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Monday, January 12, 2009

A Hindu Ascetic, A Muslim Mystic: Communal Harmony Project-9

It was a dull winter day last month when I had first seen these two men--one wearing a saffron robe, the other in a green garb, sitting together in a park.

I just wanted to be with myself and had decided to go to a park all alone, staying away from office, Internet and the never-ending works.

It was then that I saw the duo sitting leisurely. It was around a week later that I again visited the same park and saw them. A vendor was selling traditional salted white papads that are made of rice along with 'Gur-laiya ke laddoos'.

I bought them and sat with the duo, offering them the laddoos. The conversation began. Bhagat Ji looks after the samadhi of his guru while Baba is caretaker of a mazaar and a Khanqah (hospice) near it. Sick of endless debates over communalism and politics after the Mumbai terror attacks, it was a relief to meet the duo--who sit at the same place every day in the afternoon.

Bhagat Ji has interesting tales to tell. He speaks about his guru and his last moments when he took samadhi. He also told me story about a Nawab who had later become a Sufi and after his death, still seen walking around his mazaar where he comes to attend the weekly Thursday night assembly of 'murshads'.

But more than their mysticism, it is the harmony of their beliefs, that pulls you. They are totally at peace with themselves and the world around.

And what strikes me more is the 'naked non-bookish wisdom', the ability to see that the history of wars and strifes have been as old as human life on this planet.

That they don't get charged up and take positions on the basis of their religions. Both believe in God and see no contradiction in each others' beliefs.

padshahi se hai faqiirii ka paaya baala
boriyaa chhoD kyuuN takht-e-SulemaaN manguuN

It is this Indian tolerance and mysticism that has driven this nation though toughest periods in history, not the 'spirit' preached on hysterical TV channels. We see amplified images of every emotion, forgetting that our true strengh and resilience lies in our millions of towns and villages and the countless--Bhagat Jis and Khanqah Wale Babas, who live side by side and in perfect harmony.

Though they had invited me, I couldn't go to see the Tazia taken out in the locality. They are closely involved with the making of tazia and the accompanying riutals. Incidentally, that Tazia is also taken out by descendants of a Hindu family.

In fact, it is these people who give you the glimpse of the real India and the beliefs of the ordinary Indians who remain unaffected by rabble-rousers. They are so close to us but we just don't see them as we are stuck in the rot of our lifestyles where we see every thing through TV and newspapers.

They are not like self-styled godmen who preach against materialism on TV but want both disciples and dough. Rather, they are satisfied in their lives, quietly.The educated may fight like cats and dogs but they smoke with the same 'chilam'. Bhagat Ji passes it to Baba who leaves a thick fog of smoke, as I left.

Sheikh Kaaba ho ke poNhcha, ham kanisht-e-dil meN ho ke
Dard! Manzil ek thii Tuk raah hii kaa pher thaa

[Harmony exists all around us but is often ignored. Instead, stories of hate, discord and communalism get spread easily.

There are a million examples in our daily lives across India but they don't get promoted, hence, news of hate and discord gets heard more. Let's change it, now. This is a small attempt to change it through Communal Harmony Project]

For reading similar reports on this blog, Click the link HERE and also find out more about Communal Harmony Project

#communalharmony #communalharmonyproject #india


Langoo said...

Nice theme. I see, much education without empathy is not taking us humans in the right direction.

Pinku said...

thank you so much...its such a relief to see such a picture of harmony in these turbulent times.

zakir said...

nice one...

Kagaz ki kashti said...

When these two Hindu-Muslim can be so friendly & united, why can't the others too?

Thanks for the post & pics....felt good.

jai said...

It happens only in india !!!
Therefore "Mera Bharat Mahan"

election wala anon said...

isi baat pe happy makar sankranti/pongal/lohdi ho jaye!!!

indscribe said...

Langoo, Pinku, Zakir: Thanks for appreciating the post.

Kagaz ki Kashti: Yes, a good question. The mass media needs to play its role well in educating people that how ridiculous things they fight for and what should they really stand for.

Jai, Anon: thanks. As Makar Sankranti comes, I smell the Laddoos. My friends have already sent. :)

Anonymous said...

The two who share their joys and bear the sufferings are truly combined to lead a true and peaceful life.

Lucknowite said...

This was largely a characteristic of Indian society and still is up to some extent. A composite culture where people were tolerant to each others faith yet remained devout to their respective faiths. Society however moving into 21st century has become more reserved on cross-faith matters now. Persicution is evedent. Alas!Tolerance is limited to the people who are recluse like the protagonists in your post!

Prachi said...

Indeed ... this "'naked non-bookish wisdom" is deeply moving... so is your writing.. "Jab ki tuz bin nahee koee Maujood... Phir yeh hangama.. E Khuda kya hai??" Well.. Here we are.. dealing the task of being more aware, more responsible, more encompassing beings.. Indians.