One of the major landmarks of this city (1 out of the 600 buildings officially protected under the heritage foundation) is the Quaid-e-azam house. Unfortunately, it is not visited that often by the masses, many dont even know where its located.
Pop Quiz: Where is the Quaid-e-Azam House located in Karachi?
My first visit to this place was way back in 1997, when my mom and her friend decided to give us kids a touch of culture. Back then, the place was undergoing renovations and closed to public. We made up a story of visiting here from South Africa, and really wanting to see it.. and begged the curator to take us around. He agree’d and we got ourselves a grand tour into the life of Quaid.
The moment you enter the grounds, you are astounded by the expansiveness of the place. A large driveway leads upto the house, surrounded on both sides with gardens with well trimmed shrubs and other decorations. Once you enter into the house, it gives you the same feeling of nostalgia you get when entering any old building in karachi. The architecture inside is of small corridors leading to rooms with high ceilings. Furniture crammed everywhere, and a lot of display cases showing the items belonging to the Father of the Nation. These items were brought in from his other houses in Bombay and Dehli, since he ever had the chance to live here for long. It gives a unique perspective into ones life, an intimate connection with the past when you go through a display as personal as this. You see the writing desk, from where the Quaid wrote to various leaders supporting the muslim movement, you see the books he reffered to when fighting cases in court, and you see the drawing room setting (which we were told is in the exact state till now) of where he greeted both freedom fighters and british lords. You see paitings which he must’ve stared at while deep in thought and you see even the crockery used at that time for both personal and official meals.
You go around the backdoor, and visit a large courtyard, on which the annexe was built later. Here you see stables for horses, parking garages and the servant quarters.
All in all, it is quite an experience. I would definitely urge more people to go visit this place, and get a feel of what a part of our history is about.
Image courtest of InstecDigital