A few days ago, me and Deepak, a friend of mine, decided to visit Ajmer Sharif. Our reasons for the visit were different. I was going there for the sake of travel, & I don’t know about him.
We boarded the Ashram Express from Gurgaon at about 4’o clock. It took us about 7 hours, give or take 10 or ten minutes, to reach Ajmer. Excited at first, the feeling gradually wore off. By the time we reached Ajmer, the clock was showing 10 and something. The weather was cool there, not chilling. But yes, we needed a ‘khaysee’.
The night felt long. We slept on one of the benches on platform 3. Every time we slept, a train would come there blaring its horn at full volume, making it difficult than it already was to sleep. The vendors then quickly running hither and thither to sell their wares.
Night felt long. With phone’s battery below 50% and no one to talk to, It was definitely a long night. But thanks to it, I was able to listen to a few of old songs of Gurdas Maan I had downloaded earlier that day.
At 5 A.M., we got up and started toward exit. Once out of the station (or say Ajmer Junction), as soon as we took a step, there was a person, trying to persuade us to take a room. We refused, citing our short stay. It was the same story till we reached Dargah.
Once there, we took our offerings (a chadar and a few gulaabs) and entered it. In there, there were people of all ages and sex praying and doing their stuff. Also seen was badi degh and choti degh. People in my pind call their kadhai massive. These were gigantic in proportions.
It was early morning. The ambience at Dargah was peaceful. Though there was a loudspeaker uttering some incomprehensible syllables, it was hardly violating the ambience there. Also, there was the sound of birdsong. It was loud but cheerful.
There, we offered our offerings, made obeisance and quickly walked out of there.
The experience was good and peace inducing, save for a few mullahs who were waving peacock-feathers and surrounding the dargah and continued pestering us for money on the name of Garib Nawaz, citing that the bigger the offering made, the bigger the effect will be. I was baffled at this. I felt sad at how some people have made the holy shrines a place for money-mongering.
Will I go there again? Certainly, few people can’t make me form a wrong perception of a place I love dearly. If possible, one day, I’d also like to attend the Urs festival.
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