The baritone singsong voice is at it again! The call of the muezzin has a special significance in my life. It dates back to the last three generations of my family. As per a tradition set by my great grand father, we have our meals as per the timings of the mosque, stationed behind out house, a green, weed covered pond separating the two.
Hence, the breakfast table reflects a king size spread at sharp 7.30 am, the lunch at 12.15 pm and dinner, precisely at 8 pm. I wonder who begun the tradition of replacing the meal time gong with a pithy “Allah Bobeila” !
“Bobeila” in the Odiya lexicon, ideally refers to the cackling of the crow and hence is used most often as “ Kau Bobeila”, Kau meaning the crow. Likening it to the call of the muezzin in this manner, is almost as if hinting towards Allah cackling his way through, to our ticking clocks, via the white kurta clad fellow who screeches into the well meaning microphone.
I have always questioned the necessity of the microphone in a mosque, without questioning the sanctity behind it. I understand that in the earlier days, a shout to the community members was more than enough to get them down on their knees to offer namaz to the Lord. However, with the advent of the microphone and the branching of the specific Muslim localities into more tolerant regions comprising of people from all religions, the daily prayers seems to be a hindrance to the non Muslims.
Disclaimer : This is in no way meant to hurt the sentiments of any religion and is purely a personal take on the subject discussed.
Is it necessary to voice out our call to the Supreme Being above? Isn’t prayer supposed to be a sacred and private conversation with the Almighty?
Think about it.
I remember specific exam times when certain festivals are celebrated with great fanfare and gusto within the Muslim community, in the streets adjacent to where I live. I have plugged in cotton into my ears and tried to shut the din by closing the doors and windows of my study room. Nothing really helped. The gong, the drums and the microphone played for days together. I reasoned and questioned and banged the table down in frustration.
Nothing more that I could do to add fire to the anti Muslim flames, that had already reached an optimum, because of the infamous Babri Masjid.
There have been eerie, silent times too when I hear the word “intekaal” on a number of occasions. I send a silent prayer upto the Lord to make his soul rest in peace. The moment then is almost inexplicable.
Goose Bumps? Yes.
There are also those bright eyed mornings when the sun hasn’t kissed the face of the earth, when I manage to wake up bleary eyed at 5 am, to hear the muezzin clear this throat and in a sing song voice, mark the beginning of yet another day, with the blessings of the Allah.
It strangely doesn’t hamper the serenity of the cold, slightly dark, morning, yet to come up in all its glory. At times it makes me smile. The kind when you wake up, still within the folds of the blanket, rub your eyes, hug your own self with both hands wrapped around your body and marvel at how beautiful God’s little creations are!
The solitary dew drop on a sprightly leaf!
The lone squirrel sprinting across!