Friday, December 25, 2009

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

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City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

Mourning and celebrating.

[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]

It is December 24th, 2009.

Late night. A few people — some of them historians, diplomats, designers, actors — are driving to Nizamuddin East, a neighbourhood near Humayun’s Tomb. The same night, a larger crowd, more varied, is heading to an address in Lodhi Road, a highway near Humayun’s Tomb.

The former will attend a soazkhwani majlis. The latter will attend a midnight mass. At author Sadia Dehlvi’s apartment. At the Centenary Methodist Church.

The occasion is Muharram. The occasion is Christmas.

Some are in skullcaps. Some are in Santa caps. They will mourn. They will celebrate. They will commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. They will commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God.

They have now reached C-Block, Nizamuddin East. They have now reached 25, Lodhi Road. They are sitting on mattresses. They are sitting on pews. They are singing marsiya, remembering the valour of Hussain. They are singing carols, remembering the birth of Christ. The language is Urdu. The language is Hindi. They are lamenting the Karbala battle, as described in the verses of Mir Anees, the 19th century Faizabad poet. They are cherishing the nativity scene, as described in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Christ’s disciples. They are reading fatiha from the Quran. They are reading scriptures from the Bible.

The majlis is ending. The mass is ending. Haleem and aloo salan. Coffee and cakes.

They are Muslims, Christians and Hindus. And they are all Delhiwallas.

It's Muharram

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Christmas

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Muharram

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Christmas

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Muharram

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Christmas

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Muharram

Mother-Daughter

It's Christmas

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Muharram

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

It's Christmas

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

Guess their religion

City Faith - Muharram & Christmas

9 comments:

Rima Kaur said...

merry christmas to you!

Mainak said...

Wonderful style of writing! Love the way you write - DelhiWalla.

And Yeah! Merry Christmas to you!

Rajiv said...

waaaaaaaaaalaaaaahhhhhhhh yaaaaaaarrrrrr.

Ramit said...

Amazing. Unbelievable. You're too good. Thanks for bringing it out in a much newer perspective.

Peter said...

nice post, Mayank!

riya said...

beautiful...

zeevie said...

wwwwwwwwoooooowwww,aaj aa gaya HT mein richie rich ji

Saifullah Badar said...

So you learnt how to be at two places at the same time?!!!

Anonymous said...

good to see u gave equal weightage to an occasion of mourning, otherwise who cares about something which is observed by a muslim minority...