Basant Panchmi, the festival of spring is here.
For Hindus it’s the day worship Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, music, art and culture. But Few would know that Basant Panchami is also celebrated by many Muslims in India, especially at the dargah (tomb) of Nizamuddin Aulia at Delhi, every year. And for those who are interested, today is that day. 14th Feb 2013.
The story goes like this. Once Nizamuddin Aulia once so grieved because of the passing away of his nephew that he withdrew himself completely from the world. Amir Khusro, could not bear with his Pir’s absence any longer, and started thinking of ways to brighten him up.
One day Khusro met a few women on the road who were dressed up beautifully, and carrying yellow flowers. They told him that they were taking the offering of Basant to their God. Khusro found this very fascinating, and smiling he said, “Well, my God needs an offering of Basant too”. Soon, he dressed himself up like those women, took some mustard flowers and singing the same songs, started walking towards the graveyard where Nizamuddin would be sitting alone. Nizamuddin Aulia noticed some women coming towards him – he could not recognize Khusro. On close inspection, he realized what was going on, and smiled. Khusro’s charm worked.
This led to a tradition that continues till today like it has been going on for the last 700 years. So on the eve of Basant people will come to the dargah wearing yellow and offer sarson and Genda ( Marigold) to Nizamuddin and his Nephew’s tomb. Some of the them may be singing
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson
Ambva borey, tesu phooley,
koyal boley daar daar,
Aur gori karat singhar,
malania garhwa le aayin karson
Sakal bun phool rahi sarson.
So finally Basant is here and it is Yellow.