We rush back on the train and have some of the worlds best tea, oh! Just a tip, never go to see how food or tea is prepared in India, I promise you, you will never eat or drink that particular food ever again, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
We have tea and the famous pista biscuits sold widely across India, Anwar and Shafiq are really anxious about their arrival in Kerala, and start discussing our program, sound abit boring for me but I listen non the less.
After a gruelling long 29 hour train journey we finally arrive at the Kannur train station in Kerala.
We disembark, and to my surprise there is no pushing and shoving and screaming and fighting but rather cool a d calm atmosphere with a cool breeze and a lot of greenery.
Kerala is also recognized as one of the cleanest states in India, its arguably the most beautiful state after Kashmir, tropical shores and white sands, it is home to the best plantations of tea, and it boasts of 100% educated state. Everyone speaks English and is qualified in some field or the other. And English, Maliyalam and Tamil is spoken mostly. However this worldly ‘heaven’ suffers one major set back, and that is that the daughters of this lush lands remain unmarried, not because of high dowrys set like the Middle East, but rather that Indian men feel intimidated by their women’s high levels of education and status in the fields of secularism. And therefore opt to marry in other states of India, and this has made the parents of these youngsters rather restless and led them to take some desperate measures, I shall explain in detail shortly.
We received by a young man, dress in a sherwani and a neat beard with frameless glasses and for once! No paan stained teeth, he had it all figured out, he had porters to carry all our luggage and escorted us to his 7 seater Toyota innova and he spoke totally crisp English in a thick British accent. i thought to myself
” this is great I’ll be able to have a proper conversation in English without having to repeat myself a million times”
Munawar Ebrahim shahzaad iyer, that was his name we referred to him as the ” da boss” because he spoke 11 languages and was a qualified lawyer and a complete Aalim and was still contemplating going to Al Azhar university in Egypt to further his studies in the sciences of Al Quran and had 4 kids…. Yeah that’s why he was “da boss”.
After driving a long way we reached a pink mosque, very beautiful architecture and splendid view with a mini market at its footing.
The mosque had a sence of awe feel to it and was busy with people involved in teaching and learning, this reminded me of the Mosque of the Prophet SAW it used to also always be the hub of learning and never slept, these peoples zeal for Islamic knowledge and secular information was unbelievable.
We were directed to a massive room which had all the facilities and told to take rest from our journey, “da boss” took our leave as he had to attend some seminar, we walked around checking the toilets and bathroom, every South African does that mind you, wherever they go in the world.
We make ourselves comfy and try to get some rest, I head to the bath to take a nice shower after that decade of a train ride, and hit the sack as well.
We later awoken by the most beautiful azaan for salaah and later introduced to the community after salaah by another brother named Azizur Rahman, all the brothers present there for salaah come one after another giving us a warm welcome, we ask Anwar if we can go out for abit he agrees but insists he joins us, we walk out of the masjid and through the streets and are gaped at by other people as if we were the aliens from the big movie independence day we purchase a few goodies and head back to the mosque.
We sit down for meals and Azizur Rahman says to me
” my daughters have prepared these dishes specially for you”
Hussein jokingly says to me
” I wonder what the stekkieslook like?”
“the Bali don’t look so hot to me, maybe they fell on the ma”
I quickly try to shut him up and laugh it off.
Azizur Rahman goes on to praise his daughters about their education and so forth and clearly says
” I have 3 daughters and I see that you are three South Africans”
I did not hold back but say
“uncle I’m not qualified in any field whatsoever so you will probably have no grand kids”
No catching up the joke he smiles whilst Yusuf and Hussein and I burst out in a roar of laughter , that was cold I know, but I didn’t come to India to get married. There are plenty Indians in south Africa waiting to get married.
To be continued
We visited various schools in the area and after analyzing the kids of young ages we realized what a flawed system of education we have back home, we visited other masaajid, this place had to have Indias most beautiful places of worship.
Azizur Rahman never left our side and kept showering us with sweetmeats and Rooh hafsa, (sarbat) as far as I know those kind of dishes are served at happy occasions or good news, non the less I was enjoying it thoroughly, as he hasn’t voiced his motive officially when he does I will stop eating.
One evening after esha we were all seated on the stair case of the mosque and Azizur Rahman together with Anwar and Shafiq came and said they would like to have a few words with us.
So once again Hussein mumbles:
” the Bali gona Che you one stekkie”
” my brothers we are over joyed at your presence in this beautiful place of ours and we cannot be more gratefull as a token of appreciation myself and a few of my friend have a proposal for you, we will line our daughters up for you and you will have a choice of which one you want to marry!! ”
I almost fainted , he continued’
” please note they are well versed young girls in islamiat as well as secular, but they will listen and be very abiding spouses unto you”
As much as it sounded like a really good deal, there was no way I’m marrying a Tamil / Maliyalam speaking girl with several degrees and honors and whatever else, Yusuf seemed intrested,
Hussein just said ” these balis got jokes”
I didn’t want to hurt the mans heart so I said ” brother Aziz please don’t feel bad but we have come here for a different purpose but If any of us are intrested we will contact you directly”
But he never gave up so easily and started passing the photos around,
Hussein whispers in my ear.
” bring here let’s check what they look like”
The women of that place complemented their surroundings that’s all I’ll say,
” al man Bollywood stekkies I tune you, call your ma tune her you bringing Bhabi home” Hussein said
Knowing my mum she will send me and Bhabi back to Kerala lol
The next morning we were back on the train to Delhi and after two days we were headed to Bangladesh, I shall share that trip with you on another occasion insha Allah,
We appreciate all that we have which the less fortunate don’t have.
Be content with all that Allah has blessed you with.
Do not over indulge in your desires it will lead to your downfall.
Be pleased with every situation Allah puts you through.
Do not set your educational goals so high that it takes all your live acquiring them and when you done theres no time to use them.
Draw lessons from every moment of your life and enjoy every moment because it may never be repeated.
Hope you enjoyed this write up, feedback is always appreciated.
Untill next time I entrust you over to Allah والسلام
AUTHORED BY: ALI ISMAIL JOGIE