Festival of Lights at Madhu Lal’s Urs, 2010

The 3-days Urs of Hazrat Shah Hussain (March 27-29, 2010), radical Sufi saint of Punjab, gained momentum on the weekend as thousands of devotees filled up the narrow streets and the main road leading to the great saint’s shrine while dancing, chanting his poetry and performing spiritual dances.
The entire area around the shrine of Hazrat Shah Hussain and his disciple Madhu, commonly known as Madhu Lal Hussain, continued buzzing with ecstasy amid chants of malangs and devotees who had come over to participate in the Urs from across the country.
Braving the increasing heat, power outages and heavy prices being extorted by transporters and the makeshift shopkeepers, men, women and children immersed themselves in mystic joy while performing the centuries-rituals at the shrine of the saint. The devotees, especially women, flocking the shrine made it a point to light a lamp for the fulfillment of their wishes. This ritual has given the grand festival the name ‘Mela Chiragan’ (The Festival of Lights)

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Raza Rumi is a freelance writer from Lahore, Pakistan. He regularly writes for the Pakistani weekly The Friday Times, The News and Daily DAWN on myriad topics such as history, arts, literatue and society. Raza blogs at Jahane Rumi - a website devoted to Sufi thought, the arts, literature, and cultures of South Asia. Raza also edits a cyber-magazine Pak Tea House; and compiles the Development Industry blog . Specialties: Raza is also regular writer at All Things Pakistan, Desicritics, and Global Voices. Raza has worked in Pakistan and abroad in various organizations including multilateral institutions such as the United Nations.