One beautiful moment in time
by Shafeenaaz on Friday, March 25, 2011 at 9:45pm
If you take a walk on La Rue Chaussee in Port Louis these days, your senses are in for a treat.
A photographer has captured on lens some stills of Mauritius that are simply breathtaking and blown them up size-wise and pasted it on one of the busiest streets of the capital.
The result? You slow your pace to savour the pictures and occasionally you stop to stare. I did that this morning on the way to work and again in the afternoon on my way back from work.
One of the pictures is of a solitary old man dressed in a white shalwar kameez to match his white long beard, sat on his knees in Jummah masjid, feet perfectly crossed at the back, shoulders hunched forward, head bowed and with a prayer bead in hand. A picture of humility and grace.
If I was stunned by this picture in the morning, in the evening I was blessed to see the man himself staring at his portrait on the street. I stopped to ask him if he was the man in the picture and he said yes. I must have mumbled some kind of compliment and salutation and was moving on when he said to me "Prier ki mo emaan rester jusq'au dernier moment" (Translation: Pray that my faith in God stays with me till the last moment). To which I replied Insha Allah (God Willing).
Walking on, I thought what a perfect prayer that is. The old man surely knows the value of faith at that final moment more than I do. And it occured to me that we live our lives mostly praying for this life, but what about that final moment? When death closes in, when confusion sets in?
To have faith in that twiight zone is a cornerstone of Islam. So I too pray. My Lord, please let my faith stay with me at that last moment. And let that old man keep his too at his time.
The photograph next to the one I mentioned above was the portrait of a man with his eyes closed and tongue pierced from one side to the other by a miniature metal spear for Cavadee (a Hindu ceremony). That one had me staring too. There was not a single frown or a stray wrinkle that could have betrayed pain or suffering on his face. The man was perfectly calm. At peace. A kind of peace probably only he knows. It was arresting.
Each of the photographs on the street told its own story. Each beautiful. Each real and living.
My country is beautiful and my people showcase that beauty. Go see it if you haven't. You'll be blown away.
PS: Please someone help me with the photographer's name. My mind is woefully blank tonight.