Kapoor Haveli

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Raj Kapoor's birthplace at Dhaki Munawar Shah, Peshawar

Kapoor Haveli is the historic home of Kapoor family, in Peshawar, Pakistan[1] a prominent Indian family with a long history in Hindi cinema. Many members of the family have been successful actors, film directors, and producers. It was owned by 'Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor', father of Prithviraj Kapoor. Among the notable members of the family, Raj Kapoor was born there. It is now being converted into a museum by IMGC Global Entertainment in Pakistan with the support of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.[2]

History[edit]

According to a wooden slab inside the entrance, the construction of the house was started in 1918 and completed in 1922.

The Kapoors are Hindus.[3] Raj Kapoor was born in this haveli in 1924. Two of his younger siblings, who died early in 1931,[4] were also born here. Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor were born in India, but they visited and lived at the mansion at times.[5] After the Partition of India in 1947, members of the family, like other Hindus, left the city and the house. It was purchased in an auction in 1968 by a jeweller Haji Khushal Rasool from Charsadda town in the North West Frontier Province under the settlement clause and then sold to a resident of Peshawar.[6]

Haji Israr Shah, the current owner of Raj Kapoor's home, said his father had purchased the house in the mid-1980s. Area residents say they used the building for events like marriage celebrations. Local resident and former mayor Abdul Hakim Safi said "The house has been empty for about 12 years as its present owners visit rarely".[7]

The owners of the historic house demolished its top three storeys two decades ago due to cracks created by an earthquake in its upper portion due to its location on steep mound. The house is surrounded by commercial buildings, posing serious threat to its body.[8]

Raj Kapoor's younger brother Shashi Kapoor, and sons, Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor, visited Peshawar and their old family home in 1990.[9] They also took some soil from the compound to remember their heritage.[10]

Architecture[edit]

The multi-storey house has about 40 rooms and its front is adorned with exquisite floral motifs and 'jharokas' or overhanging balconies.[11] Many sections of the facade have begun crumbling.

Memories[edit]

The elders of Dhaki Munawar Shah still recall the days they spent with the Kapoor family. Abdul Wahid, a bedridden 75-year-old shoemaker, stated "I used to play with Raj Kapoor". He remembers when he enjoyed cold drinks with Raj Kapoor from Binori Lal’s shop situated near the mansion.[12] Mohammad Yaqoob, a 90-year-old resident of Dhakki, remembers Raj Kapoor. "He was my buddy back in the 1920s. He was a year younger than me. We used to play a game of sticks called gulli-danda. We went to the same school".

The Kapoors moved to Mumbai in the 1930s, and their occasional visits to Peshawar ended completely after the partition of India in 1947, he says.[13] Some of the family friends of the Kapoor family have visited the Kapoors.[14]

Prithviraj Kapoor's gold medal[edit]

The Kapoor family has preserved the memory of their ancestral hometown. Ranbir Kapoor has inherited the golden medal from Peshawar that was given to Krishna Raj (Raj Kapoor's wife) by her father-in-law Prithviraj Kapoor.

Rishi Kapoor explained the history, "The medal was given to Prithviraj Kapoor in the 1920s. It was for a performance in Peshawar during his youth. He gave it to my mother after her wedding in the 1940s. He had put it around mother's neck and told her to keep it with her. It has since become a family heirloom. It was something grandfather had won for his talent."[15]

The senior male members of the Kapoor family still wear the traditional Peshawari Pagri on special occasions like weddings.

Family homes of movie stars[edit]

Several of the well known movie stars of the Hindi film industry have ancestral houses in the neighborhood,[16] including Dilip Kumar,[17] Shah Rukh Khan[18] and Anil Kapoor.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ What If Prithviraj Kapoor Had Not Left Peshawar?, Dev Anand, Outlook, 8/19/2004 http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?224841
  2. ^ Showman Raj Kapoor’s house to be converted into museum By Hidayat KhanPublished: September 23, 2012 http://tribune.com.pk/story/441304/showman-raj-kapoors-house-to-be-converted-into-museum/
  3. ^ [Bengali Cinema: 'An Other Nation', Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Sharmistha Gooptu, Routledge, 2010 p. 124 http://books.google.co.in/books?id=pzEdHF5UYcMC&pg=PA124 Sharmistha Gooptu]
  4. ^ Shammi Kapoor, Rama Prithviraj Kapoor Kapoor Family Website, 1998
  5. ^ Madhu Jain, The Kapoors: The First Family of Indian Cinema, Penguin Books India, 2005
  6. ^ Prithviraj Kapoor's ancestral home in Peshawar in poor state http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1225623/report-prithviraj-kapoor-s-ancestral-home-in-peshawar-in-poor-state
  7. ^ Locals welcome restoration of Bollywood legends' homes in Pak Press Trust of India | Updated: December 21, 2011 http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/locals-welcome-restoration-of-bollywood-legends-homes-in-pak-159734
  8. ^ http://www.dawn.com/weekly/yworld/archive/080913/yworld11.htm AROUND TOWN: The Kapoor House:A Cultural Asset By Sher Alam Shinwari September 12, 2008
  9. ^ Geo TV News, Dec 31 2005, Shaquil Farmal Ali, Video, RAJ KAPOOR HAVELI(HOME) IN PESHAWAR Uploaded on Sep 25, 2010 2:35
  10. ^ http://www.newslinemagazine.com/2010/08/monumental-loss/ Monumental Loss, Sher Alam Shinwari 27 August 2010
  11. ^ Prithviraj Kapoor's ancestral home in Peshawar in poor state Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009 http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1225623/report-prithviraj-kapoor-s-ancestral-home-in-peshawar-in-poor-state
  12. ^ http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_29-12-2003_pg7_25 Monday, December 29, 2003. Peshawarites still remember the Kapoor family
  13. ^ Dalip and Kapoor Houses, Childhood friend Yaqub Khan At 1:12, Alishaziali, Mar 13, 2011
  14. ^ SHASHI KAPOOR & M Y KHAN, KHAN1561, May 20, 2012
  15. ^ http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-21/news-interviews/30425341_1_medal-imtiaz-ali-s-rockstar-ranbir Granny passes heirloom to Ranbir, Amrapali Sharma, Mumbai Mirror Nov 21, 2011
  16. ^ Bollywood's Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Kumar and the Peshawar club By M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Dhakki, Peshawar, 28 November 2012
  17. ^ Dilip Kumar Real Home in Pakistan Imran Khan Sep 21, 2011
  18. ^ Super star Shah Rukh family in Peshawar NawabFarooq1, Nawab Production, Nov 17, 2010
  19. ^ Anil Kapoor House In peshawar Samaa Peshawar Center, ImranNews Dec 23, 2011

See also[edit]