Bowling Stone, Gymkhana Cricket Pavilion, Lahore
27 February 2013
In keeping with the English cricketing tradition, a pavilion was required for the purpose. Civil engineer G. Stone, who was at this time involved in the design and construction of a number of government buildings in Lahore, was called upon to design the cricket pavilion. Clearly a man who did not see eye-to-eye with promoters of the vernacular arts such as Lockwood Kipling, whose contemporary he was, Stone was a strait-jacketed English traditionalist.
Note: This story first appeared in Stones of Empire - Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) book of days 2013.
posted by Salman Rashid @ 9:27 AM,
- At February 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM, Nayyar Julian said...
I have spent many long afternoons sitting here contemplating life. Some peaceful place in crowdy Lahore.
- At March 3, 2013 at 5:55 PM, M Behzad Jhatial said...
A comprehensive account.... well written.. would love to see more from you Sir...
- At September 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM, said...
I find it highly amusing how people tend to lay wholesome claims against their small contributions to a cause or project. It usually happens where the thing or monument has gained some national or historical significance. Everyone, no matter how remotely connected with the project, then starts projecting himself / herself as its sole designer-creator. Some people are essentially great boasters and they exaggerate out of habit; some do it out of genuine pride; and some few in a bid to take credit for self-promotion. Mostly, in my view, fall in the second category. I once met a laborer who had worked on Tarbela (dam) construction. He narrated his contribution in the following words: Aa Tarbela meray hutha'n da bunyiaa ae (this Tarbela dam was constructed by my own hands). Casual and boastful, yet innocent!
Similarly, the other day a draftsman who moonlights as a small contractor and who I had hired for installing window grills at my house in Bahria Town, confided to me: Ae Baeriya sara mein design kar ka ditta ay Malk Riaz noo' (it was I who designed this whole Bahria Project for Malik Riaz). He then hastened to clarify: Sara idea ee mera see (the entire project was my brainchild). See?
So in the pavilion's case too, it is just possible that Mr Ram Singh also acted in one of the above three ways. Except that his boast, claim, or whisper was picked up by the winds (or minions) and thus carried away to the annals of history.
- At September 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM, Salman Rashid said...
Very astute observation. Though, it must be said, that Bhai Ram Singh did turn out as a great architect in the end. However, to credit him with this when he was still a student is a bit far-fetched.