* By Afnan Khan
LAHORE: Croweaters, the art gallery situated in a 150-year-old building in Anarkali, may soon be closing its doors as the owners have decided, in principle, to shut it down due to a perceived lack of appreciation of the liberal arts.
The gallery’s fate appears to have been directly tied to that of its owner, MP Bhandara, who died in a road accident in June 2008, during his visit to China. Bhandara and his family have owned the site for more than 150 years and his ancestors used to both live in the current art gallery and run several businesses, including a restaurant, a café, a liquor shop and finally an art gallery.
The gallery was officially launched under the name of Croweaters in 1999 — a name Bhandara chose to depict his affection for his sister, Bapsi Sidhwa, who has earned world renown for her books, including The Crow Eaters, The Bride and An American Brat. From the time it started until now, the gallery has hosted dozens of art exhibitions, including works by Tasaduq Suhail, Changaiz Sultan, Mashkoor Raza and Naheed Raza. The gallery also contains a collection of 200 rare paintings created by famous painters such as Gulgee, Sadqain and Ahmad Khan. Speaking to Daily Times, one of the gallery workers said that the people working in the place were true art lovers and had developed an emotional relationship to the gallery due to both its artistic background and their affiliation with MP Bhandara. Continue reading
M A Soofi visited Lahore a couple of years ago with a peace delegation from India. This piece recounts his instant judgements, sympathetic comments and insights on Lahore. This contribution to Lahore Nama is much appreciated.
Life by the Canal
The Daewoo van left Wagah – the international border separating India from Pakistan – and was now speeding towards Lahore, some twenty miles away. A canal was gushing forth on the right side of the window seat. Flowing between two parallel highways, it remained a constant companion.
Grassy patches sloped down to the banks, which were occasionally being lapped over by a sudden violence of the frothing mud-colored water of the canal. Tall trees on either side formed a comforting canopy over its length.
A variety of haiku moments flashed past the air-conditioned window: buffaloes swimming in the waters; a green-turbaned Mullah lying on the grass and reading a book; bare-chested young boys splashing water on each other, their shalwars ballooned with water; fully dressed women blushing, laughing, and taking quick cold water dips in the canal; a family contentedly feasting on a picnic lunch, with men and women sitting in separate groups; a young man and woman whispering under a tree; a lone man throwing pebbles in the water; two woman holding hands and sitting quietly; a middle-aged man resting against a tree trunk; a pair of boys washing a bicycle…
Soon these enchanting scenes vanished. The fallen leaves, languidly floating on the water, gave way to polybags and tin cans. Lahore was approaching. Continue reading
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Tagged border, cafe, Canal, Croweaters, India, Lahore, Mall, Pakistan, tourism, travel, travelogue, Wagah