City Moment – The Sufi Feminist’s Rebellion, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s Tomb
The memorable instant.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
The little girl was in a blue and white frock. Her hairpin was also blue. The flower-shaped rubber bands on her pigtails, too, were a shade of blue.
One morning The Delhi Walla saw this girl enter the grave-chamber of Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. It was shocking. The board outside the door clearly says that women are not allowed to enter into this sanctum sanctorum (I have written about this tradition here). Indeed, the shrine’s alert caretakers always stop any woman—even if she is only a few months old—who dares to cross the forbidden line.
But this blessed girl, somehow, infiltrated into the banned zone. Nobody noticed this flouting of rules. Amidst a sea of pious-looking men, the girl stood quietly beside the saint’s tomb and gazed upon it as if it were the most normal thing to do for a person of her sex. It was a most beautiful moment.