The Legends of Peshawar
Dhakki is a town and union council of Charsadda District. It is comprised of narrow streets and passageways near the famous Qissa Khwani Bazaar. Enclosed in a 200m radius of this area, are the family homes of three of Bollywood's most coveted actors, Shah Rukh Khan, Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
A maze of streets makes its way up the hill to the house of Raj Kapoor, the biggest showman of India in the 1950s, who acted and produced in several hit films including Awaara and Jis Desh main Ganga Behti Hai.
Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj’s father, was a pioneer of Indian theatre and of the Hindi film industry, who started his career as an actor in the silent era of Hindi cinema. The Kapoor clan shifted to Mumbai in the 1930s, and their infrequent trips to Peshawar came to a complete halt after the divide of the subcontinent.
His generations can be traced down from his sons Rishi Kapoor and Rajiv Kapoor to Kareena Kapoor Khan and Ranbir Kapoor. The mansion they lived in had three stories with curved windows and terraces. It’s an empty place now, as it hasn’t been renovated. However, there is a certain celebration of memories in the air there.
Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home is close by. The megastar’s house has been converted into a warehouse for storing clothes as the house has become ragged and there are cobwebs everywhere.
The famous actor’s career has spanned over six decades and with over 60 films for which he has received numerous awards including 9 Film fares.
Kumar and Kapoor were part of the same era of filmmaking. Present legend Shahrukh Khan’s ancestry can also be traced back to Peshawar where his father, Taj Mohammad Khan, was born and raised.
Khan remembers many visits to Peshawar when he was a teenager to visit his father’s side of the family. His cousin Noor Jehan, who occasionally visits Khan in Mumbai, still lives in their family home in Dhakki.
Peshawar enjoys being home to many other past Bollywood sensations including Madhubala, The venus of Indian cinema. She moved to Delhi as a child with her family when her father lost his job in Peshawar.
Vinod Khanna, another Peshawar prodigy, lit the screens with movies like Hera Pheri and Muqaddar ka sikander back in the 70’s and 80’s.
Surinder Kapoor, a film producer who started the second Kapoor clan, was also born in Peshawar. His sons Anil Kapoor and Boney Kapoor ruled the entertainment industry for quite some time. Their children Sonam and Arjun Kapoor are one of today’s most popular Bollywood Stars.
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