At 77, ‘Mul­laji’ lights up Juna Akhara, and hearts too

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION - Harveer Dabas

Bi­jnor: Money has taken a back seat for Mo­ham­mad Mehmood, now 77. Stretch­ing his legs on a rather rick­ety plas­tic chair on the banks of the mighty Ganga river in Praya­graj, Mehmood says his pri­or­i­ties have changed now. “I look for spir­i­tu­al­ity and re­spect now,” he says af­ter a day of hard work.

For the last 33 years, Mehmood had been il­lu­mi­nat­ing the tents of the famed Juna Akahra. Dras­tic changes in tech­nol­ogy failed to de­ter the old man’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to light up the king-size tents of the Akhara, which “stand apart from oth­ers”.

Talk­ing about his work, Mehmood says: “I am an elec­tri­cian. And my skills can be seen in night dur­ing the Kumbh when the en­tire area where sad­hus have pitched their tents is daz­zling with bright lights of all colours.”

Re­mem­ber­ing his jour­ney, Mehmood says: “I came in con­tact with the sad­hus of Juna Akhara about 33 years ago. At that time, I was young and had very lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge

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