Salman Rushdie's ancestral house in Himachal damaged

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HimVani

Solan: The gate of British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie’s ancestral house in Solan suffered some damage when a big eucalyptus tree fell over it following recent heavy rains, the house caretaker said today.

Govind Ram, the local caretaker of Rushdie’s house christened as Anees Villa, said, “The 150-foot-tall tree fell on the main gate on Thursday, blocking passage to the villa.” He said he informed the civic authorities today but they showed no inclination to remove the tree. “I will try to get it removed by employing labourers on Saturday morning,” said Ram, who has been taking care of the villa since 1997.

Built in 1927, the villa was purchased by Mohammad Uldin, grandfather of Salman. When the Rushdies left for Pakistan, the government declared it an evacuee property and transferred it to the revenue department. Salman Rushdie’s father, Maulvi Anees Ahmad, gifted it to his son in 1969 and Rushdie put a claim to it in 1992. After being convinced, the then deputy commissioner, Shrikant Baldi, granted the property back to Salman Rushdie in 1997.

Rushdie was keen to develop it as a writers’ retreat.

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