King of Baghdad

For the first time, I got an opportunity to visit a Dargah and all credits go to my new friend Allah Rakha who calls himself the King of Baghdad.

I met him by chance while distributing footwear as an act of random kindness. He was passing by near the station with a mega-turban on his head. This immediately caught my attention and started following him.

He was reluctant to talk initially, but we got along well later. At first, he tried to scare me by saying that he’s a eunuch and people should stay away from them. I never understood these things but I started walking with him and asked why was he walking and that too barefooted. He explained to me something of great value.

He said that when you run, or drive a vehicle, your angle of vision is only around 40- degrees but when you walk, your angle of vision is almost 180-degrees. This gives you more insight into the world around you.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

He is a malang, one who has given up the material world in the service of the lord. We kept talking about a lot of things including where did he come from and how many languages he spoke — English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu, Arabic, and Persian.

I was zapped by his knowledge. I wanted to be with this dude-baba and so I requested him to walk a while with me it was the opposite. He said that he was going to the nearby dargah I can accompany him. I immediately accepted this golden offer.

The person at the gate of the holy place stopped me because I was wearing shorts. But, Allah Rakha, like the real savior, gave me his shawl to wear around, and then we gave our honor to Pedru Shah and I silently watched all the people who were just staring at me.

After our quick pilgrimage, we went to the station to catch a train and he was not sure where to go. He told me that he just travels wherever he likes and stays wherever he likes and lives a typical bohemian.

My train was about to leave and suddenly I remembered that I never asked him about his homeland.

Baba, where’s Baghdad?


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