Thursday, June 28, 2018

The story of Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed who was beheaded by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb

By Murtaza Ali Khan

After ensuring a most terrible death for his elder brother Dara Shikoh, Emperor Aurangzeb's attention turned to the Persian mystic and poet Sarmad who was a friend and mentor of Shah Jahan's beloved son Dara. Even before his ascension to the throne, Aurangzeb detested Sarmad for he would roam around naked and often ridicule him with his mystical ways. Dara, whom Aurangzeb saw as an infidel, had great love for mystics and poets and was probably as secular as Akbar the Great himself. 

It is widely believed that had he succeeded the war of succession, the course of history of the Indian subcontinent would have been entirely different. Alas, it wasn't to be as Aurangzeb slowly but surely destroyed everything that the great Mughal legacy stood for! He not only killed his brothers and their sons but also imprisoned his father Shah Jahan as well as his own daughter Zeb-un-Nisa until their respective deaths, apart from exiling his own son Muhammad Akbar.

But probably none of these deeds haunted him more than his insidious act to get Sarmad beheaded. The sole act of killing the mystic robbed him of his inner peace and despite all his kingly comforts he was forced to live a cursed life. As per the legend, after being beheaded, Sarmad’s body took the severed head in its hands and started dancing, wandering across the city of Shahjahanabad, refusing to rest in peace. But just as it was about to enter the Jama Masjid, the saintly voice of Hare Bhare Shah pacified him as Sarmad's body finally laid to rest.

If you ever visit the Jama Masjid then make sure you also visit the the twin shrines of Sarmad Shaheed (aptly painted in red) and his spiritual guide Hare Bhare Shah (painted in green) sandwiched between the grand mosque and the tumultuous Meena Bazaar. And, befitting of the place, there are no restrictions on dress code or the entry of women.

P.S. Although, I have grown up listening to the story of Hazrat Sufi Sarmad Shaheed, today, I was reminded of it by a brilliant piece by Amit Ranjan in DailyO which can be read at the following link:

Readers, please feel free to share your thoughts/queries by leaving your comments in the comment box. As always your feedback is highly appreciated! 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

International Kite Festival 2018 - A Kite Flying Carnival in Gujarat

By Deepak Dua

Gujarat means Garba Festival, Gujarat means Ran Utsav and Gujarat means International Kite Festival. Every year on January 14, kites fly all over the skies in Gujarat on the occasion Makar Sakranti, which is known as Uttaranya Parva. Viewing the International Kite Festival, organized on Uttarayan, is a wonderful and memorable experience in itself. The Gujarat government has been organizing it for the past 28 years and it is becoming more and bigger year by year.

This time, the festival that runs from 7th to 14th January, and features 290 participants from Gujarat, 96 participants from 18 from states and 149 from 44 countries out of India who have come to woo with their unique kites and maneuvers. Due to the International Kite Festival, Gujarat has not only increased the inflow of tourists but has also increased the employment and earning opportunities here. According to a study, the market of making kites and related items in Gujarat has been almost 600 crores and nearly 1.25 lakh people are earning about three hundred crores through it, it directly or indirectly.

Kites vary from a palm-sized kite to a large rounded kite of about 20 meters in diameter. Variety of shapes and colorful kites abound. Chief Minister Vijay Rupani himself tried his hand in kite flying and said that these kites actually surrender to Surya Narayana and climb into the sky. These kites are made from different materials and their doors are different too.

The kite festival also has a craft and catering market. Not just Ahmedabad, but now it is celebrated at places like Palanpur, Palanpur, Jam Nagar, Surat, Dwarka, Saputara, Rajkot, Vadodara, Pavagadh, Valsad, Gandhidham.

Readers, please feel free to share your thoughts/queries by leaving your comments in the comment box. As always your feedback is highly appreciated! 

(Deepak Dua is a film reviewer and a journalist, active in film journalism since 1993. Besides regularly writing for various newspapers, magazines, news portals etc. as well as his blog, Deepak is also associated with radio and TV.)

This article was first published in A Potpourri of Vestiges.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Umang Tewari of Big Fish Ventures Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with amazing Irish cocktails at The Vault Cafe

Famous Around U Feature

Umang Tewari of Big Fish Ventures, St. Patrick's day with amazing Irish cocktails, The Vault Cafe

March 8, New Delhi: The Vault Cafe by Umang Tewari of Big Fish Ventures is celebrating Jameson St. Patrick's Day with amazing Irish cocktails for all Delhi-iits from 8th March - 16th March.