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    Pak Tea House: A Hive of Activity for Literary Personalities, Intellectuals

    Civil societyPak Tea House: A Hive of Activity for Literary...
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    Pak Tea House: A Hive of Activity for Literary Personalities, Intellectuals

    At the time of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the literary creativity and progress of the Indian Tea House were adversely affected. Likewise, after partition of subcontinent, the word India was removed, and “Pak” was written over it, transforming ‘India Tea House’ into “Pak Tea House.”

    By Dr. Saeed Ahmad Ali

    Monty Python (a British surreal comedy troupe), referring to the history of the eccentric teapot, said that it was really fascinated that how tea rooms provided an opportunity to create and discuss literature and how the tea rooms changed from country to country.

    “Tea is just an excuse. I am drinking this sunset, this evening and – you.” That explains the co-relationship of a tea-room and the creativity of literature.

    Around the globe, the custom of tea and Kahwa houses is incredibly hoary. Located in downtown and cultural areas or every market, these tea houses entertain common people of different races, castes, colours, and creeds.

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    A tea house was established in Lahore during British rule, from 1939 to 1940, located along the Mall Road. It was then named “India Tea House,” where people from various schools of thought were gradually accustomed to coming for discussions.

    Nobody could believe that this tea house someday would become an axis of literary personalities, poets, and writers. For ages, Lahore had incorporated an impressive and majestic significance for being the centre of cultural, literary, and academic activities.

    Filled with life, music, fun, art, dance, food, and heritage, it really cast a magical spell on a traveller, who will always remember the memories and impression of the loving city.

    And whosoever visits or comes to Lahore becomes a part of this conurbation. An impressive belt of legendary personalities came and permanently settled here due to the magical effect of city and its heritage.

    Illustrious past

    Owing to these activities, the name “Pak Tea House” is at the top of the list, which has its own history of being a dominant spot for the grooming of art, literature, and culture.

    In 1939, “Bazm-e-Daastaan Goyian” was founded as an organization for the preferment of literature. But just after six months later, the name was modified to “Halqa-e Arbab-e-Zouq” which still prevails. By the same year, the literary activities of Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zouq were carried out in the YMCA hall.

    Likewise, many other organisations like Anjuman-e-Ittehaad-e-Punjab, Bzm-e-Adab Punjab, and Anjuman-e-Matalib-e-Mufida Punjab started working in collaboration with one another, a document of the YMCA reveals.

    Then in 1943, another organization emerged with the name of “Halqaa-e-Arbab-e-Ilm.” The companions of this organisation included Agha Shorish Kashmiri, Malik Aslam Hayyat and Syed Nazir Zaidi, noted Poet and Critic professor Dr. Saadat Saeed says.

    Later, in cooperation with Molana Hamid Ali Khan, an Anjuman named as “Urdu-Subha” was established. This was frequently attended by Professor Pitras Bukhari, Khawaja Dr. Muhan Singh Dewana, Dr. Shanti Roop Bhatnagar, and Dil Muhammadm, Dr Saadat Saeed informed.
    Chai pe charcha

    It was a peak time for Lahore’s education and literature. The dawn of educational institutes emerged within the subcontinent while legendary and literary personalities from Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and many other cities of Punjab, moved towards the seat of learning in the region, i.e. Lahore.

    The major literary figures who migrated to Lahore included: Tajwar Najeeb Abadi, Muhammad Hussain Azad, Mufti Abdullah Tonki, Mahmood Terani, Mir Manzar Hussain Nazim Lakhnawi, Mirza Arshad Gorkani Dehlwi, Muhammad Shafi Qasuri, Muhammad Hassan Jalandhri, Sheikh Abdul Qadir, Professor Pitras Bukhari, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Daaket Abdullah, A-Hameed and Sufi Tabbasum.

    At the time of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the literary creativity and progress of the Indian Tea House were adversely affected. India was removed from the board of India Tea House and “Pak” was written over it, after the subcontinent’s partition, transforming the ‘India Tea House’ into “Pak Tea House”.

    Its reopening after the partition brought back writers and poets and this tea spot again became a centre of literature and education.

    Pak Tea House had embedded a pivotal mark by leaving a historical literary revolution and a memorable impression on fiction, novel, poetry, and myth writing. A-Hameed, a renowned Urdu fiction writer from Lahore, and an author of over 200 books has mentioned this tea house in his famous book “Lahore Ke Yadain,”.

    This was not just a tea cafe but had been signified as a literature hub and cultural centre, he writes. “My meetings with Nasir Kazmi, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shuhrat Bukhari, Anjum Romani, Munir Niazi, Qayyum Nazar, and Sajjad Rizvi were materialized here,” he writes.

    A-Hameed had written a famous novel on Pak Tea House titled “Dhoop or Shagoofay”; which starts and ends on Pak Tea House. This novel, narrating the glory of the tea house, displays a glimpse of the noted writers who were often used to work here.

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