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This chapter is about the author’s experiences during the meeting with the Syed, the charismatic heir of Syed Pookoya (See chapter 1), and supremo of a political organization for the past quarter century.

In explaining his views on leadership, based on personal experience and religious convictions, the author makes use of various observations from nature and history.

The author enlightens the reader on the rationale of calling the Syed as the Mahatma of Malabar and writes that his statesmanship is focused at the heart, for that is where loyalty has its seat. His words may seem mild, but it somehow enters the heart’s guild. The author refers to such a political strategy as Democracy H-2-H. (Heart to Heart)

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12

Democracy H-2-H

Tasbih! Much time has passed, yet not one question have you so far raised. For how long will your Cooling Silence, bear with my Guiding Voice? Or is it that you will make me pay a hefty price, which in value of your silence will be times twice or thrice?

In your Affinity I did look at the sky and smile…for what? So that in Solitude I shall continue to wail?

I have so far narrated stories, where mine was the voice that did rise. But now I shall tell you a beautiful tale, wherefrom the lessons of Silence I did inhale. Once again, like from you I did learn, that in silence too is there a greatness fine.

Tasbih! O blessed gem, taking pride in the Merciful Him. Those that are sweet and minute, if given the proper care by the ones dear, they shall take the form of ones great.

Patience. Sweat not over this matter that seems hard (to grasp). I shall explain to you with a simple similitude.

Have you not seen a Drop, when it begins to rest in the shell’s lap? For ages it remains as it were, in Coolness it forgets all the solitary fear. And then with the confidence of shell’s cover, the Tiny Drop becomes a Mighty Pearl.

And then the pearl remains unique among others (drops). In the beginning it was a single drop, but now its strength is a thing that the mass ocean can vainly hope. The Solitary Drop drew its sword, seated in the Shell’s Shade.

Such a rare pearl becomes a leading guide, for other ocean’s drops to abide. The pearl has got the handsome experience, as well as the nobility in inheritance.

The story of Qurrat and Imamat is same as the case of Shell and the Pearl. If Qurrat pleases the eye, then Imamat fixes its gaze on places high. Qurrat is the ego’s means to attain, the life’s goals without carrying on the heart any stain.

One teaches the self to Give and Forgive, the other is driven to Overtake and Achieve. Qurrat descends on the self like on the plant falls the fire- dew, Imamat imparts to the pious lessons ever new.

Qurrat is the essence of Affinity, which fills to the brim of piety.

The sum end of Affinity is to adorn the self with the garment of Leadership. Him-loving lovers strive with all their means to guide and lead, the ones who in their hearts His fear breed. His lovers wish not to be heard in the ears and mentioned on the lips, but among the Party of the Pious. This has been the hidden desire of His lovers, since many thousands of years.

When seen from such a historic aspect, every lover is a leader in that respect.

The natural question then is, O His slave who in His thoughts alone feel at ease, ‘who is a leader’?

Man by nature, has this feature, to seek a teacher, who will guide him in Present and Future. He enjoys a comforting pride, under the shade of such a guide. His confidence grows sensing the focus to which he does belong, without bothering whether it is right or wrong.

The leader is successful to create, a feeling by which he can relate. Every follower begins to imagine, that the leader is his own. It is a stage when ‘our leader’ transforms to ‘My Leader’. Such a feeling is born, by the love that the leader has shown.

There are times when days of worry, interrupts the days of glory. The dark clouds of chaos, bring fear in the mind of one who follows. The surroundings would indeed be dark, and the crowd shall it see as dark. But the leader sensing the present, also perceives the future trend. He sprinkles a drop of hope from the waters of Tomorrow, into the dry and empty hearts of those who follow.

Who is a leader, o dear one leading me with His Fear?

He makes the simple one fully know, the worth on one who follow, be it high or low. His affectionate words make each one realize, the latent treasure that in their self lies. When an opinion springs up from one among the crowd, he does not carelessly put it aside.

His love for the community guards it during Days of Prosperity and Nights of Adversity. Although he lives with the present, sharing with the lot their sentiment, his vision goes far beyond, to avoid every event, which shall cause later repent. Every moment his heart becomes fret, worrying about the enemies who against the community plot.

Who is a leader? This heretic wanted to know still better. But leadership is not a book that a seeker endlessly reads; rather it is a living reality bathed in deeds. It is not a topic for coffee table talk, but an act of battlefield walk.

Oh! I wanted to See, what it is for a leader to Be. And where would I go, o Tasbih, for such a thing to know?

In the tale of Cool Breeze, it’s the soul that makes the choice. I wanted the best, which stands apart from the rest. I was in search of a ship, upon which I would get a lifetime grip.

That which sails like Noah’s Ark, to save me during these times dark. I wanted to enter a Blessed House, whose members would in my heart for the Beloved’s love arouse. When a lover is in search of his Dear, how can he refuse that which takes him ever more near?

I wanted to meet a guide, who on the waters of Church and State could easily ride. In the case of matter and spiritual, he should grant each other respect mutual. An algorithm of smile, to console us during period of trial.

All praise to the Lord, who blessed this Malanad, when in the world such a leader is devoid.

All was beautifully set, by His will, there was nothing that could my route upset. In the car I comfortably sat and began with Nature my solitary chat.

The air was cool. It made my every vein, forget its stressful pain. My lips kept moving in His praise, O Tasbih, how lucky I was that in this land did my birth rise. This is that beautiful Hindi Chaman, which the Hijazi Beloved’s attention did fondly summon. Whatever comes out from this blessed land, will from the rest separately stand. Lord knows why Ka’ab the Companion make, the comparison to ‘the sword of Indian make’?

These vast mountains with tall and slim trees. The colored soil between which colorless water seeps. My dear watan is a magical note on the Nature’s harp. It pulls your heart from the journey’s very start.

The dawn listens to the Adhan followed by the Mantram, and finds no reason to confuse the rhythm. There is no problem between those of salaam and shanti: everyone’s happy and has no feelings for each other anti.

O my native land! What made you so ‘Cool’ for the Beloved? What made you a gem in the eyes of those who behold?

My Hijazi Tasbih! The very sight of the Rose, brings to the Nightingale memories of the Garden’s days. Similar is the case, when I see your moonlit face. Your very Hijazi words bring to mind, the thoughts of the Malanadan land.

You have within you the warmth of the Sand Dunes, where His Fear performs its Terrifying Dance. The Sand Dunes have carved in you the unalloyed faith, untouched by the fashionable filth. You have nothing much to say, about the mixed blessings of the present day. Your eyes are safe from the dreadful rays of the idiot box, just as the pearl is secure in midst of massive rocks.

Tasbih! With what flame did you burn (me), that ever-new lessons of His thoughts did I learn? I now feel hundreds of solitary years were not just in vain. Tears are gushing forth through my rocky heart, ever since you’ve taught me the Him-loving art. My nights are filled with Him–seeking Noor ; even the stars whisper about this Him–fearing Hoor .

The burden is no more… Flight for this Nightingale is easier than before. My wings are free, as long as I am not seated on the solitary tree. My sky is vast, I have left behind the vague days of past.

Tasbih! Help me assemble the scattered beads, to increase the stock of my noble deeds. Become a Him–warning staff in my hand, to beat the Sea of Life and take a courageous stand.

Design for me a new pattern, for; this world is old and torn. Show me your designing talent, a form that with His Fear is radiant. Your unalloyed innocence is sharper, than the swords of hatred. Sing for me the song of Qazi and Makhdum, of Alavi and Dinar.

Tasbih! You hail from Khairullah! Yet you are unaware, of its barr and bahr. The rivers, valleys, the crosses, the birds, the lakes, the people and their likes… these remain unknown. The Cool Breeze is yet to reach your soul; in the assembly of His Lovers you are yet to enroll. Destiny has chosen me to unfold, the bond between the sand dune and paddy field.

And for such a treasure to be known, towards the Mecca of Malabar had I gone.

For many days and nights, I had been waiting to visit this Hindi Dream, which has its roots in the Hijazi Tareem . And to you shall I hurriedly give its Ta’beer , as much is allowed by the Patient Taqdeer .

The Dream from Tareem was not the making of a day or two. Centuries of mobility: from Basra’s town to Yemen’s city… From place to place they purposefully moved, to spread His deen had they sincerely vowed.

It was during such a destined movement, that ‘Ali’, one among the Syeds, on this Malabar did land. The ‘Ship’ moved to Calicut, and then at Malappuram had a spiritual palace built. He devised spiritual remedial measures, against the Devil who against man conspires.

But think not they cowardly sat, on the comfortable prayer mat.

They simultaneously wore the spiritual mantle, and participated in the anti-colonial battle. The Hijazi Syeds who came through Ali, Hussain and Muhdhar, produced the valiant Hussein Koya to fight the anti-British war. Later, Muhammad Koya built the spiritual empire, gaining the respect and love of the hearts entire. Irrespective of the cast and creed, towards this Hindi Harem did the broken-hearted hopefully proceed.

And then came the political storm, devised by Pookoya, the sage of calm.

Ah! Tasbih! And then destiny shot the Meteorite into to the Malanadan Sky, which gave the Crescent a lead lofty and high. The community is under the guidance of this Meteorite, whose Him-given wisdom has given it days much bright.

O friend! Have you given a critical thought, what made all these glory brought. From the moment that they arrived on this land, never did they wait for any royal grant. They ruled in the hearts of the community, giving them the timely leadership for unity.

Rulers came and went, but firmly in their hearts was fixed the Hijazi Tent.

By then, yes that very ‘then’, I reached the gates of the tent… very soon my solitary chat came to an end. The gates were wide open, seeing which my anxiety began to deepen.

The crowd was all around, irrespective of the creed by which they were bound. Everyone had a different problem, with degrees from minimum to maximum. The children cried with loud noise, the adults bore having no choice. Instead they hopefully looked at the Ka’aba’s photo hung on the wall, and waited for the Mahatma’s call.

I too waited. First outside. Then unexpectedly I was invited to sit inside. I knew by then Destiny had better grasped my message.

I was told that he had just arrived home after attending a wedding ceremony. He must be tired, I thought. There was a huge crowd waiting for him with serious problems to solve, and for their worry to dissolve. Conflicts between families. Conflicts between buyers and sellers. Conflict between in-laws, who severed His Laws. Conflict between political allies, who told each other opportunistic lies.

Problems of sickness, caused by actions of Jinns and Ins. Problems of finance, who were never given any fortunate chance.

I didn’t have any such conflict, for his attention to attract. I had no any problem, for his time to claim. Alas! What had I done, I came to hunt with no gun? How would this Little Bud hail the Grand Rose’s attentive smile? Ah! Lord save this fool. Grant him in this winter some comforting wool.

My heart was about to break. This embarrassment would cause my heart’s shell to crack. The Tiny Moth approached the Mammoth Flame, without taking the lessons of flight. I came to visit the king, and no worthy gift did I bring. How unfortunate, no spark I had for my luck to ignite.

Would my tale end here, ya Rabb? And none would the Cool Breeze hear?

Tasbih! Who could imagine my pain then, it was like an angel stuck in the devil’s den. Struck with the arrow of humiliating grief, this deer turned towards the surroundings (looking) for some relief.

The shelf in the front, had things of shapes different. Toys, miniature structures, clocks and books were in a series.

The toys consisting of cars and truck… nothing in the world is out of place. The winner and loser together make a race. The Mahatma has great love for the little ones, I have heard, and he fondles them even after arriving from a trip, very tired.

Compassion is what the world needs, at a time when in the shells of Church and State, the egg of terrorism breeds. It is in the true nature of this Compassionate Creed, that even while preaching on the mimber, one shall affectionately attend to a child’s playful need .

I kept looking at the shelf, in want of some distracting relief. After a few while, I was called to sit around a larger table.

There was a feeling of fear, but also joy in terms clear. Anxiety filled my every cell, but ambitions too made me in wilderness swell.

What was the opportunity I was going to face? A chance I could never in my past trace.

Ah! What could I possibly do, to erase the marks in my heart, which destiny drew?

The destined moment had to somehow arrive; no matter whether I knew not the tactics to thrive.

Destiny had sounded its definitive Adhan of Affinity. The prayer had to start. Very soon, Bismi had to be pronounced…

The enchanting form appeared to be descending from the stairs…and my family and me rose from the chairs…

Bathed in costumes of glowing white… his imposing entry brought an end to my joyful fright.

Tasbih! Man at times has this silly thought, that what he fears will bring him to naught. But once he fully faces the real fact, he quickly signs with it a friendly pact.

I faced the reality: the Mahatma was seated at my vicinity. But some moments are very strange. Even in the vicinity, one is searching for serenity.

I was growing restless, to grab the best of this chance. But words come not so easy, when in the midst of clouds of fear run the tears of joy.

I gasped eagerly for words, wanting to recall my mission’s notes. I hurried to translate all the details of my infant Marunadan Desire to Malanadan Sire. He had only a little time, I thought, so I bothered to talk only matters prime.

Ah! Tasbih! I had finally begun to talk, after all my guts I was able to flock.

The Mahatma remained calm with a smile. He Patiently realized my Impatience. Silently he listened. With a smile. He coolly waited for every word I had to say: what my voice and silence were eager to convey.

But I knew he would later speak, once over were the words from this little Nightingale’s beak. Even when in front of a mammoth crowd, he is not the one who shouts words emotionally aloud. Rather he speaks in voice so moderate, that all feel he was to them considerate.

I did get all the courage, but where to start, I had no knowledge. Such a rosary had fell into my hand, I knew not where to begin or end.

Tasbih! Your friend was in such a confused state, unable to decide on the choice of fate.

But a look on his smiling face, made my confidence boldly rise. The smile was full of cheer, and not a gesture of indifferent jeer. All the beads of thought begin to fit in its place, when I fixed my gaze on that noble face.

The Bismi gave his silent nod, and then Jaihoon untied his tongue’s node.

I conveyed to him the purpose of my visit: the bond between Hind and Hijaz, on the Dotcom I wanted to exhibit. And in the course of our Hindi-Hijazi speech, many conclusions about the Mahatma did I reach.

But of all the lessons I grabbed, the sweet one is that he spoke only when he smiled.

He is in want of no commanding authority, to exert his charming personality. He is ever so humble, about his origin from roots very noble. The rose is not eager to speak of its own fragrance.

Only when I categorically asked, on the topic of Hijazi Syeds he embarked. He talked about the spread of Syeds to Malaysia and Hyderabad, along with the region of Malayalee Nadu.

When asked to comment, on the bond between Hijaz and Hind, he explained that it had begun well before Peace had its advent.

After the coming of the Hijazi deen, the direction changed from where it had previously been. Earlier it was economic gains for benefits mutual, but later the bond became spiritual. Up to the Era of Elephant, it was a question of camphor and pepper, as well as other spices for supper. But once the Awaited One came on the world’s scene, the bond gained a formula never before heard or seen: The Cool Breeze became the rail for Hindi-Hijazi train.

The Mahatma did not stop there, rather proceeded to further dare. He spoke in frank terms, how the natives received the companions to their own homes. Had it not been for the Hindu-shown generosity, the deen would not have gained so much prosperity. In the course of time, the creed established firm ground, without any sponsors to financially fund.

When asked about the fluent dance of the Hijazi Tongue, the Mahatma gave credit to the Ulama who gave it a popular rank. Madrassas and colleges are widespread, and thousands are in them academically bred.

He then dwelt on the prominence of Shafi Madhab, who among the Malanadan believers, enjoy the fikhi hub. He (Imam Shafi) too was the member of blessed Hijazi House , perhaps the reason why him the Malanadan lot loyally follows. Even on the details of the do’s and don’ts, and the acts that are compulsory and voluntary, the lot of Paddy Fields has tied their hearts to the caravan led by Fatimah’s Blessed Children . In matters spiritual and temporal, for the Hijazi Ark shall they never bid farewell.

Tasbih! While the Mahatma spoke about these inspiring words, think not there was none besides. He is always surrounded by people, just as tears are filled around His Lovers’ pupil.

It was an afternoon, when with Mahatma met this Jaihoon. The little ones were on their way back (from school), and into our assembly did they innocently walk. The Mahatma continued his mild speech, for their entry didn’t his attention breach. Sometimes they stood on either side, sometimes they leaned on his shoulder, but nothing of this did for him bother. He continued to explain, so that I grasped the matter plain. His speech was smooth and mild; to me he fondly referred as a child.

He has an unusual command over his attentive heed, unlike me, the noise around cannot from the topic away lead.

Twice or thrice in amidst of the Hindi-Hijazi talk, the phone rang without break. My surprise had no limit, when to attend the phone he arose from the seat. He did not seek anyone’s favor, for the phone to him hand over. He believed in the first-hand experience, to know about his community’s grievance.

O Tasbih! The Panakkad form of democracy is really unique, the Hindi Subjects approach the ‘Hijazi Monarch’ sans any communiqué. With every problem, psychological or physiological, he amiably solves, a new lesson of statesmanship in his mind evolves.

The visitors may belong to different caste and creed, but history tells us everyone who came here have finally agreed.

Neither he nor his honorable father nor his sage-like father in-law earned people’s trust, by speaking before a mic on some namesake fest.

They heard. They listened. Then talked.

They taught others less, and from them learnt much. The lessons of statesmanship they acquired, from the lot who hopefully approached them and cried. Only then would they confide, when they can reach him sans anyone else to intercede.

For quarter a troublesome century, the Mahatma has been listening to community’s worry, without expressing the slightest sign of impatient hurry. He simply wears a fur cap, yet above the robes and turban-heads he sits atop. He has indeed got the spiritual spell, yet in the matters present day does his focus dwell, and his head did never in pride swell.

The Mahatma’s statesmanship is focused at the heart, for that is where loyalty has its seat. His words may seem mild, but believe me, O Tasbih, it somehow enters the heart’s guild. May I refer to it such, that you call it Democracy H-2-H. Truly heart to heart.

O dear one, imagine the largeness of his heart to patiently listen to the aching minds and political trends.

Our talk showed signs of about to conclude, and so had the tea in the cup cooled. I did not waste a single moment, for, I had with me a perfume to present.

Gifts are not to entice love, but to strengthen the bond and keep it alive. It can be as grant as mount of gold and silver, or as little as a ‘pickle bottle of ginger’. It is a mercy from the Loving Lord, who blessed His servants to show their spiritual love by means a material gift or a verbal ode. It is not the gift that grants the lovers any material concern, but the very spiritual source from which it is given. Gifts are the only possible way, through which in this world, our love we may convey.

This world is full of ‘means-full’ veils, o Tasbih, for only through medicine do the sick heals. The Bush is for Moses, a means-full veil, for Lord with him to converse. Ah! Not that His Beloved is in want of such a veil; rather it was to honor this Way, that appointed was Gabriel.

Hush! Be patient o my restless soul, very soon shall you get the chance to dance your desire in Beloved’s hall. By the will of your God, you may say as much as you want about His Beloved. First finish the tale you have already begun, and then the doors of your desire you may leave open! You are relating the tale of the People of House, but no sooner did the love for the Master (of the house) in you it did arouse. Agreed for your sake that love is a thing hard to bear, but for the sake of this tale keep on your desire a disciplinary bar. For how long has your friend been waiting, to know whereto is your Hijazi tale finally getting?

After I gave the Hindi Thangal the Hijazi bottle, next occurred a scene that made me go startle.

A leader is one who adds self-value, into the minds of those who follow.

The Mahatma bothered to take down the details of contact, so that in future too this bond would remain intact. And that is when I soulfully learnt, that the Bismi lived in the present, and not in the ages ancient. That the Spiritual Sage was equally fit to e-nstrange and e-scort his community from the bad and good of this technological e-ra.

He sincerely followed the path of his predecessors and simultaneously marshaled the community to a better future, without vainly preaching the false glory of the bygone past.

This restless one who proudly thought his ways were the most modern, recorded his writings on tidbits of paper, scattered from somewhere to nowhere, unorganized and uninformed. The Mahatma used a digital dairy, to connect the people with places that he comes across daily.

I had to quickly, but humbly, conclude that the sage was more ‘cool’, than this unorganized fool. The Mahatma maintains his curious interest, in every technical device and its complex aspect.

The dialogue lasted for an hour followed by another. And it was lasting further. By then it was as if this Tiny Drop and the Grand Ocean had become merged in Affinity. The strangeness was no more. All the clouds of fear and anxiety had disappeared; the sun of fortune was shining without casting any doubtful shade.

But Tasbih! Every rising dawn is followed by a setting dusk. The bright day is incomplete, without the dark night taking its seat.

We decided to bring to an end, without wanting the other visitors get any offend. The lot outside was waiting for the Bismi, and I didn’t want them to make their faces gloomy. But even with our anxiety to part, the Mahatma appeared as calm as in the start.

Half- heatedly I bid farewell, and softly did the Panakkad Sage tell ‘Kutti! Nannayittu Varatte’ .

The well-wishing words of the sage, reminded me that this tale is a grand thing that defied my little age.

The end had arrived. I put to heart all the lessons I had derived. And an old lesson I thoughtfully renewed…. To cultivate in the young ones, the love of two kinds, although for a single House do such a love belongs. The love of His Prophet and then his Bait. But love is not sufficient. Therefore the believer needs to return back, to the soulful recitation of His Book .
The Mahatma too bid us farewell, and gave a treasure of wishes well. And then to share the blissful grace, he held me near to embrace. A leader’s warmth and affection… for this little one of this rebellious generation. In his sage-like Imamat, I found the signs of community’s Qurrat. And the last quarter century has been witness to that. May the Lord grant him many more years in the worldly matters to lead, and against the spiritual hunger to feed.

The warmth of his embrace, made me look at the sky with watery eyes… in gratitude to the Lord that He placed the community’s reins in safe hands. A Sultan who reigned in his people’s hearts, and yet never for a position did he ever race… who demarcated his statesmanship with the ‘H2H Democracy’.

But the eye getting blurred is not enough. My entire soul with His Love I had to engulf. O Tasbih! What is that Blessed Means to His Love? Who is that Dear One who proclaimed, to the entire created world, “If Him you love, me you follow, and in return you He will love”.

I wanted to untie all my hearts knots. I wanted to speak open, before to me death does happen. Without the aid of any flowery similitude, I wanted to serve my drink to the thirsty multitude. I am tired of concealing my fire. In this dark world, there are many who need it in dire. Veil on veil over my heart’s desire I drew, so that the secret is known but to a few. But the old curtain I am about to boldly lift, even the new world shall with me angrily rift. May Lord forgive my erroneous-like utter. Ah! How else can I release my soul’s flutter?

The learned and unlearned may surely voice their detest, but I know their hearts will towards my cause finally attest.

O Dear! To thank for the favors that did precede, with greetings upon the Beloved may I proceed…

[1] Coolness
[2] Leadership
[3] Light
[4] The (female) companions for the inmates of paradise
[5] A city in Yemen
[6] Interpretation
[7] Destiny
[8] A Hadith states that Ahl Bait (the family of Holy Prophet) is like the ship of Noah
[9] The literal meaning of Shihab
[10] The political symbol of Indian Union Muslim League
[11] Referring to an incident when once the Holy Prophet descended down the pulpit in middle of
delivering a sermon to attend to his grandson.
[12] Abbreviation for the auspicious formula, ‘In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, most Merciful’.
[13] Literal meaning of Islam
[14] religious scholars
[15] Same as Ahl Bait
[16] Ibid
[17] A traditional way of praying for success (especially for a budding artist)
[18] Based on a Hadith, ‘Teach you children the love of Allah’s Messenger, the love of his family and
the recitation of Holy Book’