Thursday, August 22, 2013

2067 : Adab aur adaa

So the other day, I walked up with my mom to a hidden dargah near Haji Ali. She is of course the walking talking expert on everything Mumbai, and she knew the secrets of the dargah which she explained to me in great detail.

As mom and me sat at the entrance of the dargah, here is what happened.

Picture this.

A man (in all probability from middle to lower middle class), the kind who can afford BEST buses, but not rickshaw's in Mumbai, and his son - both were at the mouth of the dargah, about 20 mts from where mom and I stood. The man wore brown polyester shirt with a dark brown trouser, and a white Muslim headgear, and the the son wore blue jeans, with dark blue shirt, and a similar headgear.

As we stood watching, they both stood at the mouth of the dargah, head bowed in deep humility and respect, with their backs to me, and their face to the dargah. As they prepared to leave, they did something very touching. Both of them walked backward, taking one careful step at a time, at times looking through the corner of their eye to ensure that the path behind them was clear.

They did this, right till the entrance, where mom and I sat. You get the drift, right? A father and his probably 8 year old son - with their face to the dargah, walking back one step at a time, taking almost 35-50 steps, till they reached the entrance, upon reaching which they walked back till they found their footwear, face still facing the dargah. They slid their feet into their shoes, and then, after one last look, turned around and took the steps out.

It was still fascinating to see....and it was a lesson, which no one has ever taught me. Never turn your back on something so pure and worthy of respect. I have rarely if ever felt so humble by another human being's gesture.....but these two men, had told me, without telling me, that I was in the presence of a power that was worthy of looking upto.

That picture of the father and son, will stay with me forever. And it also reinforces to me that Muslims (especially everyday Muslims whom you and I touch and feel) are one of the most gentle and refined races you shall ever encounter. The handful of fanatics, give this whole race such a slur.

Thank you bhaijaan.

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