over the weekend i visited ajmer sharif with khairul, my sister in law and some of her freinds from her office. Ajmer Sharif is a sufi shrine in rajasthan. and earlier in the evening today i visited Qutab sahib, another sufi shrine in delhi with my mom and khairul.
i am not really into visiting shrines and honestly up till now i did not understand why people do...but maybe i am begining to get a handle on it now. the reason i suppose is that you allow yourself to be immersed in a space which is afloat with the power of faith. its a space blessed by angels and for me to feel that I had to suspend my cynicism and i stopped trying to 'put a brave face on'; i allowed myself to cry and it was that release or whatever but the vibe was gentle and so soothing, that the tears just kept on rolling. faces shone with tears and humility...absorbed in pain they clutched to hope, even if it was frayed and trampled upon. when you come to a shrine, you put yourself in a space where the air is soaked in prayers and adoration of the divine.
the rose sellers, the fakirs (alm-seekers), the khadims (guides)...all clamour for your attention. even though you are standing in a crowd you are consious of only your own heart's voice. words float in the air and you catch a few strings and like signs from above they touch you with utmost gentleness and you feel you are blessed.
i believe god is everywhere and not just in 'religious' spaces but places like these where millions come and pray, where every inch is stood upon and prayed...all that energy come together and bounces aoround and seeps back into you and all of that is because of that sufi who just prayed and prayed and prayed and loved the creator in a way which is beyond my comprehension; such piety, such love transcends time and space and that is what blesses the likes of me who go begging...its not the sufi but god who blesses those who come and lay respect to his lover.
the qawalli singer at qutub sahib sang about the universality of pain and I realised just how commonplace are my desires and how often my prayers are answered. These sufi shrines have been here for centuries and people don't come here just to get the work done, so to speak but i think it is to reaffirm hope in a higher power.