britisher standing with him. Lot of things are yet to be discovered in life.

Bahadur Shah Zafar mausoleum
Bahadur Shah Zafar mausoleum

COERCION AND PAYMENTS – BIG JALSAS AND BIG DHARNAS

COERCION AND PAYMENTS
BIG JALSAS AND BIG DHARNAS

Of no significance to the public view

Zaid Hamid
Zaid Hamid

Sometime I think we have become a nation of zombies. I remember Michael Jackson’s thriller and the Zombies come out and start walking, probably a dance of death itself. Similarly our lowest IQ leaders are taking the Nation to the path of destruction by making them ultimate Zombies. Listening to so called leaders rave on video links, from where ever the may be, clapping robotic claps, at what place is the nation in?

To even take the name of some of these leaders is blow the dignity of a thinking man. It is as natural as our national aversion for lizards. The minute you see a lizard, you are sick and want to run away. The same is the case with our political leaders (so-called), and the second you see them, you want to run away. And you are amazed at those sitting and clapping for them. Mass hysteria! Psychologists must come up with a solution to this mass slavery under coercion and payments.

Bal Thackeray was an enigma to people who have not experienced partition. With romantic ideas that humanity is really fair, one cannot believe his party’s statement on conquest of Islamabad itself. And no one has the marbles even in the West to see through this charade of Modern Satanism. But what was really shocking was the statement made by Zaid Hamid that Amitabh Bachan is the front man for the Thackeray’s organization, in more ways than one. In any case what was the need for the veteran actor to go and pay homage to an established world class terrorist. Would I feel comfortable being photographed with some local extremists!
When you smile and give your hands to another person, you are subscribing to the views of that person. You are holding that person in esteem and respect. It does not befit a veteran icon of many to be associated with controversial personalities.

Bal-thackeray and Amitabh-bachan
Bal-thackeray and Amitabh-bachan

Is conquest of Islamabad possible! Everything is possible but the damage control is the blockade to adventurism. When hate and prejudice increases and overwhelms rationality, than it is time, not to give power in the hand of the terrorists, who are a threat to World Peace. It is time to define terrorism for the benefit of all. Or let dissolve UNO once for all, and let the Mighty have their way. The result would indeed be a lessening of the population of the world. But then who cares for humanity? Not the evil forces of the world.

Broad daylight murder in Lahore

A GIRL’S BODY THROWN IN U.C.H COMPOUND LAHORE
FROM A RUNNING CAR

Broad daylight murder in Lahore

Prince Casanova
Prince Casanova

A young Baluch boy, son of Nawab Bugti himself, was having an affair in Lahore with a girl. Typical of his background, resentment started, and like his elders, the solution was simple. Murder your opponent. The girl was strangled to death and thrown in the compound of U.C.H (United Christian Hospital Gulberg) Lahore, and the Bugti Prince escaped and fled Lahore, on an aero-plane to Quetta. Witnessed had noted the number of his car as well as recognized it as belonging to him. The girls body was wrapped round in a sheet. It is was disgusting in all ways. Everybody in Lahore found out about it. Public knowledge in all ways.

Saviour of son
Saviour of son

The news was carried for some days in the newspaper and then it was quashed by authorities. No body was brought to book, although a case was filed in the station. The girls family had no clout to challenge the wrath of the Baluchs. Nawab Bugti buffered his son, and engineered his way out of the system. This is no personal news or gossip. This is straight news published in the Press and told to me also by Mumtaz, physio-therapist of U.C.H, who was there at that time.

This same Prince is now raving about the murder of his father, and offering billions (according to outdated tribal laws) for the murder of a well known General of Pakistani Army. The memory of our media is short, and only that is touched, which is money-worthy, not news-worthy. Killing people is routine in Baluch society. When others are killed, it is okay. When yours are killed, obviously it is not. Will law and order and justice ever come to the common man?

MANDIR OF LOH – A BRITISH CONSPIRACY?

MANDIR OF LOH
A BRITISH CONSPIRACY?

Made in British period bricks

British bricks Mandir of Loh
British bricks Mandir of Loh

As you enter the Aurangzeb Gate in Lahore Fort, you see a small room, with a kiosk in it. It is called as the Mandir of Loh. Most people dubbed it as belonging to the Sikh period, in bricks of that time. But an earlier photograph made by some Home economics student many years back, show that it is made of Bricks made in the British period., Also very roughly made as made in a hurry with no stress on finesse of Muslim buildings. When did all this rant start?

Out of the blue, the Khulasah al-tawarikh of Subhan Rai, around 1692 linked the city of Lahore with Loh, the so called son of Ram. And as this notation was there, further people utilized the same to forward their point of view.

The famous book on Lahore by Thronton and Kipling does not mention the Mandir of Loh in 1860. Nobody else does. Then all of a sudden Judge Latif (a veteran British representative) writes about the Mandir of Loh. Thronton and Kipling places Lahore on the site of Icchra Lahore, but Anjum Rahmani doubts that Lahore existed even at Icchra. The remains of Hindu Lahore have never been discovered. To the memory of all historians, Lahore is essentially a Muslim city from day one. Yes the city of Loh did exist, but research points to it being somewhere in the hills of Kashmeer.

For something to be 300 years old, it has to b at least 40 feet deep, if not more. The remains of Ghaznavid period is mostly at 25 to 30 feet in the city of Lahore. The Mandir is at par with the street outside. How can a new structure at par with street level be so old? The story goes on. In this bitchy concept of ‘Aman ke Asha’, credit can be given to Hindus for building Mecca and Medina too. After all everything else they have claimed as their own. Why not Arabia itself? Only deviant minds can conceive of Taj Mahal as a Hindu temple. And what not? All Hindus in this region were Saints, all Muslims tyrants, murderers, rapists and everything bad was due o them. Satisfied. Obviously some Mir Jaffers taking money to do their end. Okay, here it is! There is no Mandir of Loh, definite.

Just outside the Lahore Fort directly to the so called Mandir of Loh, is the oldest grave in Lahore, that is of LANGA, the Nau-Guzza of Lahore. Coming from Palestine and Syria, these Jewish giants of the old laid the basis of Lahore. But that is another story, for another time.

BUCK UP SHABBIR – CAPTAIN MUNSTER HOUSE

BUCK UP SHABBIR
CAPTAIN MUNSTER HOUSE

Annual Sports Day St Anthony’s Lahore

Major Shabbir Syed Shaheed
Major Shabbir Syed Shaheed

I hated sports. I was never a sports freak. But the schools forced you into something or that. I remember in Sacred Heart School I was pushed in a group race and I came last. Not that I could not run, I was just plain shy in front of people. Without realizing it, I was the intellectual type. Thinking all the time.

The same happened in St Anthony’s. We were forced to participate in sports and the annual Sports Day was at the Railway ground, where we had to go. No fancy cars to take us, but a bicycle of an elder cousin, sitting on the dreary cycle rod, and cursing your luck to be forced to go into something. We were divided into four houses, or four rows in the classes. Mine was MUNSTER house, and the Captain of Munster House was a guy named Shabbir Sharif. A tall handsome guy with a physique of Charles Atlas, and all we could do, was look at him in awe. And man, could he run! Run he did all the time and he won every race there. Straights dashes, relays, jumps, hurdles and what not? And all of us boys would stand on the side and shout with full vigour ‘BUCK UP SHABBIR’. We never heard from him again.

And one day a friend by the name of Munawar Hussain came to me and he was talking of is classfellow Raheel Sharif, and he said Shabbir was his elder brother. And I said which Shabbir? He said the one of the Munster House, don’t you know about him? He embraced Shahadat in the war and obtained NISHAN E HAIDER. I was amazed. The energy wich Shabbir had even at that time, had to come out and ventilate itself in life. It was inevitable that he obtained some feat in life. And then there is the story of another classfellow and that is three times Prime Minister Nawaz Shareef, but that is for another time.

MANY YEARS WITHOUT RAIN – VARIOUS FAMINES IN LAHORE

MANY YEARS WITHOUT RAIN
VARIOUS FAMINES IN LAHORE

Crushing dry leaves for flour

Famine
Famine

It was the year 1783. It looked like Nature had gone awry, The rain just stopped. There was no rain in Lahore for many years. Starvation was imminent. The rich were able to preserve flour hidden in their havellis. That is why you see false walls with cavities in them, where not gold, but wheat was hidden, and a hole made in it, from where wheat was taken out, a glass at a time. The Capital of the land of five rivers knew what hunger was in the real sense. And to compound things in a worst way, the plains were invaded by an insect named TITTAN, and it devoured whatever was there. To even further humble the Lahoris, the cows ate this insect and the milk and ghee were infected and not fit to eat. In mean time the Sikh bandits were creating havoc in and around the city, plundering villages and people. Thousands of people died of starvation, others fled to the hills. The wrath of Allah was on Lahore in the same way as it happened in the land of the Pharaohs.

Famine in region
Famine in region

We talk today of the flour as having become expensive, but what about the time, when it was no longer there. Extinction of animals and birds was also taking place, without recourse to water and food. Wheat and rice were not there. Somebody got the idea of using dry leaves for food. People started collecting dry leaves of trees, and would pound them in mortar and then make dough out of them, and cook chapattis out of them. Can we today even imagine that? It is said one blade of CHARI for cows was for Rs2 at that time, a fabulous sum of its time.

Famine deprivations
Famine deprivations

Famines in Lahore were not new. The famous one was in 1759 called CHOLAH FAMINE. There was one in 1813 called SATSERA FAMINE. And again in 1823. It seemed Lahore was suffering for there was no government to take care of its people. The same is happening today. Business as usual. It looks like Marie Antoinette having pastries while she could not imagine that while these were there in bakeries, why people were complaining about bread? Classical neglect which finally ,led to the French Revolution. Unfortunately it was destructive. We hope that if one occurs in Lahore, it is benign to the people, and may not be benign to others. Allah forgives us all!

THE WATCH-LIONS OF LAHORE – NO NEED FOR DOGS

THE WATCH-LIONS OF LAHORE
NO NEED FOR DOGS

Keeper of Royal Lions
Keeper of Royal Lions

One big difference between the East and the West is the love of dogs. The West drools over it’s dogs. The dogs can slip in bed with the owners, the owners can kiss and let the dog lick their faces; as well the dogs are shampoo(ed) and combed and what not? ¬†Cuddling a dog is extreme fun for the West. In the East the dog is not considered much. Yes, the dog is there, but not as much loved as a watch animal for safety purposes, if ever used. In fact in our culture, the dog is considered ‘mac-roo’, and that literally mans an unclean animal. It is on record that Emperor Aurangzeb tried his best to clean Lahore city of street dogs. And there we remember the Walt Disney’s tale of the ‘Lady and the Scamp’.

1000 YEARS OLD BONES
1000 YEARS OLD BONES

When Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered Lahore, and Ayaz Al-Najim made it a city of culture, there were many issues here. The requirement was to have Watch animals in Lahore. The soldiers were limited in number and had to take care of their posts. The jungle near Shahdara was a thickly populated one, with various animals. The Punjabi Lion was very much there. This lion is typical of this area and shown in drawings as of different kind. The African lion was never here. In fact there were a species of wild cats, which were considered very ferocious, and are still there in the area of Chakwal. Ayaz Al-Najm imported Lion-tamers from Ghazni to the city. Cubs were captured from the Shahdara jungle, as well as lions were mated in captivity. A lion menagerie was very much there. The Lions of Shahdara Lahore were the Watch-lions of the Lahort Fort.

Lions
Lions

Of course the historian Baihaqi tells us all this, but there had to be proof on the matter too. The earth of Lahore reveals many things, which we cannot even imagine. Abundance of sea shells are there, deep down the Earth. River rocks, a sand strata which tells us of the Noah flood in Lahore. And plenty of bones. Vast number of skeletons are discovered in the process, and not as in graves, but in mass burials, due to public illness or the causalities of battle itself. But the most amazing thing is abundance of bones of lions in the earth. And there we have definite proof of the use of lions as Watch-lions in the city of Lahore.

Women still ride lions
Women still ride lions

The most amazing spectacle of course would have been lions marching in Royal processions, and that at times headed by the sister of Ayaz Al-Najm herself, who had come from Ghazni to keep her brother, Governor Ayaz, company. What grand days those must have been? A Lahore we cannot even imagine.

All about Art & Pakistan!