Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Got a wish? Offer a clock to Ghari Baba...

Courtesy IANS:

Nandshri Chawkri (Gujarat, India) - At the shrine of Hazratwala Pir here, one can find hundreds of clocks hanging at any given time - all offerings made by pilgrims after their wishes came true.

People from all communities have been coming to pray at the shrine of the Pir, widely known as Ghari Baba (the "Clock Holy Man"), for more than a century.

'This mazaar (mausoleum) is more than 100 years old. Individuals offer clocks to the Baba once their wishes are fulfilled on time. This has been the tradition here. These clocks indicate the right time of wish fulfilment,' Haribhai Patel, one of the trustees, told IANS.

Situated on National Highway 8 between Ahmedabad and Vadodara, the shrine attracts attention because clocks of all shapes and sizes adorn its walls.

'Around four to five clocks are offered to the baba every day,' Patel said.

Patel and other workers of the mazaar, about 100 km from Ahmedabad, are happy that the shrine is frequented by Hindus and Muslims alike.

'There is no distinction of caste and creed here. Anyone can come and offer flowers and clocks to the Baba,' said Patel, a Hindu himself.

The trust gets funds for maintaining the shrine from donations made by devotees and from the annual festival held in December. Abdul Fahim, 48, has been visiting the shrine for the last eight years. A truck driver by profession, he has come all the way from West Bengal to offer a clock to the Baba.

'My wish was fulfilled by Baba and that's why I'm here to offer him a clock,' Fahim said.

Khalid, a Vadodara resident, had also come to pray at Ghari Baba's mazaar.

The 30-year-old said he has been coming to the shrine since childhood.

But a worker at the shrine said: 'Majority of the people visiting this place are Hindus.'

Asked what they did with the hundreds of clocks given by devotees, Patel said: 'We give away these clocks to schools. But they have to come with a letter from the school authority.'