In the early 1960s, when he was young, he cycled from Rawalpindi to the youth hostel in front of the Taxila Museum. His protruding ribs were sore. Pedaling down steep hills, he desperately needed a breather. Soon I saw a tall monument in the shape of an obelisk next to a section of cobbled street from the time of Shah Shah Suri.
It turns out that it was built to commemorate John Nicholson, an Anglo-Irish officer in the British East India Company’s army who was mortally wounded by Kale Khan, who guarded the Kashmir Gate during the siege of Delhi. The builder of the monument was the Nawab of Vaha.
This tidbit piqued my curiosity, especially since we live on Nicholson Road in Lahore and our landlord was the most benevolent nawab in Waha.
Built on a hill and dotted with two tall banyan trees, the short road outside the fort of Gujjar his Singh seems more apt to bear the name of the disputed Nicholson. It looked like I believe this may have been suggested by M. Hayat Khan.
In this internet age, learning more about family history is not difficult. It is doubtful that this small stretch of road, extending from the Empress Road junction to McLeod Road, was named after Nawab Muzafa Ali Nicholson, whose khan built his mansion in the early 1940s. left. The land once had an old dilapidated bungalow where a motor workshop worked (according to some veterans). The new building had a tubular well for water supply and a septic tank for toilet waste.
Behind this L-shaped building, a large area of land was left for children to play. When our landlady, Tahira Mazar, moved here, she proved to be a great environmentalist. She laid the foundation for a large outdoor botanical garden and even raised organic chickens.
Tariq Ali, who later led the fight against the Karaba gang police, played cricket with us. He was a restless soul. He was smuggled out of Pakistan and wrote his first book, Street Fighting Years: An Autobiography of the Sixties. He then devoted himself to writing articles on the Reconquista. His famous novel Shadow of the Pomegranate caught my attention and named one of my paintings from this complex after the novel’s title.
It is also said about the family that their great ancestor accompanied the Arabs who settled in Spain.
Nicholson Road intersects with the famous Empress Road, which connects the Government House and the train station. The largest number of churches are located here. These include Nauraja and Don Bosco. The railway headquarters is located on land borrowed from the Qizilbash family, whose palace is also across the road.
By the way, Lahore’s most revered shrine, Vivian Pak Daman, is also nearby. Thanks to the railroad, many Christian and Anglo-Indian families have settled here. Many Parsi families also lived here, such as Kandavala and Gandhi. Gandhi had a liquor store in a beautiful building called Suraj Mahal. The site allows pedestrians to enter the green space and cross onto the adjacent McLeod Road.
Daulat Lam Street is named after a famous ophthalmologist. A prominent bungalow at the end of the street also had access to the road behind it where the Toosi family lived. This family was friends with the Nawab of Kalabaga.
Manohar Street was famous for its handmade carpets. Nanda’s building on the corner was occupied by a family who operated a shuttle to Srinagar. Much of the historic district was destroyed by the orange train explosion. Train passengers are now free to inspect the dilapidated bedrooms of unfortunate residents who have not received adequate compensation.
Muzaffar’s estate was sold in his 1983, demolished, an ugly square was built in its place, and two peepals were cut down to create more public land. Private wells and septic tanks are gone.
Kinnaird Girls’ School, founded at Crossroads, later became Kinnaird Her College, and Joan Macdonald, an Irishman, was appointed as its first principal before the college moved to Lake Road. On the other side, Dyal Singh Majitiya built a student hostel. Unfortunately, this refugee’s possessions became Camp Haji. Much of their land was taken by another private organization under the sacred name of Ayesh Siddique College. This historic area had the largest number of banyan trees.