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Observing the holy night in the Dargah.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Sunday, August 17. Shab-e-Baraat, the night of destiny when one’s sins are pardoned and the fate sealed for the coming year. Scene: in the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Crowd. Candles. Sweet rice. A long queue for the main shrine.
Why join the folks there? I’m content to pray outside in the courtyard. You see I don’t need to be physically close to the tomb of my Mehboob-e-Ilahi for He resides inside my heart.
However, Altammash and Fida, my friends, young khadims (servants) in the Dargah, offers the advantage of their influential position in the shrine bureaucracy to sneak me in through the 'shortcut'. I'm hesitant but...what-the-heck!
Finally, inside. Standing next to the Hazrat. Kissing the pillar and murmuring prayers. Few minutes dissolve in a second.
Back into the courtyard. It had rained the whole day but now the sky has cleared and the moon is glowing – up there.
Allah be with you.
Facing the Beloved
All lit up
Wait for your turn
Attend to the candle, please
My friends, Fida (left) and Altamash
We're all aashiqs