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Mohatta Palace. That’s what we were told would be the destination of our second trip. The bus went all the way to the other corner of the city, the sea shore.
We dropped at Abdullah Shah Ghazi's Shrine. A public service message went out from Najeeb Shamsi:“Take care of all your belongings.”
For an afternoon with scorching heat, there was a huge crowd at the shrine. A few among them mischievous with their long hair, stripped white and rolled by the action of time, while the rest of crowd was the lower class . They all had an earnest, focused look on their face as they climbed the 100 or so stairs up to Abdullah Shah Ghazi's Shrine.
As the stairs ended, its corresponding dusty aura ended. Rose scented building began. In part it looked like a shrine, in part like a mosque with people praying and in part; I dare say, like a mandir, with symbolic gestures strewn across the building.
Mandir, mosque and a shrine. It made a horrible cocktail. Meanwhile people continued to enter. The center of attraction was of course the grave of Abdullah Shah Ghazi. We entered the room where the saint lay.
Again a perplexing scene lays before me. Men and women, in squeezing space, offering prayers for the blessed saint. Just give me a break. Doesn't Islam enforce a certain distance between men and women; except during Hajj.
There is a continuous influx of people into the room. So one had to come out quickly; quickly praying and offering nazrana (charity) on the grave. I did none of this, and was pushed out of the room as I stared at the golden plate hanging on one wall of the room.
Just four minutes ago we had climbed up and now we were climbing down.
As we took our shoes back from the shoe-keeper, tada, the trip ended. Aisha announced that she was feeling psychological irritation at the place; so she was brought back to the bus.
Meanwhile Sadia said she did feel an essence of spirituality at the place, especially where the saints grave lay. She was emotionally disturbed because she did not offer prayer at the grave. As these ending conversations were going, the mischievous guy, with the white stripped curly hair let out:"Haq Allah (God is the only truth.)" It was a call for alms. Noman searched his pants left and right, and finally gave the guy a few coins.
But we had not yet seen the claim to fame of Abdullah Shah Ghazi: The Spring (Chasma), which God gifted his great worshipper when he was thirsty. So I begged my teacher to show it to us as well.
Exactly. The picture on the right is not very clear. That is because the well was bounded by a wall-like boundary with only a few wholes.
A water suction pump was attached to the spring (chasma), which provided water to the administration of Abdullah Shah Ghazi Shrine and the people visiting it.
It all looked like a cooked up story, and their is popular belief that such places are used as silhouettes by the slave industry to trade women.
About the author The author is a Second Year student in Urban Engineering. He is also the editor of this blog.
What do you know about Abdullah Shah Ghazi?
Do you believe in sainthood?
What is the role of such places in society?