Government employee Bhim Singh has been visiting ‘Parliament wale Sarkar’—an over 300-year-old shrine right across the premises of Parliament House -- for last 20 years every Thursday drawn by, what he calls, its healing spirit.
In his late 40s now, Singh, comes to the mazaar to perform prayers to thank the power that he believes pervades the shrine, which is watched over by a lavish neem tree like a guardian angel.
“I had some kidney problems a few years ago. I consulted doctors but it did not help me. Someone then suggested me to seek help of ‘Neem Wale Baba’, and he mitigated my pain. Since then, my faith in him has only been reinforced,” says Singh, as he wraps a starch-white handkerchief over his head before genuflecting in obeisance.
Murshin Shah, the caretaker of the shrine says, most of those who have been “blessed by the baba” come back to him and either help in the maintenance of the mazaar or in funding its functions like the ‘Urs’ (anniversary).
“One person, who felt beholden to Baba after benefiting from him, has financed the entire civil work, which got over a few days ago only,” he told PTI, pointing to the new gleaming marble-and-granite surface of the shrine.
The 21-year-old who had to take over the mantle rather early from his father (Khalid Shah), after he died at the age of 43 two years ago, recalls the legends and stories associated with the shrine, which he says, is visited “mostly by the Hindus”.
The shrine is located on the edge of the Red Cross Road and on the side of the Tuberculosis Association of India office building. The long and imposing fence of Parliament House complex runs on the other side, with the iconic circular building of the House visible from the place.
“My father used to tell me the story of this shrine and two ‘peer babas’ interred here about 300 ago, which is considered holy by people. One is the master—Hazrat Baba Abdullah Shah Madine Shah—and the other his follower (‘shagird’) -- Hazrat Baba Ruhaddalle Shah Madine Shah.
“Because of the presence of the neem tree, they began to call him ‘Neem Wale Baba’ as is written on the signboard hung on the tree. But, many people also call him ‘Sarkar’ or ‘Parliament Wale Sarkar’ because of the proximity to the building. In fact, when I go to Ajmer or other places, many people tell me—‘You are caretaker of ‘Parliament Wale Baba’,” he said.
Murshin, eldest among five brothers, says the place has been under the care of his family ever since the building of the Parliament was being constructed. The building was erected in 1920s.
“During that period, once an engineer’s young son was bitten by a snake, and he had fallen unconscious, and presumed dead, when he was brought to the shrine and by baba’s blessings, he regained his life. That boy, who lives in south India, is now in his 80s and still comes to pay obeisance. That is his grace,” he said.
On weekdays, many government officers and staff can be seen bending their heads in obeisance at the edge of the ‘chabutra’ (raised platform) on which the shrine is situated. A lot of them are working youth, who can be seen either stopping by at the shrine to just offer a quick prayer or a coin in the designated donation box.
30-year-old Anand, a media professional, whose workplace is located nearby the shrine says, “the place reaffirms his faith in the divine.”
“I come from Jamshedpur and even while I was in Ranchi, i used to visit shrines. They give us peace and spread communal harmony. I had moved to Delhi on August 16 last year, I will be completing a year in the capital soon. Will go to ‘Neem Wale Baba to seek his blessings that day,” he says.