A place where stars were born
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A place where stars were born

Peshawar is known not just for hospitality and Kalashnikovs, but also as the birthplace of many a Bollywood legend.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2006 12:38 IST

This rugged northwestern Pakistani city is known not just for great hospitality and kalashnikovs, but also as the birthplace of legendary Indian film actors Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj Kapoor and Dilip Kumar, while Shah Rukh Khan's original home is also here.

The ancestral homes of the Kapoor clan, Dilip Kumar, or Yusuf Khan his original name, and Shah Rukh Khan are still intact and their families still live there. And, by an amazing coincidence, all three houses are in the same vicinity— not far from the Arbab Niaz Stadium where the first India-Pakistan one-day international will be played on Monday.

A visit to the area revealed that the three houses have retained their original architecture and that family members of Dilip Kumar and Shah Rukh Khan still live there, while the house of the Kapoors is now under the nazim, or administrator, after the family migrated to Mumbai following the partition of the country in 1947.

Dilip Kumar's original home in the Qasba Khwani area is a three-storey building in a small by-lane that has withstood the ravages of time and weather. A huge wooden, old-fashioned door, which also bears the registration number of the gas pipeline used for cooking purposes like elsewhere in the city, welcomes you.

As a child, Dilip Kumar attended madrassa Anjuman Himayat-ul-Islam, founded in 1890, before migrating to India. The madrassa is now called Government Middle School. Dilip Kumar visited the school in 1988 in connection with a blood donation event organised by an NGO, said a school teacher.

A few metres away from Qasba Khwani is Shauli Qatal Street, where the original house of Shah Rukh Khan's father, late Taj Mohammed, stands. His family members still live in the house, which largely resembles Dilip Kumar's. One of Shah Rukh Khan's cousins has a bamboo business just outside the house.

Shah Rukh's father and Prithviraj Kapoor had graduated from the city's Edwards College, which is also close by.

The Kapoors lived in Dhakinal Bandi, an area just a few metres away from Shah Rukh Khan's house. The original house of the Kapoor family still stands erect and is largely in good condition.

"It has now been taken over by the nazim and is open to members of the public who want to go inside and see the building," said a local man, who added that earlier there was a bag-manufacturing factory in the building.

First Published: Feb 05, 2006 12:38 IST