Day 01

At early morn, the cold had spread its wings. After prayers, headed to the café opposite the Markaz Masjid

Geared up for meetings. The publisher of The Cool Breeze From Hind, my earlier travelogue, was in Daryaganj area close to Jama Masjid

We set our first trip to Jama Masjid in the Auto. Squeezed ourselves and let go the roller-coaster ride

Roads here followed the Darwinian theory of Survival of the Fittest, literally only. That meant, survival of those fit in size. Easy for small vehicles, bad for buses and the like.

Laundries here are generally open air. India as a massive powerhouse lives on power optimization; even solar energy is not wasted. Allah bless for such Delhi.

Near Jama masjid

Near Jama masjid



School kids are stuffed into cycle rickshaws, not a sweet scene to witness. But they enjoy it, nevertheless. Humans can find joy, even in pain.

We arrived at the Gate 1 of Jama Masjid at 1130. We walked around the streets looking for a stationary item.

Crowd is too tiny a word to describe the massive numbers of people around. But everyone moved: cars, people and even animals.

An old lady in pauper bought food and gave to the cats around her to eat. She hugged the cats and fondled them. Can’t say further on her state of mind. But her generosity was undoubtedly angelic.

Face-styling services are rendered live. The barber shaves in the open air. Economics may call this space-optimization.

Enter Jama Masjid. Passed through the metal detectors. What a nuisance due to terror-lovers. By His Grace, I heard no alarm

What if the detectors were for the worshippers’ hearts? The intentions I mean? God forbid, only few would make it inside.

People of all religious textbooks sit outside the Masjid. Communal harmony is well preserved here.

In we enter to the prayer area. We had a mild argument with an old admin staff for camera-related fees. But he didn’t warn us as before.

We paid Rs. 200 and later realized he needed more considering the condition of the Masjid for which it was really built.

Ancient in terms of architecture, the ghost of Mughal memories still hovered around. I could feel its pain.

We sat in the first hall. In entered the imam with some bodyguards. Don’t know why he needed them. Was he about to lead the prayer or warfare?

The Khutba hardly made sense to heart or ear. Both were unfulfilling. The mic system could be (read as should be) better

Rs. 200 charged was no good, rather not spent well. May be they need to have higher better auditors. Allah knows best.

After prayer, noticed the inflow of tourists, of all faces. Whites, browns and all other shades around.

We moved to Daryaganj, Pataudi House area. Janatha bank was our closest reference to meet the publisher.

As we waited outside the bank, anyone could mistake us for bank robbers. Perfect like a Hollywood movie script

3 males, 1 female, masked faces (due to pollution), laptop in hand (as if to break-in to the bank), carrying bag at the back (for taking the cash). Scary!

We met with the publisher and agreed the terms for my latest work, The Alchemy of Affinity. Bought several Iqbal and Rumi related books from the firm for sake of economy of time and money.

R.A. Nicholson’s series on Sufism are enlightening. Al Jawzi’s[1] book on soul was a long-sought after manual.

Proceeded to Nizamuddin Dargah in bus. The ‘Ticket King’ was seated on a throne whom we had to seek by ourselves. Talk abut employee king’ness

We reached Dargah minutes before Maghrib , so I hurried in fear of the prayer deadline

First came in line the grave of Amir Khusroo, the favorite disciple of the Hazrat. What an affinity they had! Like Tabrez, like Rumi!

The case of a Communist would be really boring. With no life after, what would be the moral of the entire drama called life?

Salaam to Amir Khusroo. May Allah raise his status here and here after. May he find paradise with his Sire.

Dargah of Nizamuddin Awliya

Dargah of Nizamuddin Awliya

Moved to the Hazrat. Salaam to him. May Allah accept his selfless life. May He forgive him and me.

How illustrious he lived! Noble and pure. Boundless generosity. Love and care for all. Away from the rich and rulers.

He couldn’t be held responsible for the cultural and material extravagance held around him. I am sure he disapproved of them

Thousand plus shop owners benefit in cash from the love of his admirers. How was he to be blamed?

Men and women show their pure love in apparently impure ways. That’s the problem. Allah is best to judge hearts.

As I clicked snaps, a voice came calling ‘hello, are you Jaihoon?’ He introduced himself as a student from Kerala.

He’d met me in an institute in Chemmad, Kerala, where I had given a talk in the year 2005. And he was a regular viewer of the site, JAIHOON.COM

He was now a research fellow in JNU for language related studies. He seemed fully obsessed with the Qawwali performance around.

Moved out to Kareem Restaurant for dinner. Actually our first major eat of the day. The outlet had just opened so we had to wait a lot.

The food was delicious, so the cabby was honest in his review of the place. I saw many people from various parts of world

The tea was served in ancient style, but since not nice to comment on food, let me leave the details there.

We returned back to hotel at 9pm: heart and stomach full. The next day the world book fair would begin.

Read Speeches & Statements of Iqbal before sleep. He said in his Presidential speech: I lead no party, I follow no leader

[Excerpts from
The Twitter-based Micro-Travelogue about a journey across four Indian states

Dedicated to To
Hazrat Nizamuddin Awliya

At a time when the Creed and its symbols are
Mercy and Love they have from it axed…
We hold dear the Mystic Sultan of Delhi
Whose mission liberated millions from the spiritual

Published by Adam Publishers & Distributors]