Monday, February 18, 2013

1973 : Amongst the believers

Islam as a religion (more as a political movement) has its shares of downs. Intolerance of another idea (Rushdie or the Cartoons) being one of its most infamous…..


There is something eternally fascinating (and endearing) about its music, its people’s devotion, simple acts like the sajda  and just the heart of  its people.

As I walked into one of the poorest neighborhoods of Bangalore, a traditional Muslim ghetto, I was greeted by sights and smells of dirt, grease and grime.

And yet…..

As I walked around, lost and searching for something….I have never heard more polite voices answer my question. Every single person, who I stopped and asked for directions, was covered in grime, and yet he/she paused, smiled, their eyes lit up, and they answered me in a language of utmost respect and politeness. (probably the urdu equivalent of lihaz)

I came out of the ghetto, feeling very humbled…and yet cared for. I did not feel insecure, instead I felt as if their world would happily envelop me.

I am an atheist, but sometimes do feel strongly that this religion is maligned, misunderstood…al because a petty handful, give the many a very bad name.

PS : My mom speaks very fondly of her trips to Lahore and Karachi. She would relate to this.

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