Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Baba and Pyazu Baba

Daddy is our bad translation for the Indian word Baba. Baba is used for daddy, that is alright. But is is also used for grandpa, especially in Northern India. More common use of the word is relegated to a holy-man.

Coming back to the topic of the post we are talking about Baba and Pyazu Baba. Pyaz is the Hindi/Urdu word for onion.

Baba is Mr Farooq, the Prayer Caller of Anona House Mosque. He is a former rickshaw puller. Now he looks after that Anona House Mosque and helps Qari Ilyas Sahab (DB) in running the Maktab (small seminary ) attached to the Mosque. This is no small achievement considering the fact that correct reading of the Holy Qura'n is one of the hall marks of Abraria teachings and many accomplished and senior people from the field of modern and religious lines of education come to this Maktab to improve their recitation.

Like any Prayer Caller in a Mosque in this part of the world Baba manages to pack a large number of tasks into his routine.

 Pyazu Baba is Mr Alimuddin, an onion merchant from Delhi. Originally from district Madhubani of the state of Bihar, he can be considered as one of the special helpers (khadim-e-khas) of Hazrat Shaikh (DB). Within last three weeks he is already on his third visit to Anona House. When a person gets tired then it is very soothing if his body parts are pressed. Mr Alimuddin specializes in that. In deed if you are with in his reach (and it is not a sitting (majlis) time) then the chances are that he'll start pressing your shoulders!