Friday, October 12, 2007

Outside Hazratbal.

Inside Hazratbal, a jaali-wall, a concrete veil outside which women and children kneel. Beyond this point, I am not allowed to go.

This concrete screen - covered in tiny scrawling hopes and inky laments.

God, make me pass my matric exam. God, make my mother well. God, get me a job. God, I want to be top of the class. God, keep us together. God, let him love me. God, do not separate us lovers. God, keep our enemies from us.

And from one little girls' pencil:

God, if you help me clear my exams with good marks, I will come back to give you eleven rupees. And if you help my father with his work and clear our debts and restore my mother's health, I will come back with one hundred and one rupees. And if you help us build our house.... And if my brother does well in his exams....

In Urdu. In Hindi. In English. In mixtures. The scripts vary. But always... God, love! God, health! God, money!

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