The amazing history of the Mumbai estate that is now Shah Rukh Khan’s Mannat

Shah Rukh Khan greets his fans from his home Mannat in Mumbai

the Joan The fever has swept the entire country and how. Atlee’s output has been minted over Rs. 500 Crores at the global box office. Shah Rukh Khan, the man of the moment, is receiving love from all over the world. Amid all the mania and excitement around Shah Rukh Khan’s record-breaking film, The Paperclip, a digital media house, has narrowed down the “strange connection” between the star and a “group of people” who helped shape art in modern India. In a thread on the website Among them was a man who fled Nazi-occupied Austria.

In later tweets, The Paperclip told the story that began with “two houses, one called Vienna Villa, now a place of pilgrimage, standing on the bandstand in Bandra; the other, almost next to it, known as Kiki Manzil, a place of artistic texture and little Of important history.

In the 19th century, the Raja of Mandi Bijay Sen built an estate for his wife on the bandstand, which is said to have been called ‘Vienna Villa’.

“Once upon a time, both houses were owned by members of the same family. To get to the bottom of this story, we need to go to the latter part of the 19th century when the 16th Raja of Mandi, Bijay Sen, is supposed to have built an estate for his wife in the bandstand The musical. At that time, Bombay, as it was called, was a mere shadow of what it is today. But even then, the bandstand was a beauty to behold. “Raja’s estate was supposed to be called Vienna Villa,” the post read. .

After Bijay Sen’s death, the property was reportedly sold to a “Persian man” Maneki Patliwala, who was the maternal grandfather of Kaikhushru Minucher Gandhi, known as Kiko Gandhi.

Who is Kiko Gandhi? According to the media house, he was “born into a Parsi family that worked in the tobacco trade.” Kiko was first educated at the Cathedral and John Conon School in Bombay and later went to Cambridge University.

“The story is not just about Keiko Gandhi,” Paperclip reported, adding that a fine painter from Austria fled to Bombay amid tensions in 1938 in Europe, especially among the Jewish community.

“In 1938, tensions were rising in Europe, especially among the Jewish community as they were being mercilessly persecuted by the Nazis. At that time, Walter Langhammer, a good painter from Austria, decided to flee to Bombay, because of his anti-Nazi tendencies and because his wife was Jewish.” The publication added: “In Bombay, thanks to his connections and deep knowledge of art, he was appointed artistic director of the Times of India.”

It is said that “Walter Langhammer and Kiko Gandhi met at social gatherings in an art circle and bonded immediately. Kiko was impressed by Walter Langhammer’s knowledge and enthusiasm for Indian art.

In the early 1940s, Kiko Gandhi also met “a gentleman from Belgium, Roger Van Damme. Roger’s father was a traditional tire maker. Roger’s idea that India would be a great market to sell tires immediately struck Kekoo.

After his meetings with Langhammer and Roger, “Kiko Gandhi and his brother Rossi Gandhi decided to start a company manufacturing picture frames in 1941. Its name was Chemical Mold Manufacturing Company, which was later shortened to just Chemold.”

“But Kiko Gandhi did not just want to set up a business to make a profit. He saw that Indian artists were staying on the side of the road with little or no space to sell their art and earn a living. So, it became his lifelong struggle to provide that space for them.

Kiko Gandhi is said to have “wandered around the country trying to find the best young talent, create exhibition spaces, lobby various institutes to open their doors and encourage more Indian artists”.

According to reports, Kiko Gandhi played a crucial role in the formation of the Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art in Bombay. He was also instrumental in establishing the Lalit Kala Academy. Kekoo “will also open his own house, Kekee Manzil, for emerging young artists including the likes of MF Hussain.”

Kiko Gandhi claimed that Ratan Tata’s father, Naval Tata, was so generous that he once bought 10-12 paintings. Meanwhile, in the 1950s, Kekoo’s tire business became the largest in Asia. In 1963, he established the Chemold Gallery on the first floor of the Jehangir Art Gallery.

According to Paperclip magazine, “It was India’s first commercial art gallery. Throughout his life, Kiko was doing the things he loved, creating a space where many young minds over the years blossomed and became something big.”

His daughter Behroze released a documentary on the life of Kiko Gandhi in 2020.

As reported by The Paperclip, Kiko Gandhi’s father bought the plot of land next to the Vienna Villa. He created a “huge, sprawling palace” and named it Kekoo, Kekee Manzil. As a young boy, Kiko had access to both houses, which were located next to each other.

However, Kiko’s maternal grandfather was unable to keep the Vienna Villa; It was passed on to his sister who, according to the digital media house, eventually sold it to a promoter. Years later, Shah Rukh Khan bought the property and converted it into what is now called Mannat.

At the launch of his wife Gauri Khan’s coffee table book My Life in Design, Shah Rukh Khan shared that when he bought the bungalow “it was kind of broken”. Read the full interview here.

(Tags for translation) Shah Rukh Khan

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