Author Archives: Raza Rumi

Iqbal Hussain: The agony and the ecstasy

DSC_1540 copy WITHOUT RIGHTSIqbal Hussain’s new work reveals a darkly poignant preoccupation with death, an artistic crisis born of the violence in our midst. But this work may yet survive the changing cultural topography of Pakistan, says Raza Rumi

Being stuck in an awful traffic jam on Lahore’s Mall Road is an everlasting nightmare. This was the road which once housed the tempestuous and famously poly-amorous painter Amrita Shergil, as well as the grand old man of Indian writing in English, the legendary Khushwant Sigh, among other lost symbols of our bygone past. But mine was not a fruitless journey: I was heading to the Zahoor ul Akhlaq Gallery at the National College of Arts (NCA), where Iqbal Hussain’s new work was being displayed. I would not hav e gone to see this exhibition had I not heard about the significance of the show from the proficient curator of the gallery Qudsia Raheem. I liked to meet Iqbal Hussain in the throes of the walled city where he has reinvented a space for himself among his own people — entertainers, artists, traders, sex workers and a multitude of local and global visitors. Iqbal Hussain has been successful through his personal endeavors to put Lahore’s old city and its infamous red light district on the world map. He has achieved this primarily through his stupendous paintings and sublime rooftop views of Mughal monuments from the Cooco’s Den Café he owns and manages.

DSC_1510 copy WITHOUT RIGHTSIqbal Hussain’s work over the decades has brought to life the shades and aspects of sex workers from Heera Mandi around whom Hussain grew up. Most importantly, he is proud of his heritage and origins and, unlike the hypocritical and self-denying society in which he lives, he has publicly claimed ownership of this background. His work has obsessively captured the many narratives about the women who are central to Heera Mandi. In doing this, Hussain has humanized the portraits of the “dancing girl”, the aging prostitute and the honorable livelihood earner. Contrary to the religious decrees on such women, or the excessive romanticization of dancing girls in our culture, Hussain’s subjects are nothing but human. They are real and vulnerable while blessed with the ability to sing, dance and celebrate life and sex. In our socially conservative culture, made even more so since the advent of Victorian values in what was then British India, such characters have been the recipients of much derision. Hussain, through his momentous collection of paintings, has countered every stereotype and cliché that comes to mind about such women. Continue reading

‘Saddened Mona Lisa’ and other paintings – experimental art from Lahore

(left) SELF=PORTRAIT  WON  [l972-2000]:  ‘SADDENED  MONA LISA SWEATING  ( PASEENA-PASEENA) IN THE SHALIMAR GARDENS ON HER RECENT LAHORE YATRA - – (she is not  a young debutante, anymore) – - , AND NOTHING TO BE HAPPY ABOUT GEOFFREY’S  MOTHERLAND being drained per  LAW OFF RULERS AND THEIR CUTLERY: OIL AND MIXED MEDIA,  3-D+ RELIEF; (SCULPTURAL ARTWORK MADE WITH FIBREGLASS ON PLEXIGLASS).  SIZE 25 inches X 20 ½ inches.

Art of, and for, Syyed Iqbal Geoffrey – - he being a genuine mussawere (artist) and a prominent vakil ( facilitator of justice-with-love) acclaimed by Sir Herbert Read as an “Astonishing Phenomenon” and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has graciously described him as “The Arts Counsel of Great Britain   - –  is not a born-again outlet or some glittering outage chamaking (shinning on a Cash ‘N  Carry basis in Neverneverland. (References : Zoha Noor-Fatima A. Haider (London)* & Suellen W. Liker (Phoenix)**

(above: SELF=PORTRAIT TOO [1962-2012] : “HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN WITNESSING THE FIRST DROP OF DEW FALLING ON INDIGENOUS MAN’GO!!” oil and mixed media on cardboard-canvas; size 47 inches x 27 inches .. current token price PRs 78600.92P. (may not be acquired at this important stage of its creation by any foreigner). Subject to increases with notice.)

Continue reading

Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Lahore Railway Police Station

Shaheed Bhagat Singh photographed secretly at Lahore Railway Police Station, during his first arrest 29 May to 4 July 1927 – in connection with Lahore Dussehra Bomb Case (25 Oct 1926) with Gopal Singh Pannu DSP, CID Lahore.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Rare pic: Akbari Gate of Lahore

Akbari Gate

Akbari Gate of walled city of Lahore. This gate exists no more. This pic was taken in 1962 by an unknown photographer.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

 

Anarkali: Books Bazaar

 

Photo Courtesy :  Shiraz Hassan

 

 

 

Sikh Yatrees at Wagha Station, Lahore

LAHORE: Over 2,900 Sikh Yatrees from India and thousands of others from all over the world including America, Canada , UK, Europe, and from parts of Sindh have reached Nankana Sahib to participate in the celebrations which will continue till November 11.

Photo by : Daily Express.

 

Dus Sharabiya: ‘The Song Of Lahore’

 

Artist: Faisal Rana ft. Deep Singh
Song: Dus Sharabiya

Dus Sharabiya is international collaboration between Pakistani artist Faisal Rana and Indian artist Deep Singh. Dus Sharabiya is about Lahore, even we would call Dus Sharabiya, ‘The Song Of Lahore’

Download from here

Govt. Islamia College, Railway Road, Lahore

 

 

 


Govt. Islamia College Railway Road Lahore was founded in 1892 by the Anjuman-i-Himayat-i-Islam, the oldest of the three colleges was one of the focal points for the Pakistan Movement. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, visited this college to address and confer with its students. Graduates and students of this college are referred to as “Habibians” after the name of the college’s oldest and central building.

Photo by: Shiraz Hassan

 

 

House of Indian Actor Om Prakash, Walled City Lahore

House of Indian actor Om Prakash, Koocha Beli Ram inside walled City of Lahore
Om Prakash played the leading man in films like Dus LakhAnnadata and Charandas. His pivotal roles in the films Dil Daulat DuniyaChupke ChupkeJulieJoroo Ka GhulamAa Gale Lag JaaPyar Kiye Jaa and Buddha Mil Gaya are considered to be among his best along with Daddu in Namak Halaal and De Silva in Zanjeer.
Photos by: Syed Haider Mehdi
Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

 

 

 

 

 

Lohari Gate of Lahore, A Rare Image.

A rare image of Lahori Gate, one of the 13 gates of Lahore. It was taken by an unknown photographer in 1900.

 

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

 

 

 

Chauburji, Lahore. [1880s Pic]

Photograph of the Chauburji Gateway at Lahore,  taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. The Gateway of the Four Minarets or Chauburji was once the entrance to one of Lahore’s many pleasure gardens.

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

Punjab Public Library in Lahore [Old Pic]

 

 

Photograph of the Punjab Public Library in Lahore from the ‘Bellew Collection: Photograph album of Surgeon-General Henry Walter Bellew’ taken by George Craddock in the 1870s.  The Punjab Public Library was established in the late 19th century

 

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Jahangir’s Tomb, 1870s Pic.


This view shows the tomb and surrounding gardens of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605-1627) at Shahdara in the 1870s. Mughal royalty and their courtiers built pleasure gardens and palaces on the right bank of the River Ravi at Shahdara opposite the major city of Lahore. At the outset of the reign of Jahangir’s son, Shah Jahan, in 1627 the emphasis changed to funerary architectural projects of which this is one. Set in formal gardens originally built by Jahangir’s wife, Nur Jahan, the tomb is faced in red sandstone inlaid with coloured marbles whilst inside the mausoleum walls are covered in colourful floral murals. The surviving marble cenotaph of Jahangir is decorated with inlaid gemstones in floral motifs and calligraphic passages giving the ninety-nine names of Allah.

Posted by: Shiraz Hassan

Janam Asthan Guru Ram Das Ji

Gurudawara, Janam Asthan [Birthplace] of fourth Guru of Sikh Religion Guru Ram Das ji, Interior Delhi Gate Lahore

Photo by: Shiraz Hassan

Samadhi Maharaja Ranjit Singh


Photograph of the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by George Craddock in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views.  Lahore is the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Dai Angah’s Tomb, Lahore

This photograph of the tomb of Dai Angah in Lahore was taken by H H Cole in 1884 for the Archaeological Survey of India. Wife of a magistrate in Bikaner in Rajasthan, Dai Angah was wet nurse to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-57). Inscriptions give the date of construction as 1671. The single-storey tomb is brick built and faced in painted plaster and tile mosaics in colourful floral and geometric motifs. Its square plan comprises a central domed chamber with eight further chambers surrounding it. There is a domed kiosk at each of the building’s four corners.

Recent picture of Dai Angah’s tomb.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Anarkali Church, Lahore

Photograph of the Tomb of Anarkali in Lahore from the ‘Bellew Collection: Photograph album of Surgeon-General Henry Walter Bellew’ taken by George Craddock in the 1870s. Lahore is the capital of the Punjab province in Pakistan. This region has been ruled by the Ghaznavids, the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British. The Tomb of Anarkali probably dates from the rule of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (1605-1627). In 1851, it was converted into a church by the British. In this view, we can see that there is a Christian cross surmounting the dome of the structure.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Attack On Sherry Rehman: A Black Day for Democracy

By Aamir Mansoor

As a Pakistani who has long believed in democratic values and has also fought for them and as a person who has always believed that a democratic party like the PPP should be the torch bearer of democratic values that will serve the citizens of Pakistan, I am appalled at the attack that took place on Sherry Rehman’s house.

It was obvious from the nature of the gathering and slogans of the attackers outside Sherry Rehman’s house that the event was organized by her own party leadership. If my understanding is incorrect then why has no major PPP leader including the Co-Chairperson openly condemned the attack on their own colleague. Continue reading

Lala Lajpat Rai, son of the soil

Salma Mahmud recalls a controversial Punjabi patriot’s life and works

Last year, on July 17, 2009, the Gulab Devi Hospital in Lahore celebrated its platinum jubilee, and recalled the establishment of the Gulab Devi Memorial Trust in 1927 by the renowned Punjabi patriot Lala Lajpat Rai. The trust was founded by Lalaji in memory of his mother Gulab Devi, who died of tuberculosis in Lahore. The building was finally completed in 1934, seven years after Lalaji’s death, and was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi. It remains today as one of the very few TB hospitals in Pakistan, providing an invaluable service to those who suffer from ‘the white scourge’, which is today curable, given the right treatment at the right time. Continue reading

Shaheed-e-Muhabbat

by Haroon Khalid

On the 19th of February 1958, a man in his mid-sixties jumped on the railway track near Shahdara, with the intention of killing himself. He was being watched by his young daughter, who was 5 at that time. Police recovered three letters from the corpse. The first letter stated that Zainab should look after his two daughters, the second was his will, in which he donated his entire possession to a mosque, and the last letter stated that he should be buried as a Muslim in the village of Nurpur on Burki road. Only his second wish came true.

Heer-Ranjha, Romeo-Juliet, Sassi-Panno are all stories/myths, shrouded in mystery, oblivious to the criterion of chronology, however this story of Boota and Zainab is real. The love story of Boota and Zainab has touched many hearts. Shaheed-i-Muhabbat, a Punjabi feature film made by Gurdas Maan, Muhabbat a novel by Ishrat Rahmani, another novel Zainab Jamil, and Hollywood movie The Partition are all tributes to this couple. Continue reading