Sunday, September 14, 2008

Adieu Haji Ali !!!

The Haji Ali shrine, known as "Pearl of the Arabian Sea" ... you can see why thanks to Tyrone's photographic skills !!!

Many a times we've dutifully taken our elderly relatives visiting Mumbai for what we call our day long religious "Mumbai Darshan", covering ISKON temple, Siddhivinayak, Haji Ali, Mahalaxmi temple and Ram Krishna Ashram roughly in that sequence.

So powerful has been the word of mouth that our extended retinue of mamas & mamis, kakus & kakimas etc from Kolkata & beyond now land in Mumbai only after confirming our availability to play tour guide !!! 

Lunch break is invariably at Oh! Calcutta in Tardeo, a stone's throw from Haji Ali.  Tucking into delicacies like Shorsho Ilish, Mochar Ghonto, Prawn Malai Curry etc is always the high point of the trip for me ... then we walk down to the Haji Ali Juice Center to wash it all down with a Ganga-Jamuna-Saraswati.

Just learnt couple of weeks back that the 14th century dargah is finally being reconstructed after years of back 'n forth between the BMC and the Dargah trustees. I've myself noticed the steady deterioration over the last 8 years since I first visited Haji Ali and its only a miracle which has kept the shrine from crumbling down.

Looks like there will be a temporary stop to our Haji Ali sojourns but we'll watch out for the reconstruction progress every time we drive by the Tardeo / Heera-Panna junction and hope that the new dargah will be a worthy replacement ...