I had posted a few pictures for Marta and she responded with these lines – true from the heart and reflecting the impact that Nizamuddin Auliya’s shrine can have:
thank you so much for the pictures, I really appreciated. To live so far from Delhi sometime makes me homesick. Even if I know (and feel) His presence everywhere, I wish I could sit again in front of the shrine, and spend a night of mine just there. I am longing to touch the marble of the columns, to lie my forehead on the steps, to listen to the ghazals. So, having the pictures is a great gift for me. I had put one of them on my desktop and when I turn off my Mac I wait for the image to disappear. So thank you so much, dil se!
When I was studying in Delhi at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, I wrote a short paper on Nizamuddin, first in English and then in Urdu. I was 27 years old, very young I would say now that I am 48, and very naive. But I had already felt a strong touch in front of the Dargha, which I didn’t know how to call it yet. Many years later I started to understand my feelings, “to hear the song”, as I love to say now, but that is a long story, an all life long story.
Anyhow, after delivering my paper to the University, I received a letter from the faculty asking me to present within a few days. I did, and I was received by the Chief (I don’t remember the right title) of the Urdu department. He looked at me seriously and told me: “After the first glance at your paper I was going to reject it, because I believed you had it written for you by someone else, obviously an Urdu writing Muslim. Then I looked more carefully, and noticed some recurrent mistakes that only a non-native writer could have made. That was the proof you wrote the paper yourself. But your hand really seems a Muslim hand. Or else a Saint has made the miracle”.
Since then, I have always thought the second one was the true. LOVE MAKES THINGS POSSIBLE.
If you, or anyone wish, I still have that paper in English, and I will be glad to share it on the blog. It is not very professional, it is just a glance on how a foreigner can feel sitting over there and how deep and wild can be the encounter, even for someone who is not aware of anything, as I was.
Marta, please share your paper – I am waiting for it!
I end with this lovely couplet from the most celebrated of disciples, Amir Khusrau
Khusrau baazi prem ki main khelun pi ke sung,
Jeet gayi to piya moray, haari, pi kay sung.
I, Khusrau, play the game of love with my beloved,
If I win, the beloved’s mine, defeated, I’m beloved’s.
Image credit here