City Museums – TDF Ghar

One of the most Insta-friendly landmarks in the city. Chances are that you may have seen it already in your insta-feed. Chances are that you will start seeing it in photo shoots and commercials. The shoots and commercials which feature bored models draped in identical summer prints or over enthusiastic housewives endorsing groceries.

The Dawood Foundation (TDF) Ghar has been restored lovingly by Dawood Foundation. The house was built in 1930s and belonged to Hanibai Motiram who later sold it to Dawood family’s ancestors. The house is situated in Jamshed Quarters and easily accessible through M.A. Jinnah road. Jamshed Quarters was envisioned by then Mayor and philanthropist, Jamshed Nusserwanjee as home for growing middle class of Karachi. The area still boast many such beautiful houses but they are paving way for new structures. Ever increasing traffic on M.A. Jinnah road and the required infrastructure has not helped the residents of the area. There is a big petrol pump right next to TDF ghar and a flyover is being built right close to its entrance. It requires a lot of courage to invest in creating public space in such area.

The living room downstairs is lovingly decorated. The furniture and other collectibles such as typewriter, chess set, vintage books create an aura which have been lost in modern day living. You enter ‘Sehan Cafe’ as you walk out from the living room. The ambiance changes as you find bentwood chairs and marble top tables there. These days the cafe serves breakfast (traditional halwa puri) on weekends. The staircase take you to the top where there are few rooms, all empty except for few benches. First floor is built in the same tradition with high ceiling, lots of windows and colorful mosaic tiles. The rooftop has clear view of Quaid’s mausoleum and perhaps would be a perfect place to hangout during evenings.

There are plans to utilize the space for cultural activities and it needs to be done soon. TDF Ghar has made the right noise but there is not any reason to come back to it. Karachi is in dire need of public spaces and if TDF Ghar aims to generate dialogue using its premises, a lot of non-commercial activities need to be happening.

TDF Ghar is open from 10 am to 10 pm. The entrance fee is 50 rupees.

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Categories: City Museums

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