The incredible Delhi instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The street glowed with bright lights. The qawwals were offering sacred songs on an improvised stage made of wooden cots. A bunch of elderly notables were on another such stage. The rest of the people were seated on chairs arranged along the street. Many simply stood in groups. There was not a single woman. Even so, the faces of those present were spellbinding: they were imbued with intense feelings.
One late night The Delhi Walla attended the Urs, or the death anniversary, of Sufi saint Hazrat Turkman Shah Bayabani at his shrine in the Walled City. In Sufism, a saint’s death is not mourned, it is celebrated. The small memorial, situated at a corner of the street, was decorated with flowers and lights. Consisting of just one small room, it was renovated only a few months ago. After a long time, the walls were repainted and the bare floor was at last covered with a carpet.
Inside, Hazrat Turkman Shah’s tomb was draped with silk fabrics. Roses were arranged neatly on the top. Strings of marigold flowers hang over the grave. The chamber was filled with calmness even though there was loud music and crowd just outside the doors. A devotee entered into this stillness. He sat down on the floor, kissed the tomb and then he respectfully presented his gift to the Sufi saint. It was a most curious offering–a bowl filled with steaming-hot carrot halwa. The devotee soon left. The halwa stayed on the tomb. It was a beautiful moment.
Our way to the Sufi dessert