Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya’s mausoleum

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It was this last week, taking a long stroll across Delhi, lamenting for the short time I’m left with that I’ll get to spend in this very fine city, that I finally visited Nizamuddin Auliya’s Dargah or Mausoleum. It was an accident of chance. I found a friend willing to go there with me and thus we ended up at the antique milestone in Indian history, where the greatest of the Sufi saints of the Chisti wilayat was laid to rest under waves and waves of timeless prayer offerings and ‘duwa’s.

I wrote earlier about Hazrat Nizamuddin’s curse on the abandoned city of Tughlaqabad, and it only seems justified to write about the Saint’s lifetime that steeped in love for the Creator and Humanity.

The saint was born in Barayun now a part of Uttar Pradesh in the early 13th century. He came to live in Delhi, still a child, with his mother Zulekha Bibi after the death of his father Ahmad Barayuni. His life is chronicled by the Royal Mughal scribe of the court of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar in his most famous 16th century literary work, The Ain-i-Akbari.

At the age of twenty, Nizāmuddīn went to Ajodhan (the present Pakpattan Sharif in Pakistan) and became a disciple of the Sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar, commonly known as Baba Farid. Nizāmuddīn did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies. He visited Ajodhan each year to spend the month of Ramadan in the presence of Baba Farid. It was on his third visit to Ajodhan that Baba Farid made him his successor. Shortly after that, when Nizāmuddīn returned to Delhi, he received news that Baba Farid had died.

Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya, residence of Nizamuddin Auliya, towards the north-east from Humayun’s tomb, Delhi. Nizāmuddīn lived at various places in Delhi, before finally settling down in Ghiyaspur, a neighbourhood in Delhi undisturbed by the noise and hustle of city life. He built his Khanqah here, a place where people from all walks of life were fed, where he imparted spiritual education to others and he had his own quarters. Before long, the Khanqah became a place thronged with all kinds of people, rich and poor alike.

Many of his disciples achieved spiritual height, including Shaikh Nasiruddin Muhammad Chirag-e-Delhi, and Amir Khusro, noted scholar/musician, and the royal poet of the Delhi Sultanate.

He died on the morning of 3 April 1325. His shrine, the Nizamuddin Dargah, is located in Delhi and the present structure was built in 1562. The shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year, though it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, or Urs, of Nizamuddin Auliya and Amīr Khusro, who is also buried at the Nizāmuddīn Dargāh.

The tomb of the Mughal Shahzadi, Jahan Ara Begum, the eldest daughter of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz also lies next to the Dargah. It is only justifiable for anyone to lie down to rest, for it is the only place in Delhi where one can find a spiritual wholeness with the centuries of love and peace hanging in its air.

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Six Months Ago

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Running around,
Screaming around <in my head>
With no questions to ask,
And all pain and guilt.

<Six months ago> You made me wipe away my tears,
<Six months ago> You had me smiling again,
<Six months ago> You had me listening to metal!
<Six months ago> You taught me to love…oo oo ooooo….

Love, love, love, <love, love, love, love, love>
Some mystery it is. <How it happened>
You’d know it all better. <Sure you do>
It’s easy to mistake,
But then it never is.

<Six months ago> It all changed.
<Six months ago> You changed it for me.
<Six months ago> You, you, you happened.
<Six months ago> And your cycle became my eternity.

Words, little words, ran out of mind. <my my, my, my, my>
Some mystery that is. <How it happened>
You’d know it all better. <Sure you do>
It’s easy to mistake.
But then is it?

I plead guilty, <I am I know>
But like all crimes, punish me. <Oh, don’t leave me alone>
You cut me off, like I’m made of paper.
You turned away, like it’ll undo the last six months.

<Six months ago> You spoke a spell, <or something like that>
<Six months ago> If you’d remember, we had something to fight for.
<Six months ago> Six months have passed, and it’s just hurting now.
<Six months ago> You killed us but then there’s the ghost of our laughter…

Taunting through the day and haunting the nights,
You’re out there, soaring up on sunny beaches,
With the tides and the sun, while in silence life leaks outta me,
Caught in the perpetual ice storm, you and life conspired to put me in.

<Six months ago> I wished to die, and fade,
<Six months ago> What I feel now.
<Six months ago> You came in and that changed.
<Six months ago> Now you’re gone and won’t come back again.

All I wanna apologize for is,
I really do miss you.
Baby, you were all the good things,
I believe life ever had to offer me, that I will miss.

Colorblind

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It’s been very long since I listened to Darius, and today I did. Someone reminded me of it, and somehow, it brought me back a piece of the old me, the kind of person I used to be. I had been denying myself of that privilege because in my journey, this road trip I’ve been on since the time I realized this is what I wanted from my life, views at the world from every angle – I wanted to know everything, demanded from me this ransom, a kind of sacrificial offering that I gave up certain things from my life, the things that used to add colors to my internal drab world, as well as fragments of memories that bound my past together which is just not anymore. And with the kind of music I loved, to the type of movies I used to enjoy watching, almost unconsciously, abandoned me, just like the people I love left…taking slow steps into the void my feet cannot walk through…

Listening to the track, Colorblind, by Darius, I was reminded of so many things, I feel suffused with just so much I have to tell about how I felt. I remembered every time I used to listen to the song, and it was a lot of times I used to listen to it at once. From the days of my childhood, this song used to dazzle me, stun me with its timeless perfection. It’s not meant to be loved by those people who have been touched by love or something like that because the rhythm and tunes, everything is perfect from Darius’ voice to the choreography of the video. From the moment Darius appears on the deserted highway stranded, and how dejected he feels because now he won’t be able to make it in time to meet his beloved at their rendezvous, he entices us by taking up his guitar and singing the song that makes us understand. Throughout the song he travels through fields and deserts, over mountains and then finally gets to the cliff, where his love waiting for him. It is then the clouds break, soaking them through, and washing away both of their impatience, because against all odds they are finally together in the end…

This is how it ends, and as they dance in through the tempest, we feel dazed and colorblind. Another perfect song…