LAHORE-Pristine, white marble fountains spouting crystal clear water, the droplets throwing playful shadows on walls adorning beautiful kashikari blue tiles, the Syed Wajid Ali Haveli is a hidden gem in Lahore’s Old City.

It is a utopia for the old artisans hailing from centuries old households that were once revered for their skills in art, music and dance. After a brief break due to the Holy month of Ramazan and then Eid, Dr Mahdi on July 8 magnanimously flung open the door to her haveli once again to welcome the artistes to perform live and showcase their talents before the audience.

An evening was organised at the haveli where local musicians, singers and dancers showcased their talents in the hope of being noticed and earning a livelihood while simultaneously giving their art a deeper form of respect. Traditional forms of music such as drumming on a ‘matka’, classical ‘raags’, and tabla playing in classical forms were performed.

The evening was filled with one impressive act after another, with brief intermissions which consisted of esteemed personalities including Justice Nasira Iqbal and Imran Peerzada being asked to comment on the evening and talk about the necessity for the Old City to be restored to its former glory as a hub of culture. “We want to create a sense of community, something for them to be proud of,” says Dr Niloufer Mahdi, daughter of the late Syed Wajid Ali and owner of the haveli.

Dr Mahdi is no stranger to the world of music. As president of the All Pakistan Music Conference, she has poured her efforts into reviving music and creating platform after platform for music and dance to take root in a region that fast seems to be forgetting its cultural history.