Did you know that Bollywood legends Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor were born in Peshawar before they moved to Bombay to begin their careers in the film industry?
The government is now making efforts to restore the former glory of what was once known as the city of flowers; buying and restoring ancestral homes of the two acting icons among 1800 other buildings is part of that plan.
Dilip Kumar’s wife, former actress Saira Banu has praised Pakistan for taking this action.
Talking to Times of India, she said: “I wish the provincial government success in its efforts and sincerely hope that this time the dream comes true. Mashallah.”
“My heart fills up with joy each time I receive the same news about the ancestral home of Yousuf Saheb in Peshawar in North West Frontier province which the provincial government has been repeatedly trying to turn into a monument for posterity.”
“It has come up so many times in the past and I have appreciated the tenacity with which the government is pursuing the mission of turning the house into a museum for the public to visit and feel the vintage charm of the house where Dilip Saheb grew up like any bright boy of the province,” Banu added.
Once they had migrated to now India, both Kapoor and Kumar family sold their respective homes to locals. The homes were then resold multiple times until the current owner of Kapoor haveli decided to demolish it. It was then that the Pakistani government declared it as a part of national heritage and alloted a sum for both homes to be bought and restored.
The area that the havelis are located in is named Qissa-Khawani Bazaar or the ‘Bazaar of Storytellers’.