DP Daily Prompt: Seat Guru

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You get to plan a dinner party for 4 –8 favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?

This will be an interesting prompt for me to do. My guests are :Allama Iqbal,Jalal ud-din Rumi, Rabindranath Tagore, William Wordsworth, Hemant Kumar, Waheed Murad, Mohammad Rafi and Roger and Hammerstein.

Now the seating arrangement has to be special for my honorable guests.  I’ll put Allama Iqbal beside Rumi; Tagore and William Wordsworth would be comfortable beside each other;  Waheed Murad and Mohammad Rafi at his side will be awesome; Hemant Kumar the musician will fare well with Rodgers and Hammerstein the duo. Since all these are celebrities, I have decided to have catering service.

There is going to be some restrictions about food. I’ll ask for chicken and fish to be served, for beverage water is the best, it’ll keep everyone happy, for dessert I’ll order a few e.g cheese balls in syrup for Tagore and Hemant Kumar; Cheesecake for Wordsworth,Rodgers and Hammerstein; I’m hoping Waheed Murad,Rafi Iqbal and Rumi would love Persian dessert.

Dinner was a success, all the guests enjoyed the food served.  It’s time for tea or coffee, during this time the guests will be energized to speak to each other. There in the corner I can hear Rumi and Iqbal having a deep conversation,I quietly walked over, this is what Iqbal asked Rumi, “How could one make his journey towards immortality?”

This is what Rumi said, “It is like a  rebirth. Just as you arrive in this world through a birth, another birth takes you out of this world. However, this rebirth comes through the inner strength of Love. Remember, the essence of humanity is the power to see God: The body cannot hinder your flight once the power of true Love takes over the soul.”

I wanted to stay and continue to listen, but I am the host I must walk around and treat all my guests equally well. I went over to see if Tagore or Wordsworth needed anything, they didn’t even notice I was there, Wordsworth was explaining to Tagore what influenced him to write the poem “Daffodils”.

Suddenly I heard a heated dialogue between Waheed Murad and Rafi, they were discussing the song in Waheed Murad’s movie Armaan, Rafi was asking what exactly was the meaning of the song, my ears were ready to grasp the lyrics, Waheed explained it was not meant to be an ordinary love song, it talks about Love but in a different sense, between two states that were united once and split, but are trying to settle their difference spiritually. I couldn’t hear all of it.

Rodgers and Hammerstein called me, they were planning to play the music of “Edelweiss,” I was delighted I told them to go ahead, to my surprise the cast of the movie, ‘The Sound Of Music’, appeared and were ready to sing the song.

The dinner went well, they all enjoyed listening to the song. I had a great time!



Our Visit to Amritsar

Wagah celebrators

Wagah celebrators (Photo credit: lukexmartin)

Entrance to Golden Temple, Amritsar

Entrance to Golden Temple, Amritsar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Te...

Sikh pilgrim at the Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar, India. The man has just had a ritual bath. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From our learning experience of Allama Mohammad Iqbal and Sufi Jalaluddin Rumi,we decided we needed a break and our next move would be to take a trip to Amritsar.

Alphie,Susan,Gepetto and I decided,it would be a grand idea to leave Delhi for a couple of days. Since I was in favour of Amritsar,I got Gepetto interested by telling a few things about it.It worked Gepetto took the bait,the result was we were on our way to Amritsar.

It is a city in the north-western part of India and is the spiritual centre for Sikh religion.The religion was founded by Guru Nanak.it is a monotheistic religion founded during the 15th century in the Punjab region.It is the fifth largest religion in the world.There are approximately thirty million Sikhs in the world.

Guru Nanak’s teachings are not founded on a final destination of heaven or hell,but on a spiritual union with God.In Sikhi,the influences of Ego,anger,greed,attachment and lust—known as the Five Evils-are believed to be particularly destructive.The fate of the people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God,and the situation may be remedied only after intensive devotion.  It teaches that God is Omnipresent,Transcendent ,Omnipotent and Omniscient.It also revolves around the belief in re-incarnation.It does not however believe in miracles.

Images for Amritsar: Golden Temple, Harimandir Sahib,Wagah Border,Jallianwalah Baagh.

The Golden Temple was constructed in the 15Th century.The craftsmen of the North were involved in heightening the insights of religion by creating works in and through the daily life , which may exalt the devotees.

Sri Harmandir Sahib–was built in 1574.Some of the architectural features of Sri Harmandir Sahib were intended to be symbolic of the Sikh world view.Instead of the normal custom of building a Gurdwara on high land,it was built at a lower level than the surrounding land so that the devotees would have to go down the steps to enter it.It has four entrances.

Wagah Border: The daily ritual of the flag hoisting and lowering is worth travelling to see.It is performed by smartly turned out Pakistani and Indian soldiers.It receives spontaneous applause from the spectators gathered to watch them.The ritual starts with a handshake between the captains,followed by a battle of angry looks,stomping with vigour to show military strength,the blowing of trumpets and march past add to the colourful ceremony.

The Jallianwala Baagh Massacre: It took place in the Jallianwala Baagh public garden in the North Indian City of Amritsar on 13th April 1919.The shooting was ordered by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer.The casualty number was more than 1500 and about 1000 were killed.

Historians considered the episode as a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India.

We spent the two days,we visited the temple,the Wagah border,Harmandir Sahib.We also saw the public garden Jallianwala  Baagh.Alphie and his family enjoyed visiting the city of Amritsar.Gepetto filled his diary with some words he found interesting and hard to pronounce.It is to be expected,when one visits a place with entirely different religion and culture,it is something the visitors should be proud of.They did not hesitate to go.

We had a lot of adventure and we all were thrilled to have this fabulous experience.Now back in Delhi,we have to decide what next!

May God be with you all,Allah Hafiz!

The Harmandir Sahib, a Sikh gurdwara and spiri...

The Harmandir Sahib, a Sikh gurdwara and spiritual centre at Amritsar, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)