Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 19, 2018-Monday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Delhiwale: A graveyard that feels too alive

Surrounded by teeming residential blocks, the graveyard in Dada Peer’s shrine looks more like a drawing room

delhi Updated: Dec 15, 2017 13:00 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
Delhiwale,Dilliwale,Dada Peer
The graveyard does house a Sufi shrine devoted to a long-gone mystic known as Dada Peer — the chairs parked scenically between the graves belong to the shrine’s custodian.(Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)

A cat, a few chairs, and graves. It stands to reason that cemeteries are sombre sites. But this delightful patch of open land in a crowded Delhi neighbourhood resembles a kind of drawing room rather than a graveyard.

No one in living memory has actually been buried at this urban oasis within walking distance of the Walled City’s Turkman Gate. The graveyard does house a Sufi shrine devoted to a long-gone mystic known as Dada Peer — the chairs parked scenically between the graves belong to the shrine’s custodian.

The graves themselves are said to be those of Dada Peer’s disciples. Otherwise, most Muslims in the area are laid to rest in Dilli Gate qabristan near ITO.

And that makes good sense. Just making our way to the cemetery is a scramble, with side alleys so cramped that it’s hard to even imagine discovering of open land.

The shrine does have a custodian who tells of occasional foreigners visiting the place. “Once I even welcomed an American delegation!” he tells us with great awe.

Circling the graveyard are all sorts of residential blocks teeming with the rambunctious rumblings of lived life. A shrieking child. A film song. Even the whistle of a pressure cooker. We can actually smell the aroma of brown dal, making us marvel that the company of graves has never felt so alive.

First Published: Dec 15, 2017 12:59 IST