You are currently viewing This direction to Chhatta Shaikh Mangloo, Delhi

This direction to Chhatta Shaikh Mangloo, Delhi

It emerges from the Jama Masjid’s shadow like a nadi (river). However, a passerby on the street won’t notice anything of the impressive mosque. Chhatta Shaikh Mangloo is surrounded by tall buildings and bustles with people. A man is stumbling about this afternoon with a car door; the whereabouts of the remainder of the car are unknown. There are so many stores on the street that are packed with extra car parts. A trader points to the jumble of metal trinkets in the shop and says, “This is a self-starter, this is an altimotor [altimeter], that is a viper machine, those are inner parts.”

A few decades ago, the street saw the emergence of the spare auto parts business. It used to be lined with havelis, each kept in an own enclosure. the Din Duniya House, for instance. Din Duniya was an Urdu weekly established in 1921 by the patriarch of the haveli, Shokat Ali Fehmi, and it was housed in that lovely mansion of terraces, balconies, corridors, and staircases. He was one of Shaikh Mangloo’s most illustrious citizens and wrote 43 books on history and religion, the majority of which are still available. The publication looked at politics and society. During the volatile years surrounding the Partition, its publishing was put on hold. It eventually changed into a monthly journal. Shokat Ali passed away in 1993, yet his haveli’s Din Duniya kept on operating.

The courtyard of the haveli was filled with the whining of two printing machines one afternoon many seasons ago—one hand-fed, circa 1985, and the other automatic, circa 1996. Din Duniya’s most recent issue was being printed. One of the four sons of the founder and editor-printer-publisher at the time, Asif Fehmi, was seated in an adjacent auditorium. In addition to writing an editorial and editing the tales submitted by the magazine’s two independent writers, he was also reviewing proof copies and sipping tea. At the time, it seemed as though Din Duniya would never end. Since the Covid lockdowns, the printers are now lying idle. The amiable Arshad Fehmi, Shokat Ali’s other son, rebuilt the Din Duniya House during the epidemic. The expansive roof of the new structure provides a breathtaking vista of the Jama Masjid.

The haveli of the late Aziz Shafi, a judge who was known to the Shaikh Mangloo populace as “judge saab,” is located further down the street, past the Just For You guesthouse. There is a noteworthy landmark in the haveli. The street is known as a “Chhatta” because it includes two chhattas, a type of bridge, that span over the street at two different locations (see photo). The late Nazam Faiz Ahmad’s haveli, which is located on the opposite side of the street, is connected to Nawab House by chhattas. The purdah-bound women of the two havelis visited one another through the tunnels.

A side alley that leads to a maze of entrances is located in front of Nawab House. An unnamed fakir’s burial is located inside a locked yard. Shaikh Mangloo was him.

Source- Hindustan times

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