Thursday, 10 April 2008

The house(s) that Jinnah build

Mohammed Ali Jinnah is a universally revered figure in Pakistan. You will see his image everywhere on buildings and in pictures. He is credited as having secured the existence of Pakistan. Jinnah is know affectionally as "Quaid-i-Azam" or the Quaid (Leader of the people or Leader).
I'm sure you'll all remember him from the film's Ghandi also Jinnah ? Well I decided to have a look around town and visit both the house where he was born and the one where he lived in his later life. Well we, that’s Khalid and I, did both places yesterday. His original home was under renovation and not really visible. It's located not far from the port area. In its hay day it was in what can only be described as being in a good location. His father was a merchant of sorts so really the area can best be described as having been a middle class type area (what a terrible English way to describe it….) but now… all a bit down market. Sort of area an Estate Agent would tell you has become an inner city declined area with massive potential. Well I saw the declined bit but could not see the potential. Karachi has moved on to newer and better areas.

We left there and visited, as a quick detour, his old school, then along to the house which he used in his later days. Lovely home, lovely location set in the middle of Karachi and once in the grounds all the noise, dust and pandemonium of day seems to fade away. The roof tiles are dated 1866 and so assume the building is of similar age. Just really spot with such a pretty house constructed in sandstone. The old Colonial types certainly knew how to live.
The photos show his inner rooms including his somewhat sparce bedroom, lounge and office. And fo coursehte author writing n hte visitors book. I hope much against my belief that the authorities make a real effort and do a good upkeep and get their act together so as not to loose their sence of history and indeed values.

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