Lucknow’s Leap of Faith in COVID Times

Arijit Bose

Lucknow: It is said that faith can move mountains and in these times and always India has showed that it is a country that runs on faith and amity. For Zarin, amidst the doom and gloom in the city this is the time when she gets to not just savour goodies during iftaar but also feel closer to Allah as the month of Ramadan sets in. These are times when she and many others of her community practice abstinence so that they can atone for their sins and also serve the lesser fortunate. This time too the community will fast and observe the month but with caution.

Meanwhile for Nirmala, a devout follower of Hindu traditions this is time to worship NavDurga for nine days and pray that she vanquishes the corona curse to bring happiness back in the world.

In a mark of communal amity both communities are observing Ramadan and Navrati in their own unique way side by side. The city saw the beginning of the holy month of Navratri  on Tuesday and Ramadan on Wednesday. Muslim brethren are fasting for one month and offer prayers. People in the city were seen making a beeline for shops selling  dates, chips, papad and various varieties of sevaiyan. Similarly many Hindu devout were seen buying Chunari, idols, Sindoor, coconut, fruits etc.

If temples have been sanitized and kept spic and span, similarly all mosques are ensuring that cleanliness is taken as a priority. Mosques and madrasas in rural areas, including the city, will  see prayers in a regulated manner.

The administration has instructed devotees and temple committees to fully follow the SOP. Prominent temples  have allowed the faithful during the Navratris this year in the city only if they follow full COVID protocols.

Temples like Chowk’s Badi Kali Ji Mandir, the Chandrika Devi temple,  Kali Badi temple and Hanuman Setu have made special arrangements. Some are live streaming puja through various media. The old city temples will see Thermal checkups, sanitization and COVID help desks. At Mankameshwar Temple, the faithful can come offer their prayer and leave fast. As India takes its leap of faith, hope of it healing the despair remains afloat.

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