Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lahore ki Lakshmi

Lakshmi Insurance Building, Bombay
This is the Lakshmi Insurance Building on Pherozshah Mehta Road, opposite Bombay Store. It has a clock tower with a statue of the goddess Lakshmi.
Why am I calling it Lahore ki Lakshmi? Because the Lakshmi Insurance Company was originally founded in Lahore by Lala Lajpatrai. This building was the Bombay branch of the company (later merged with the Life Insurance Corporation).
There is also a Lakshmi Building in Lahore, which was the headquarters of the insurance company. In fact, the crossroads at which the building is located in Lahore is called Lakshmi Chowk.
Lakshmi Chowk in Lahore was a popular hangout for Bollywood celebrities and hopefuls, because many studios and movie offices were located there. The famous villian Pran got cast in a movie when he was hanging out at Lakshmi Chowk at a paan shop :) Apparently a director named Wali spotted him, and scribbled the address of a studio on the back of a cigarette packet. Thus began Pran's journey into films.
Dev Anand, Balraj Sahni, Mohammed Rafi, Om Prakash, Pran... all these major Bollywood stars hung out in Lahore's Lakshmi Chowk. And eventually migrated to Bombay to find fame and fortune here. 
Lahore's loss was Bombay's gain.
The cutest Art Deco Elephants in Mumbai


Isabella said...

Nice and very helpful article, thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

My grandfather Mr MeenakshiSundaram (1903 - 1984) was a Regional Manager in Lakshmi Insurance company. He was awarded a gold medal for his performance and went to Lahore to collect it. Cant remember the year. But we keep the gold medal (16g) for Varalakshmi Vradham prayer every year. I am 62 now and remember my grandfather with pride.
N. Balasundaram, Singapore.

Anwar iqbal said...

I am from karachi pakistan. Karachi also have one lakshmi building belongs lakshmi insurance company in 1947. It was the tallest bulilding of karachi at that time
Anwar iqbal

Anonymous said...

Recently I was going through some old papers of my father and grandfather and came across a document (policy) of Laxmi Insurance company. My grandmother was a policy holder.