1/15/2019 12:23:12 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
In a sea of saffron, he stands out with his skull cap and grey beard. Mohammed Mehmood, also known as Mullah Ji is a permanent feature of every Kumbh, reports News 18.
A 76-year-old businessman from Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh, he acquainted himself with the Sadhus of the Juna Akhara - the largest and one of the fiercest Akharas of the Naga Sadhus, an ancient order of warrior monks, in 1986. They hired him to set up the lights around their tents. Now, every six years, he still travels over 800 km to Allahabad, now named Prayagraj, and camps out at the Kumbh Mela.
“I am an electrician. When you come here at night, you will see that the entire area where Sadhus have pitched their tents is dazzling with bright lights of all colours. That is my doing,” he says proudly. Mehmood’s business of setting up lights for festivals spans from Janmasthami celebrations in Muzaffarnagar to the famous Nauchandi Mela in Meerut.
“The first Kumbh I ever attended was the 1986 Kumbh in Haridwar. Apart from the mela that happens in Nashik, I have attended every one,’’ he says, now attending his 11th mela. “The Babas make me feel at home. Sometimes they ask me to sit on their gaddi (padded mattress), but I respect them too much to do that. I read my namaz five times a day in the presence of these Sadhus and they always give me the space,” he adds.