They went to the Salim Chishti dargah at Fatehpur Sikri and reportedly the caretaker, Peerzada Rais Mian Chishti, asked the lady, “What is your wish, your prayer?” She is supposed to have said, “Pray for my son, and pray I have another.” The news says he "gave her a red thread that she tied round her wrist, recited the ayat-ul-kursi, and blew". I don’t if it was on the thread or her forehead, as is often done.
Hai! Main maa ban-ne waali hoon
Anyhow, the papers have mentioned that the lady was veiled and there are some ‘yippee’ comments about it because you know of the French position on the veil. Well, the lady was not veiled. She had wrapped a shawl round her head, that’s it.
What’s the big deal, anyway? And why did she ask for a son? They gave her the story about how Emperor Akbar walked to the shrine to get an heir. He had an empire to run and it was years ago when patriarchy was deeply entrenched. Here we have Sarko who is funded by a cosmetics company, L’Oreal, so what’s this sonny need? He has three form earlier marriages; she has one from her previous husband. Rais Mian, like most of the custodians of shrines, are always in the limelight during such visits, and he had formed an opinion about her: “Very kind, warm-hearted and extremely family-oriented mohtarma (lady).” I gather the desire for a boy makes her family-oriented.
Fik’r mat karo, maine kaam kar diya
What he should have done is given that red thread to Sarkozy saab and not Begum sahiba and blown over his head because the Y chromosome is with him, Salim Chishti or no Salim Chishti. At least Akbar Badshah knew that. Of course, Sarko stuck to his jogging regimen to stay fit; he knows he cannot rely on a thread and the breath of a man who looks after a tomb.
Now that the French couple has done the rounds of the tourist sites and seen turbans everywhere, if they thought they’d get some rest and bare heads, then they are mistaken:
Government sources indicated that the contentious issue of ban on Sikh turbans in France will again be taken up with the French side. The government is expected to politely convey to Sarkozy how strongly India feels about the issue when he holds delegation-level talks with PM Manmohan Singh on Monday.
Yeh lo, ungli diya tau haath pakad liya
Out PM has done this before at other meets and mentioned how the turban is “a very essential part of the Sikh way of life”. True. However, don’t you think this should be conveyed through emissaries and not during delegation-level talks? This is especially important because the PM himself wears a turban and it would seem like he is taking advantage. As a host, he needs to be more careful.
I might also add that had APJ Abul Kalam Azad discussed the veil ban issue, it would not have been considered proper. It would have been deemed regressive. Then, any aspect of religion in which we are trapped is harking back to something that was expected for certain reasons way back in time. Sikhs do not carry swords because it is not feasible and I am not sure how many wear the kachcha (loose underwear) beneath their tight jeans or don’t trim their hair.
Not quite certain about choice of French cuisine or Indian, the chefs decided to do a fusion. It seemed to have appealed to the palate of the guests, though one wonders how…maybe the lady being Italian has some acceptance of farm food so this would seem like really rich. The hotel plans to name something or the other in her honour. May I suggest Carla Coq au dahi and Bruni Blanquette de gosht? Let’s not leave the man out, so the two other items can be enjoyed with stuffed Nicolas naan.
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Rough translation/meanings of the captions:
1. Wow, I am gonna be a mommy
2. Don’t worry, the work has been done
3. Give him an inch and he will take a yard