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A momentous moment

entertainment Updated: Oct 15, 2010 10:33 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
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One evening in the shrine of 14th century Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. It was the hour of


, when the day meets the night, a moment considered especially auspicious to seek blessings from the saint.

The October air was mildly chilly, and Syed Altamash Nizami, a

dargah khadim,

was lighting prayer candles. In the courtyard, a devotee was asking the saint for his family’s happiness; a Sufi ascetic was perfuming the air with the vapours of loban incense. Inside the saint’s tomb, a man was kneeling in submission.

Across the courtyard, in the open-air tomb chamber of Mughal princess Jahanara, five children were playing around her austere grave.

On entering the adjacent tomb of Mughal king Muhamamd Shah Rangeela, we saw an incredible sight. Two women were praying against a stone screen, which looks to Nizamuddin’s shrine.

The third woman was lying on the marble floor; her hair wild, her lips shivering, her arms flung apart. She was in a state of ecstasy. It was a beautiful moment.