He has mastered the art of illumination. This man is no ordinary electrician for he not only lights up the camps at the Hindu festival of Kumbh but also the lives he comes across in the melas.
In an exclusive interview with Life Beyond Numbers, the famed lightman of Kumbh, Mohammad Mehmood says, “I have been lighting camps for 3o years or more now and if Allah wishes, I will be able to do few more.”
Fondly called as “Mullah Ji Light Waale” by family and friends, 77-year-old Mehmood has worked in Haridwar, Ujjain an, Allahabad(Prayagraj).
“About 33 years ago, I came across the sadhus of Juna Akhada, which is one of the oldest Akhadas in the Kumbh. I was young back then and had little or no idea about the Akhadas. Over the years, I have learned to understand their culture and became familiar with their culture. I light their huge tents and my work lights up in the night,” says the old man reminiscing about his beautiful journey.
He attended his first Kumbh in 1986 in Haridwar and since then he has lost count of the melas he attended to set lights in the festivals.
Money is not important for him, Smile is.
Even though he has been lighting camps for decades now, but contentment is not something that he earns from it. Mehmood believes, “Money is important to survive, but spiritual knowledge makes us whole.”
Ask him what he does when someone gets angry at him. Mehmood says, “If someone feels light after shouting or using abusive language, what’s the problem? If they feel better after this, everything is fine.”
A businessman from Muzaffarnagar in Western UP and because of his will and love for his work, traveling 800kms to Prayagraj appears to be a cakewalk for him. Every six years, he travels to Prayagraj Kumbh and camps out at the mela.
Apart from illuminating camps at melas, he owns an electric shop at Sarbar Gate in Muzaffarnagar. Talking about his family, he says, “I have three daughters and my son helps me to run my business.”
Skipping prayer is alien to him. So, Sadhus have arranged a separate space for Mehmood, so that he can offer “namaz” every day.
There are 10-12 members in his group, Hindus and Muslims who work together and make this grand affair more beautiful. “Greeting people with a happy face and sharing stories with them makes me very happy,” he concludes with a smile.