Dr Javeed Nayeem, master of ceremonies at Id Milan, invited from the audience a representative of Mysore’s community of the Sikhs (13 families) to address the gathering. An elderly Sikh who took the floor held the audience attention with his earthy talk and anecdotal message of harmony. He thanked organizers for so honouring him on the occasion of, what he called, ‘my thaavu’s Id’. Thaavu is one’s father’s elder brother – ‘Gurudev is our (Sikhs) father; and the Prophet is our thaavu’.
His message was that sharing love and affection with others, in other communities, works wonders – ‘you should all try it sometime’. Speaking from experience, he was once caught up in an Id day traffic jam, while on his way to a conference on the JNU campus, New Delhi. The bus carrying him got stuck on road near an Idgah. Sensing the hopelessness of the situation the Sikh stepped down onto the street and hung around in front of Idgah, as the congregation streamed out after ID prayers. Finding a Sikh at the doorstep of Idgah a Muslim asked, ‘what brings you here, sardarji ?’
‘It is my thaavu’s Id’, said the Sikh, explaining to the Muslim stranger they were spiritual cousins. So pleased was this Muslim that he lifted the Sikh off his feet with ‘juppi’ (bear-hug of the passionate kind). He wouldn’t let him go without ‘kathirdari’ at his (Muslim) home. The host later sent his car to reach the Sikh to the JNU campus. On reaching the venue ‘I found the others traveling in my bus had not made it to the conference’.
Moral of the story: a ‘juppi’ with stranger can, sure, work magic.