Nagpur: In keeping with their tradition of communal harmony, the residents of Mahdi Bagh Colony, a city-based community of devout and progressive Muslims, celebrated the Hindu festival of Diwali with a rangoli making and a lantern making competition.
More than 50 residents – from school-going children to businessmen and professionals – participated in both competitions, once again show-casing the community’s artistic talents. The event was organized by Mahdi Bagh Youth Club (MBYC), a personality and community development organization. Moin Malak, President of Mahdi Bagh Youth Club (MBYC) said, “In Mahdi Bagh we honour and respect the festive traditions of all religions in our country. This is a part of our belief and philosophy of universal brotherhood and understanding.”
The exhibition was inaugurated at the hands of the spiritual leader of the community His Holiness Maulana Amiruddin Malak Saheb, who himself has set many examples in religious brotherhood. Earlier this year, he accepted an invitation from Mahamandaleshwar Swami Avdheshanand Giri to inaugurate the Ram Katha by Sant Morari Bapu at Simhastha Kumbh, Ujjain.
The rangoli designs were based on Middle-Eastern themes, transporting visitors to palaces from the Arabian Nights, the undulating swathes of sands, silhouetted camels and intricacies of Moroccan mosaic. Palm trees and minarets stood tall from the deserts as the artists used colour as well as monotone to stunning effect. Signature Turkish floral motifs and the famed Arabian carpets in geometric perfection were tastefully laid out. The human touch was provided by a portrait of an Arabian beauty with mystical half-shut eyes peeking above the hijab.
The tiny tots used their imagination to produce designs such as those of a genie rising from the famous lamp of Aladin, a camels footprints criss-crossing the desert around prickly cacti, a geographic map of the Arabian Gulf and even an appeal for peace.
Similarly, the lantern-making contest found the residents at their imaginative best with designs as well as materials. Traditional patterns juxtaposed with modern concepts provided interesting viewing to the visitors. Shapes ranged from a cosy cottage to a large fish and from popular cartoon characters to a revolving screen lamp displaying architectural wonders of India.