Heritage home of Sindhi Hindu Family in Hyderabad saved from period

This intrigued story begins in Hawai’i and terminates in Hyderabad, covers half a century, involves a death danger and pyromania, twenty seven heirs, Rs. 28 million and a contented happy ending.

If all implemented according to the strategy in December, the 79 year old Indru Watumull will tour from her house in Hawai’i to look her family house in Hyderabad at Mukhi Mahal, whose infrastructure has been 95% repaired after the 5 decades of ignorance. She told, “Every day I hear something occurring in Pakistan, I would think what is happened to Mukhi House.”

Mukhi House was established in 1920 by popular Hyderabad personality Mukhi Jethanand. “Mukhi desired a real and natural palace”, elaborates Kaleemullah Lashari belonging to the Department of Antiquities and the one-man army who been operating for 5 years to reconstruct it. Indeed, Dharam, one of the Mukhi family daughters who have astonishingly sharp memories of the palace even at the age of 95, labels to it as “Mukhi Palace” and not “home” as the memorial tablet says outside.

The photograph has two handwritten dates: 1921 and 1923. It appears to have been taken shortly after it was built. PHOTO COURTESY: SURESH K. BHAVNANI
The photograph has two handwritten dates: 1921 and 1923. It appears to have been taken shortly after it was built. PHOTO COURTESY: SURESH K. BHAVNANI

Regrettably, Lashari’s investigations of municipal archives and interviews with the members of family did not generate the name of architect. But this much is clean and clear: The Home contains all the trappings of a palace. It was established in a Renaissance traditional style, but has powerful impacts from art deco in the style of murals, art nouveau through the glass windows of stain and the Elegant in the form of its column. And it looks spectacular.

Entire Lashari had were sixteen pictures to thoroughly reestablish its interior. The house had suffered from ill treatment that interacted with the exodus of Hindus after the separation. When Mukhi Jethanand left the world in 1927, the house was left for his 2 sons and widow. Although in 1957, they family was gone as they were provided reasons to trust that they would be assassinated. “One of the mates who were intrigued in the agricultural landscapes in Matiari,” elaborates Lashari. The haris were utilized to spread the proposed rumor that their lives were in risk.

The interior of Mukhi House today. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS
The interior of Mukhi House today. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

The evacuated house was captured by revenue and evacuee officials who deployed shop there. At one side, the stuff from the politicians set fire to it thrice in a purpose to occupy it. Deputation of paramilitary rangers were arranged to secure the place but this did not worked out. “They began to abuse to building,” asserts Lashari. “They would break out the frame of window and utilize that wood for fires to keep themselves warm during winters.”

The home was given to Khadija Girls High Scholl after the rangers. It was at that aspect when Lashari interfered. The school was moved. But after implementing the work of ground for 2 years, the physical reconstruction initiated in 2009 and is greatly finalized today.

After half a century, the government plans to reopen the site as a museum. PHOTO: FILE
After half a century, the government plans to reopen the site as a museum. PHOTO: FILE

Lashari lashed in trainees from the Benazir Bhutto Youth Support Policy who skilled about the heritage and maintenance in the strategy. They cleaned out many layers of paint gently and steadily to disclose traces of the frescos and murals. They reestablished the styles by tracing them and then the work was completed by master artisan. Lashari got a 2 year extension on the project, whose 2nd part involves achieving material, artifacts, tools and documents to establish the Museum of Recent History. He has just send letter of invitation to Indru Watumull to visit Pakistan and is very excited to see her for the very first time after having been in contact through emails. “Her recollections will be very significant proof in reestablishing the environment,” he claimed.

Twenty-seven heirs of Mukhi Jethanand, who involve his brother Mukhi Gobindharam’s kids like Indru, have granted permission for the home to be inaugurated as a museum to the visitors on the condition that if the authorities of government tries to capture it and utilize it for any other things, they will occupy it back.

Indru Watumull and her husband Gulab Watumull leafing through photographs of Mukhi House in Hawai’i this summer. PHOTO: MAHIM MAHER/EXPRESS
Indru Watumull and her husband Gulab Watumull leafing through photographs of Mukhi House in Hawai’i this summer. PHOTO: MAHIM MAHER/EXPRESS

When Indru will come back in a month or so, she will be overloaded with her memories from when she was thirteen year old. When it was use to rain, they had come back from the school and have enjoyment on the floor of marble on the openly wide verandas. “They would interestedly become slippery and you would obviously slip and slide!” She will discover the floors the same merely today. The verandas on they where they were used to rest on rolled out mattresses when it was too sunny. She will be capable to walk their length and identify how poppadams were placed to dry there. Her only work was to alter their side as a kid.

This photograph was taken when future prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, and his wife, visited Mukhi House. It is dated 1931. PHOTO COURTESY: SURESH K. BHAVNANI
This photograph was taken when future prime minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, and his wife, visited Mukhi House. It is dated 1931. PHOTO COURTESY: SURESH K. BHAVNANI

Probably her memories about the parties with butlers, large pots of biryani and an annual’s provision of rosewater will assist Lashari add stuff to the museum. She even remembers how Nehru once toured, as the vague pictures prove. And the after, there were pretty Muslim ladies who would approach in burqas for the parties, but after that they took it off in the room of women, would visualize breathtaking and beautifully adorned. Probably she will keep the memories for the future generations to lead it forward.

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