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Pakistan to save Bollywood greats’ ancestral homes in Peshawar


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Pakistan to save Bollywood greats’ ancestral homes in Peshawar

Image copyright Shahbaz Butt Image caption The 100-year-old Kapoor haveli came close to being demolished by its current owner The ancestral homes of two Bollywood greats are to be saved from crumbling into ruin in northern Pakistan. The houses belonged to the families of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar who migrated to India in the…

Pakistan to save Bollywood greats’ ancestral homes in Peshawar

Raj Kapoor's house in PeshawarPicture copyright
Shahbaz Butt

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The 100-calendar year-outdated Kapoor haveli came shut to getting demolished by its present proprietor

The ancestral households of two Bollywood greats are to be saved from crumbling into destroy in northern Pakistan.

The homes belonged to the family members of Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar who migrated to India in the decades in advance of Pakistan was made from British India in 1947.

Officials in Peshawar say the dilapidated properties are to be acquired, restored and turned into museums.

The town has a vivid cultural historical past, and a host of Bollywood’s biggest stars trace their roots there.

Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar have been born and lifted in Peshawar’s oldest and most famous road, Qissa Khwani – or Avenue of Storytellers – afterwards shifting to Mumbai where by they grew to become main actors of their generation.

A host of existing and previous top Bollywood stars, including Shah Rukh Khan, have roots in the similar location of Peshawar’s previous metropolis.

Five-star Bollywood relationship

Kapoor and Kumar began performing in the 1940s and went on to turn out to be two of the most important stars of the film industry that would ultimately become Bollywood. They even starred jointly in just one of their early successes – Andaz, a 1949 movie.

Kumar’s gentlemanly roles and Kapoor’s antics captivated generations of cinema-goers. Although Kumar was regarded as the “tragedy king”, generally essaying sober and melancholic roles, Kapoor, nicknamed “the showman”, was a performer – joyful, cheeky, charming or pensive, whatsoever the position demanded.

Kapoor died in 1988. Kumar, who is 97, life in Mumbai with his spouse, Bollywood actress Saira Banu.

Impression copyright
Getty Photos

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Dilip Kumar was a beloved Bollywood hero in the 1950s

Because the 1970s, Peshawar’s cultural heritage has suffered. In the latest yrs, the metropolis turned acknowledged for militancy and conservatism and the rise of the Taliban noticed several regional structures destroyed.

Beneath the conservation plan, all over one,800 properties in Peshawar over 100 a long time previous will be acquired and restored by the provincial governing administration.

“The transfer is part of efforts to restore Peshawar’s regular culture which fell by the wayside thanks to the war on terror,” Director of Archaeology and Museums Dr Abdus Sama explained to BBC Urdu.

Do the job on a couple of buildings has previously begun, he reported.

The Kapoor and Kumar residences are equally now in the palms of private house owners. Not significantly away is the previous spouse and children dwelling of existing-working day Bollywood superstar, Shah Rukh Khan. Officials say the actuality that a few these kinds of major stars and so lots of other people hailed from this tiny corner of Peshawar implies the region warrants a Bollywood museum of kinds.

And that’s just what they are organizing – they want to convert the mansions, equally extra than a 100 a long time old, into museums which will residence memorabilia on the respective actors, together with Shah Rukh Khan.

There will also be a movie library, and other aspects reflecting Peshawar’s Bollywood link.

The extensive street to restoration

The two properties are badly in need to have of substantial renovation. The ornate Kapoor haveli (mansion) is literally slipping aside. Its arched home windows and protruding balconies continue to trace at misplaced grandeur. The facade of the fairly a lot less grand property where by Dilip Kumar was born nearby is cramped into a very small alley and the household itself looks shabby, with once costly woodwork dirty, cracked and protected in cobwebs.

The Kapoor haveli was developed concerning 1918 and 1922 by Raj Kapoor’s grandfather, Deewan Basheswarnath. He was a law enforcement officer in British India, at first from what is now Faisalabad in Pakistan. But he was posted in Peshawar for a extended time. His son, Prithviraj Kapoor, who was one of Hindi cinema’s initial huge stars, commencing his job in the silent period, was born in this household. He caught his performing crack in Peshawar, wherever he starred in area performs, right before moving to Bombay (now Mumbai) in the late 1920s to make it to the large display.

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Prithviraj Kapoor’s garlanded sons Randhir (remaining) and Rish frequented the Peshawar home in 1990

His son, Raj Kapoor, was born on 14 Dec 1924 in the same household. He would go on to become 1 of India’s most prolific and beloved stars, directing and producing in his later on decades.

The spouse and children returned to Peshawar usually right up until they bought the home some many years in advance of Pakistan was partitioned from India in 1947, claims Shakeel Waheedullah, head of the Cultural Heritage Council of Peshawar. The team has been battling for many years to safeguard the properties.

He says the household has modified fingers on a quantity of instances, and even came close to becoming demolished by the present-day proprietor, a jeweller who needed to make a procuring mall in its put. It was saved when the heritage team intervened.

Image copyright
Shahbaz Butt

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The former Kapoor household has now lost two storeys

The constructing continue to misplaced its best two storeys, and the owner faced arrest when the provincial archaeology division stepped in to halt the demolition.

In 1990, Kapoor’s sons – Rishi and Randhir – visited the house. When Rishi died earlier this yr, people today in Peshawar mourned and they lit candles for his uncle, Shashi, yet another star, when he died in 2017.

Dilip Kumar’s home was created by his father who was a fruit merchant. Kumar was born in Peshawar as Mohammed Yusuf Khan on 11 December 1922. In accordance to Mr Waheedullah, Kumar’s father suffered substantial company losses in the mid-1920s, forcing the family members to go to Bombay in look for of far better options.

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Dilip Kumar’s former house is now a warehouse but is to grow to be a museum

Acquiring re-established the household fortunes in India, Kumar’s father bought his residence in Peshawar in 1930 for a sum of 5,000 rupees. The home has because been bought numerous times and is at this time staying utilised as a warehouse.

Kumar visited it in 1988. He preferred to return yet again in 1997, when he was in Pakistan to receive an award from the federal government, but he could not for the reason that of the significant crowds that experienced previously collected in anticipation of his arrival.

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