Lahore remained one of the most enchanting cities of the subcontinent during the British Raj not just for its rich history, but also for its gardens and parks, scents and cuisine and, above all its educational institutions. Lahore’s pull has been so powerful that whoever lived – albeit temporarily – […]

Reading Pran Nevile’s Lahore in modern-day Pakistan

HAPPY DAYS Pran Nevile and his wife Savitri Pran Nevile’s memoir “Carefree Days: Many Roles, Many Lives” brings to fore several aspects of his personality Come October, Pran Nevile turns 94. Perhaps, he is the oldest surviving writer who is still at it! Nah, no crying halt to writing. This […]

In his prolific nineties…

R. V. SMITH India Gate gardens Photo PTI   | Photo Credit: PTI Ride back to the congestion and pollution free New Delhi with Pran Nevile latest book, “Carefree Days” The ambience of New Delhi in the 1940s was such that few cities could compete with it. Lutyens and Baker […]

The palmy days

The celebrated chronicler of pre-Partition Lahore, Pran Nevile, is already famous for his seminal book, Lahore: A Sentimental Journey. He has now published his memoirs which cover his very eventful long life. The author was born in a Hindu household of Lahore in 1922 in a rented house in Mohalla […]

Carefree Days: Many Roles, Many Lives

Lahore—Pran Nevile, an eminent Indian writer and author of “Lahore – a sentimental journey” Tuesday said Lahore is still Lahore; the beauty, magic and charm of this great historical city would never die. “Need-based developmental changes are not unnecessarily needed to be resisted or criticized, because they can’t change Lahore. […]

Beauty, charm of historical city would never die

Moderator Asif Noorani with author Pran Neville. PHOTO: EXPRESS ISLAMABAD: Even the most argumentative of sisters would come together when a nice song plays on the radio and perhaps tap their feet or do a little dance. Same is the story of India and Pakistan. Cinema, music and literature have always […]

Long lost love

BOOKS   The book is a rich repository of information about those who were responsible for Saigal’s becoming a singing sensation Pran Nevile has dedicated this book to “all those who love to hear K.L. Saigal”. The big question is: how many of them are still around? Saigal, hailed as […]

The fountainhead of Hindi film music

Abdullah Khan The Hindu Title: Sahib’s India, Vignettes from the Raj. Author: Pran Nevile TOPICS arts, culture and entertainment books and literature A fascinating look at the social lives of the British in colonial India. Pran Nevile’s Sahib’s India is a fascinating expedition into the social lives of British in […]

Days of the Raj

THIS ABOVE ALL: Khushwant Singh K.L. Saigal: complicated soul Pran Nevile has documented this in his K.L. Saigal: The Definitive Biography. He starts from Saigal’s birth in Jammu on April 11, 1904, and ends with his death in Jalandhar at the age of only 42. Saigal was a diabetic and […]


We’ve seen Devdas in all colours. But we barely know the actor who first brought Saratchandra Chatterjee’s famous character to screen. Actor-singer K L Saigal was the first superstar of the Hindi film industry, and thanks to author Pran Nevile, we get to know more about him in his biography, […]

The man who made Devdas popular

    Meeting her late grandfather’s best friend from college throws up some questions in a student’s mind By Zulekha Qizilbash A friendship that was forged on the first day of college and lasted a lifetime, that stood the test of time, despite the trials and tribulations thrown its way […]

Saeed and Pran

By Moazzam Husain AS two lovely looking girls riding bicycles overtook us, I saw one of them turn to us, then say something to the other. They both giggled as they rode away. Having travelled more than my fair share, the novelty of visiting exciting places had diminished with each […]

 A tale of two cities by: Ramachandra Guha I first visited Lahore in 1995, illegally. I was attending a conference in Islamabad, and had a visa for that city alone. But I was determined to get to Lahore. I had grown up in a town in north India inundated with refugees from Pakistan’s Punjab. […]

Lahore stays linked to its past

Humra Quraishi   PRAN Nevile seems passionately obsessed with the bygone era. For some reason or other, this retired civil servant is rather fascinated by the past and with the characters who had then held sway. This is amply evident from the volumes that he has authored. The titles of […]

Poetic melodies from the past

April 5, 2008 · Khalid Hasan writing for the Friday Times I first came upon Pran Nevile when Saeed Ahmed Khan, a gentleman from Lahore, whom I unfortunately never met but with whom I used to correspond, told me about him. He said the two of them were classmates back […]

Romancing the city of Lahore

Staff Report LAHORE: Pran Neville, an Indian author, recalled his memories of the time spent at the Government College University (GCU) and said it was an unforgettable part of his life. He said, “70 years ago, I entered the GCU as a student of the first year, and now I […]

A journey into 1940s Lahore

Pran Neviles book Marvels of Indian Painting/Rise and Demise of Company School chronicles the efforts of Indian artists in the Moghul era, says R.V. SMITH   The Turkish Sultana of Akbars reign is still remembered because of the palace named after her in Fatehpur Sikri. She must have been very […]

Paintings bring Moghul Delhi alive

Writer Pran Nevile revisits the city of sin and splendour Paromita Chakrabarti Pran Nevile barely looks his age as he briskly strides out of the India International Centre library in Delhi, clutching a handful of paperbacks. “This is the one,” the octogenarian points to the third edition of his book […]

Lahore Lost and Found

By IE Sunday June 3, 03:14 AM Pran Nevile, a former diplomat and founder of K.L. Saigal Memorial Society, continues to enthrall the old and young with musical tales of the past Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, Dulari Bai, Kamla Jharia. As he mentions the names of these legends-the next project he is […]

Notes of nostalgia 

Pran Nevile is versatile. Having finished with diplomatic assignments and globe-trotting he’s got down to putting his reminiscences on paper. His first love is Lahore, the city in which he was born and educated. So he writes a nostalgic Lahore: A Sentimental Journey. Of Lahore, his most vivid memories are […]

Sahibs and nautch girls

  By Ishtiaq Ahmed  I spent a week recently in the Indian capital, Delhi, in connection with the very last interviews for my book on the partition of the Punjab in 1947. Coming to Delhi has always been like coming back almost home. Since my childhood has been spent entirely […]

Delhi and Lahore twins?

By Ishtiaq Ahmed I spent a week recently in the Indian capital, Delhi, in connection with the very last interviews for my book on the partition of the Punjab in 1947. Coming to Delhi has always been like coming back almost home. Since my childhood has been spent entirely in […]

Delhi and Lahore twins?

The revised edition of Pran Nevile’s new book on his hometown is now available As the revised edition of Pran Nevile’s “Lahore – A Sentimental Journey” (Penguin) is formally released this Friday by Shahid Malik, Pakistan’s High Commissioner, there are a few aspects worth noticing. One must admit Pran Nevile […]

Lahore revisited

B. N. Goswamy K. L. Saigal: Immortal Singer and Superstar by Pran Nevile. Variety Book Depot, New Delhi. Pages 199. Rs 2,500. Almost at the very beginning of this feelingly written account of the life and work of K.L. Saigal, Pran Nevile reproduces a page of advertisement from The Tribune, dated […]

His golden voice