It was a bright, slightly warm, evening, I was in a hurry to catch the 5.15 bus out of the campus and into the terrains of Semenyih and [insert appropriate sound effect] the lights go off.. As I come from India where power-cuts are the norm and very much a part of one’s existence, I wasn’t as alarmed as some of my neighbours who began their frantic texts and phone calls to each other. As I stepped outside.even I started getting the texts- ‘Is there a power cut in your hall?’, ‘Dude, what’s happening?!’…’It’s so hot!’… So, this was a total black out…
After 2 hrs I was back in campus and saw people outside their rooms, sitting on the lawn, chilling in the Student Association (SA)…I headed to the mosque, it was dark there too.Then, I heard the Azaan, and it felt like this was the first time I was actually hearing it! Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar…the sounds hit the ceiling and then rebounded right into our hearts. I just stood there for some time absorbing it all in…The masjid was buzzing with people (a talk had been scheduled after Maghrib) but once the prayer started it just went quiet. It was surreal, the experience, praying in the dark. It was if someone had muted all other sounds except the recitation of the imam…and of course there were crickets too, but they just seemed to add to the beauty of the recitation. The ‘Ameen’ after each fatiha was loud and reverberated in the mosque and then, again, just like that, it settled in our hearts and threatened to overflow…
After the prayer the silence was replaced by the humming of Quran and du’as…someone played a Nasheed on their phone, some else cracked a joke and there were giggles and cackles…It was perfect that moment. My friends and I decided to turn this into a sisters’ party. After a trip through the heart of darkness we came back to the mosque laden with naan straight out of the tandoor and spicy chicken handi and the succulent chicken boti. Around the food we sat and talked. And talked. We are a group of college girls, what else do you expect?! (The feminist who is going to attack me for the previous statement- I don’t care.) After a royal food fest we decided to walk off the extra calories that we’d managed to pack in. And of course to see how the campus coped with the darkness.
While strolling we found…people! Lots and lots of them. It seemed as though every single person on campus had come outside for a breath of fresh air. Some were huddled in circles sharing tea and gossip, others brandished guitars and gave impromptu performances ( Out of which some were just contributors to noise pollution) and, as happens always with a power cut. I am sure there was atleast one group which had a horror-story telling session. What made me really happy was for once everyone peeled themselves off their laptops, phones and ipads and decided to just enjoy the darkness…to just relax..
The moon was full and bright. A full bright moon. It threatened to burst and scatter all over it’s brilliant glowing chunks One of my friends even commented as to how it looked like there was a hole in the sky and light was pouring out from it.
Last night’s darkness, I think, was a blessing from Allah. I think it was a reminder of sorts, saying, ‘Slow down people! Stop taking yourselves so seriously!’ It also provided a silent reminder that man is powerless. Not matter what his technological prowess is, a storm, tsunami, an earthquake, why even just a few hours of power-cut can render him helpless… Yesterday was proof for it, everyone’s plans went for a toss and there was nothing they could do about it…Indeed Allah has power all things and he is the best of planners!
It was dark and yet it was not. I could see what was being communicated! The night enchanted me with her beauty; she caressed me and told me, over and over again, that her beauty- this earth and everything in it is a creation of Allah…albeit a temporary one…if the creation is this beautiful how beautiful will the creator be! Subhan Allah!
The lights were back on after a few hours, People went back into their shells with their laptops and phones as their companions. And I? I prayed that I get to witness another night as beautiful as this so that once more, just one more time, I can just sit back and listen to the silence….
Then which of the favours of your lord will you deny?