Monday, 19 January 2009

My Show Off: Qutb Uddin Dargah

Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy-All Rights Reserved

A friend (who'll remain anonymous for the time being) sent me various photographs of Indian Muslims, part of a project he's working on. Feeling pangs of envy at the quality and style of his work, I rummaged through my inventory and found this photograph of a scene at the Qutb Uddin Dargah in Delhi.

One of my favorite writers, William Dalrymple, visited the darghas of Delhi and wrote this in his The City of Djinns:

" All around milled the devotees: pilgrims, dervishes and sannyasin, labourers and merchants, scholars and soldiers, opium addicts, petty thieves...Some sat crossed-legged on the cool marble floor; others joined the queue to enter the tomb. As they stood waiting, a dervish in a light woolen tunic fanned them with a large pankah embroidered in gold with sacred Kufic calligraphy. In one corner sat a qalander - a holy fool- deep in animated conversation with an invisible djinn."

Some of you will recognize this was photographed with a film camera (Canon 1v), and is not a digital file. The dargah of Qutb Uddin is on the Theyyam Photo~Expedition itinerary which is set to start on February 19, 2009.