Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Part 10

Push carts, piled with everything from colorful fabrics to music CDs,
lined the street that took us into the Nizamuddin neighborhood. Waves
of beggars, nodding their heads, approached our car with outstretched
hands. Somehow they survive on the street, despite terrible physical
afflictions. I was stunned by a man whose bloody shoulder indicated a
recently removed arm, and was too weak to raise his remaining arm to
beg for help.

One persistent character decided to follow us during our entire stay
in the neighborhood. He appears in several of my photos.
From New Delhi
From New Delhi
Although I
carefully followed Rod's advise not to let my camera be seen, this
unique area provided over 100 photos and video clips. My camera's
size allowed me to hold it in my hand and take photos through my
fingers as
I walked.

A large majority of men in the neighborhood wore taquiyahs, small
crocheted hats worn for religious purposes.
From New Delhi
We had tied bandannas
onto our heads in an attempt to blend in with the crowd, but rather
than blending in, we were obviously out of place. Rod sent his
maintenance contractor off to find taqiyahs for us to wear. A few
minutes later we had a handful of delicately woven taqiyahs to select
from, and soon each of us had taken possession of one of these
twelve-cent hats. With our new taqiyahs securely positioned on our
heads, we continued along the street leading to our destination - The
Nizamuddin Dargah.
From New Delhi

The Nizamuddin Dargah is the shrine and final burial place of Hazrat
Auliya a revered Sufi saint. As we neared the shrine, the surrounding
buildings enveloped the street. It seemed as though we had entered a
cave. Lights from the merchant booths lit the path. Many of the
merchants near the shrine sold flower petals, brightly decorated silk
sheets and white candy. Pilgrims visiting the shrine buy these items
to lay on the shrine itself. Rod's maintenance contractor bought a bag
of the white candy. It tasted like a soft after dinner mint without
the strong mint flavor.
From New Delhi
Soon, the street descended several steps to
the entrance of the shrine complex. Before entering the shrine and
adjacent Jamat Khana Mosque, visitors are expected to remove their
shoes and sandals. We left our shoes in the care of attendants who
stashed them away in a sea of hundreds of shoes, boots and sandals. I
left the dingy dark street behind and stepped onto the smooth white stone
floor of Nizamuddin Dargah.

Continued in part 11

No comments: