[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
They were performing a sacred ceremony in the middle of the road.
One early morning The Delhi Walla saw about half a dozen barefoot women at Behram Khan Tiraha, a three-way avenue sheltered by a giant peepal tree in Old Delhi. There were also a few children.
The women were carefully arranging small earthen bowls on the road. Some of those bowls were filled with uncooked rice grains, some with yellow lentils, and some with tiny deep-fried pooris; others had sweets of different kinds. A few also had rose petals.
One woman told me, “Today is the festival of Basora. It comes after Holi. The winter has ended and the hot season is about to start. We are here to pray for our children.”
Some of the mothers were very young and had new-born babies in their protective arms. A little boy was wearing a garland of dry fruits.
An elderly woman offered holy water to the ground.
Soon, the women left, along with the children. Within seconds of their departure, a sweeper of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi arrived in his rolled-up trousers and swept away the earthen bowls.
For our young ones