Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thank you

I've been watching the clock for more than an hour now. It feels good to not have deadlines hanging over my head like they were for the past two weeks. I'm so glad Friday is here! Alhamdulillah. Oh and I have another Alhamdulillah, all my fears about cheese not being halal (to vegetarians: Watch what you eat, not all cheese is vegetarian) have been resolved. M&B apparently called up Al-Huda to ask :). I told mom she could not have given me better news and all she found that hard to believe.

The past few days were so rushed, it was a relief to get out of that air-conditioned hole to pray. I love the place where I pray, even though it's just a normal landing of a normal stairway. It's cleaned quite often and apart from an imprint someone's shoe left on a wall (where he was presumably talking on the phone), there's only a breakable glass shelf in case there's a fire and two fire extinguishers. When I walk in, I take off my sandals and hang my ID card (galle ka patta as A mami calls it) on a protruding screw of the extinguisher. The tiny, exotic looking prayer-mat that I originally used to carry in a shopping bag, I now carry openly in my hand and people often look at it curiously.

There is no air-conditioning and I feel blessed to be sitting in warm sunlight that streams in from the windows. The floor I stand on is cool to the touch, I use the prayer mat only for my forehead and hands. It's a tiny prayermat after all. In the many times that I've been there, only a handful of times has someone walked in. Usually a security guard. Sometimes people walk in to have a private conversation either with someone or on the phone... take a step back when they see me and walk out. I find it funny now to think how I used to spend time worrying about what they thought. I hardly do that anymore.

I remember how shocked and excited I was to hear someone (male) praying and reciting the qur'an so melodiously on the landing below mine. Standing where I do, I cannot see whoever it is, but being a stairwell, the tiniest sound echoes throughout.(And of course, when I sneeze, you'd think it was thundering). The other day, there was someone I've heard once before, reciting the qur'an and then making dua in Arabic whose tone was so humble and heart-rending, I wished I could pray like that. Sometimes, I enter the stairwell and begin praying, not even realizing that there's someone praying on the floor below me until I hear that characteristic knee clicking sound when someone goes into ruku and I smile. It's nice to have company, even if its entirely unacknowledged.

I'm writing this post to thank those people who encouraged me when I was too scared to begin. Thank you, PB, Doda and Sudha. So much.

5 comments:

mythalez said...

:)
and good to know you have company, albeit an unseen-unspoken kind ..
perhaps, you all can put pressure on the office-ppl to allocate a room as a prayer room ?

Anonymous said...

"Sometimes, I enter the stairwell and begin praying, not even realizing that there's someone praying on the floor below me until I hear that characteristic knee clicking sound when someone goes into ruku and I smile."

Concentrate on your prayers and not the surroundings.


PB

shub said...

Loved this post. Hugs :)

Argentyne said...

@mythalez There is some space available but I don't like it and there are some other issues...

@PB, shut up :P

@shub, Thanks da :)

Sudha said...

Aw, you're very welcome. =)

And, at the risk of sounding decades older and completely pompous and pretentious: never apologise for your convictions, if you feel they are right.

That is all.