Vignettes of a South African Township called Mdantsane

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Notes from East London, A Moulana from Lahore

It’s 5 in the evening here. Popped in for my regular samosa and chai at a Bangladeshi takeaway near a mosque at central East London. Love discussing South Asian politics there. A Pakistani moulana with a long beard ( wish I could grow a beard like that ) surrounded by his Somali disciples holding prayer beads comes up, he starts a conversation in chaste Urdu with me, beleaguered only with equal enthusiasm by my Punjabi Urdu and a lot of body language, telling him the reason of this greatest rendezvous, being only the almighty Allah and nothing else.’ ‘Bhai jaan, Aap to humarey Lahore key nikley’ A big smile on both sides. Brother, Now I know from your accent that you are from our Lahore. The Bangladeshi chef, nonchalantly utters in Bangla at the same time, Dada, 'khabar toiree hoiy gechey'. The food is ready. 'Basayey giyey khaibo' I shall have it at home. Switching on to Syheti Bangla, I looked at Moulana’s utter confusion, ‘Upar wala junoon barsa raha hai aap par, masheallah phir miltey hain’.I tell him, The almighty is raining this obsession on you, We meet again

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