I reach a path skirting the pond. A neelkanth (magpie) passes by me and skims over the silent water, makes a short dash into the water and comes out with a glistening small water- life in its claws. The canvass is enchanting and I’m blessed to be near a Dargah. Yes, the tomb of a Sufi saint is my destination.
I’m now reaching near the main gate. The pavement is carpeted with fallen flowers. I pick up some to offer there. An old bearded faqir comes to me and offers his blessings without being asked. This is the beauty of Sufism.
“Kuhsh raho !You like amaltas!” He throws his observation. “I love amaltas” I reply.
“For its beauty or for its laxative properties?” he buttonholes me.
“I’m not very much informed about its laxative properties. It reminds me of early fascination with the famous film actress Madhubala and the scene of MUGHAL-E-AZAM where the Saleem and Anarkali met during the night of their forbidden love, under the Amaltas tree, and relaxed their tense moments amid its fallen flowers.” He is not much please with my honest and frank statement. He has never been to a theatre.
“I shall give you many more reason to love amaltas” he says. “You know, the bark and pods of amaltas cure many diseases. The extraction of the pods is good for common fever and pneumonia. The heated pods of amaltas can be applied for relief of any kind of swelling. The pulp of amaltas is good for pregnant women. It relives pain, if used externally for the treatment of rheumatism. Sufis used it for the treatment of black water fever, leprosy and also for the remotion of abdominal obstructions. The slightly sweet seeds of Garmalo, the name of Amaltas in Gujarati, are used to give relief from constipation and for the treatment of jaundice and skin diseases. The barks are eaten raw for the treatment of stomachache.” He refuses to stop. “It sheds its leaves in April and flowers in May.”
I am an ardent believer of Spiritual Islamic Concept of Tasawuf or Sufism. I asked him if he could narrate any anecdote about Amaltas and Sufism. He has an instant answer. “It sheds its leaves early in April and flowers in May. It was the favorite color of Haji Waris Ali Shah the Sufi saint from Dewa, Barabanki in UP. He used to wear the same color of Ahram (cloak). He came from the reverend family of Hussayni Syeds. He was in the 26th generation of Hazrat Imam Hussain Shaeed-e-Karbala. Haji Waris taught us about the consciousness of the divine, intensification of piety and inculcation of humanistic attitude.”
I have had much
more than that of my daily dose of spiritualism. I thank him for his
company. He refuses to accept any monetary offer and I move to offer
my respect at the grave. I come out of the Dargah. Now, I’m back to
a promenade covered with low hanging amaltas gold. It is a pleasant