We lived in 55 Lawrence Road for twelve years. The medical practice had expanded, requiring new quarters–13 Gulberg V– and a new partner, Dr. Iqbal, in whose house I am very delighted to be staying. We had had no contact for forty years!
The house suited my parents perfectly–its L-shape provided one wing for the practice, one for the home.
They lived there until 1971 when they left Pakistan forever. Here is the house as it was in 1970:
It is no longer the same house: expanded, extended, stairways added and removed, trees three times the size they were, the rose garden replaced by a photographic studio. It has been transformed from a place of sickness and healing to not only a residence but a place of music and ‘post-Marxist’ enlightenment, the Sanjanagar Institute of Philosophy and Art, the actualized dream of Raza Kazim, a well-known Lahore lawyer and social thinker. I have visited the house a few times, documented the transformation inside and out and am meeting with him to see how I might be able to help him on a monumental music project. His daughter Beena and I are talking about possibilities in the Sanjanagar School for Girls, a project as significant as Greg Mortenson’s work in the mountains of northern Pakistan. Please visit the website–it’s fascinating and proof, if proof is needed, that Pakistan is far from a single story.
Here is how the house looked yesterday:
Through the doors and windows of these two houses I have been connected to so many people–they keep opening and keep connecting me to others. These are beyond-hightidings stories but I promise they will be told. Lahore has changed so much in forty years (me too!) that chronicling the changes would be folly. The people from then however are here now– vital, generous and enormously gracious. Something wonderful has begun!
Do stay tuned.