| Mumbai |
Up to date: October 4, 2020 8:26:04 am
Quaint in character and Sufi in spirit, Peshawar was as soon as Dilip Kumar’s residence. Or “misplaced metropolis,” as Salman Rushdie may name it. On September 30, the god of performing urged his Pakistani followers to share footage of his decrepit former ancestral tackle in Peshawar’s Qissa Khwani Bazaar — actually, a storyteller’s market in a historic metropolis that has sadly gained some notoriety in current many years. The Taliban, terror, jihad and bombing with the BBC even dubbing it ‘the birthplace of al-Qaeda.’ But, in 1922 when Yousuf Khan was born there (he was later reborn in Bollywood as Dilip Kumar), the Northwest Frontier was a special place altogether and really a lot part of undivided India. As of late, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa state authorities has been focussed on preserving the historic properties within the walled metropolis and essentially the most distinguished of those are located within the bustling Qissa Khwani Bazaar. This neighbourhood has a relatively particular reference to Bollywood. Not simply Dilip Kumar, Hindi cinema doyens Prithviraj and Raj Kapoor additionally hint their origin to this a part of Peshawar. The enduring however ramshackle Kapoor Haveli was rumoured to be constructed between 1918-1922 by Kapoor’s grandfather Dewan Basheswarnath. Shah Rukh Khan’s household additionally hailed from Qissa Khwani Bazaar. Some say considered one of his paternal uncles owned a store there till just lately. If all goes nicely, the Pakistani authorities will rescue this forgotten cultural heritage and hopefully, flip the dusty properties of the Kapoors and Kumar right into a shrine for movie-goers.
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) September 30, 2020
The information was sufficient to ship Dilip Kumar, now 97, on a nostalgic journey. In a collection of tweets, on October 1, the thespian shared fond reminiscences of Qissa Khwani Bazaar, a spot that he believes has influenced his craft and elegance. Commenting on the easier Peshawar instances in his memoir The Substance and The Shadow, the nonagenarian notes that “childhood pictures cling to the unconscious surreptitiously they usually emerge earlier than your eyes like an surprising customer via the backdoor to offer you a stunning shock.” Certainly, when Kumar’s household (his father was a profitable fruit service provider in Peshawar who scorned the thought of his son getting into a disreputable occupation referred to as the films) moved to Nashik’s Deolali, the picturesque setting gave him each “artistic impetus” and much-needed solace after shedding Peshawar.
Properties Left Behind
The ‘legendary’ Peshawar was central to Dilip Kumar’s lifelong friendship with Raj Kapoor. Famously, the 2 Bollywood giants have been neighbours throughout the border. Their households knew one another nicely, as Kumar’s dad was mates with Dewan Basheswarnath (Prithviraj’s father, a police official) and it’s stated that Kumar and Raj Kapoor, who continued to stay shut regardless of changing into superstars of their respective methods, typically reminisced of their childhood days. “He was a born extrovert and charmer,” that’s how Kumar described his greatest buddy. Many years later, in 1990-91 in the course of the making of Henna, Rishi and Randhir Kapoor dropped into the now century-old Kapoor Haveli. Again to their roots, they have been “obtained in our avenue like royalty and have been later feted on the provincial governor’s mansion,” in response to the Pakistani columnist Mohammed Taqi.
Together with Kumar and Kapoor, the late Dev Anand had shaped a troika that reigned golden-age Bollywood. It shouldn’t shock you that Anand additionally had robust roots in Pakistan having spent his childhood in Lahore. It’s a metropolis, he mirrored in later interviews, that formed him most. Born in Punjab’s Gurdaspur to a well-to-do lawyer, the evergreen star majored in English literature from Authorities Faculty, Lahore. In 1943, he left Lahore with “solely Rs 30 in his pocket and a stamp assortment,” travelling by Frontier Mail on his strategy to Bombay to strive his luck in Hindi cinema. Later, the flamboyant star of Taxi Driver and Information acquired an opportunity to revisit Lahore with the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee within the well-known peacemaking bus trip from Wagah that the latter billed as a brand new chapter within the often-fraught Indo-Pak relationship. On the opposite aspect of LoC, a carnival environment awaited the Indian delegation.
Horrors of Partition
Whereas Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif have been rewriting historical past, Anand — indefatigable as ever — was toying with the thought of creating a movie in Pakistan. As he introduced to journalist Rajiv Bajaj, in his typical flourish, “There’s no purpose why an important movie can’t be made in Pakistan by Dev Anand on a tremendously human angle with none propaganda in it.” The movie by no means actually took off, which should have appeared like music to the ears of hapless viewers who needed to bear the brunt of latter-day Dev Anand clunkers like Censor and Love at Occasions Sq.. Jokes apart, if Dev Anand had an emotional joyride in Lahore as he toured his alma mater mobbed by information photographers and followers, the individuals of Pakistan returned the favour. When Anand died in 2011, Pakistani followers mourned the loss as considered one of their very own. Ditto with the demise of Rishi Kapoor, earlier this 12 months.
Balraj Sahni, a decade older than Anand, was additionally a Authorities Faculty alumnus. The Do Bigha Zamin stalwart initially hailed from Rawalpindi the place, recollects his son Parikshat Sahni in The Non-Conformist: Reminiscences of My Father, the household stored a pre-Partition mansion as “our winter residence.” It’s value remembering that it was Balraj Sahni’s brother Bhisham Sahni who wrote some of the highly effective Partition novels in Tamas, later made into an era-defining Doordarshan collection by Govind Nihalani. One other Partition sufferer is Gulzar. Reminiscences of his hometown Dina (Jhelum) nonetheless haunts the veteran lyricist who greatest summed up the horrors of 1947 in his well-known poem Dastak as, “Sarhad par kal raat suna hai, kuch khwaabon ka khoon hua hai.”
Punjabis (like Kapoors, Sahnis or Anand brothers) dominated the 50s Bollywood and Sunil Dutt was considered one of them. Like Gulzar, he was born in Jhelum and maintained shut ties along with his native place, a lot so that after when he visited his village Khurd, the locals overwhelmed him by suggesting that his ancestral land “nonetheless belongs to you” and that he can have all of it again each time he returns. In 1998, he did comply with accompany Dilip Kumar when the performing legend was honoured with Nishan-E-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian award shortly following which an enormous controversy erupted with Shiv Sena demanding the Mumbai-based Kumar to return the award. Among the hue and cry was comprehensible — even anticipated. Sentiments all the time run excessive on each side. Greater than 70 years after the acrimonious cut up the republic of Gandhi and Jinnah nonetheless don’t see eye to eye. What else to count on in nations the place even a recreation of cricket is like going to warfare? Since Partition in 1947, Pakistan’s relationship with India has solely gotten worse. Kashmir has been crucial bone of competition. However our hostile neighbour’s position as a chief terror sponsor and the border skirmishes have additional harmed the scenario, than therapeutic it. The nuclear-armed states have come to blows, extra just lately in Pulwama. Below PM Narendra Modi, it may be argued that we’ve taken a extra belligerent strategy in the direction of Pakistan for which he has received reward in some quarters. But, Modi’s rise has sparked a wave of jingoism beforehand unseen in India. Particularly to Indian Muslims, ‘Return to Pakistan’ has develop into the Hindu hardliners’ normal chorus. Nonetheless, optimists hope that the Mahabharat-style dispute between the warring cousins will finish sometime. Wouldn’t it be cliche to say that odd residents in each nations need peace? We don’t know Pakistan, however talking of India, even political propaganda has not stopped some Indians, particularly elite Punjabis, from romanticising about Pakistan. This, one assumes, is the Pakistan of Faiz, Iqbal and Manto.
Quick ahead to 2020, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor hark again to a time when the 2 nations have been one. Consequently, they type an important hyperlink to the 2 cultures. When Kumar determined to maintain his Nishan-E-Imtiaz, regardless of the political protests, he reportedly wrote to AB Vajpayee countering that if the PM “thinks that the award injures or lowers the status of India then I’ll give up it.” He by no means did. And now, with information coming in of his Peshawar residence being become a museum, it may be stated that life has come a full circle. In all probability, it should spell some catharsis as well.
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