Painting No - 01

"A Peep into Past” Depicts a house no: 1616 located at the corner of Kucha Pir Shirazi a very old locale of the walled city of Lahore. The house in small bricks, stylishcally from  1860’s. being photographed shows: Back row Mehra b/o Maharani Burdwan, Maharaja of Burdwan, Prem Nath Kapoor, Front row family members w/o Prem Nath Kapoor & Sister of Maharani of Burdwan, with daughter Panna, Master Kabyan Das Kapoor (s/o Prem Nath Kapoor), Maharani of Burdwan with son in lap, Rukmani d/o Prem Nath Kapoor.

Built over a very high plinth, it has windows on the street side opening into the baithak or the drawing room; the other side has a very tall portal with steps leading to the massive wooden door above which is a triple arched window with sliding doors. Inside is a courtyard with a light well in the center. Winding stairs from one side lead to the first floor and the roof top. The roof top has a barsaati and an open area. The roofs are all in wooden planks covered with brick titles. There are perforated terracotta  titles on the top floor for the air to fitter through, while ladies basked in the winter sun over the brick benches build along the walls. The height gives a panoramic view of the walled city.

This is a typical example of an aristocrats house. Semicircular windows flanked by twin pilasters with boldly projecting hoods topped by flattened ribbed domes; multi foiled recessed arch with rosettes over the spandrils; domical alcoves for lamps contribute to the grandeurs of the façade.
Account given by Anuradha Vohra Wahi, great-great-great daughter the original owner: My mother, Sarla Mehra, was the oldest of seven children. Her maternal grand parents Bishan Devi and Prem Nath Kapoor lived in this beautiful Haveli in Kucha Pir Shirazi located within the walled city of Lahore. Bishan Devi was six months older than her husband, Prem Nath Kapoor’s father, a high officer in the railways, built this haveli in 1850’s… his wife’s sister was married to the maharaja of Burdwan, (hence)  “Rani Maasi”… in the near by gali Laila Majnun lived Madan Lal Varma oblivious to each other… By co-incidence, Prem Naths great grand daughter meets Madan Lats grandson Pradeep Kumar Wahi in Washington D.C., go to Delhi (to tie the knot); return and settle in Maryland.

In 2001, Anuradha visits Lahore with her 90 year old father Chaman Lal Vohra. They visit Prem Nath Kapoor; (this) house. In 2005 Anu, Pradeep, their daughters jasmine and Sonia, Wahis grand parents visit Lahore and this Haveli which had been purchased by NCA as CCRS and restored. Reema (Madan Lal’s daughter) meets an old lady of the locality with common friends and both talk non stop of the times when they were teenagers….!!!


Painting No: 81

Title: A Peep into the Past

Medium: Water Colour

Size: (29" x 45")

Collection: Anu Wahi, U.S.A

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