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A home in Pakistan was designed by Deewan Basheswarnath

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A home in Pakistan was designed by Deewan Basheswarnath, the grandfather of Raj Kapoor.

Houses and their storeys the home was designed between 1918-1922 by Deewan Basheswarnath, the grandfather of Raj Kapoor. Initially from what is now Faisalabad, Pakistan, he was a security guard in British India. He remains posted in Peshawar, however, for quite some time.

Prithviraj Kapoor, the son of Basheswarnath, was one of the first major stars of Hindi cinema. He went on to Mumbai in the late 1920s for greener pastures after making a name for himself in local plays. Raj Kapoor was born in the very same house on 14 December 1924. Shakeel Waheedullah, chairman of the Peshawar Cultural Heritage Board, said the iconic actor’s family had returned to the house to sell it a few times before the partition.

It had saved the house from being destroyed by a jeweller who decided to ruin it and create a shopping centre in its place, the heritage group said. “The house also lost its top two storeys, and when the provincial archaeology department moved in to avoid the demolition, the owner threatened detention,” Waheedullah said. In 1990, both Kapoor’s sons, Rishi and Randhir, visited the house. People in Peshawar lit candles when he died this year and mourned his demise.

Dilip Kumar, unknown to us, was born in 1911 as Muhammed Yusuf Khan. His father, who was a fruit merchant, designed his home. Waheedullah said that his father was compelled by financial setbacks to move to Mumbai, where the family wanted to gain more. In 1930, Kumar’s father sold his Peshawar house for the amount of 5,000 rupees. It has been sold several times since then and is now being used as a warehouse.

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