As the month of Ramzan draws to an end, Peerji of old Delhi or 75 year old Nawabuddin would be the most looking forward to the Eid.
Living in the Sheesh Mahal area, is the area’s town crier – for the whole one month, he has been going throughout the area, waking people up for sehri.
The last generation of town criers, Peeriji hobbles to each house, using his wooden stick for support and for banging on the doors, crying, “Rozedarooo, uth jao (Those fasting, awake).”
How did he become the town crier? When he was 20 years old, he used to work with Mohammad Umar as a vegetable vendor and the town crier in his locality, died. People requested him to carry forward the responsibility because he would be awake early in the morning due to his trade. And till this day, he carries on this task.
Peerji begins his work at 2AM and goes on till 3.45; he eats his Sehri meal only after he has completed his duty. In today’s world of modern gadgets, his work might have become irrelevant but he carries on selflessly. No one is paying him for his services but he has been doing this for over four decades, with no material or other gains in mind.
There are only three more town criers in Old Delhi and even they are old, frail and last of these voluntary servicemen.
Really, this is a generation which was made of a very different fabric, not in production any more.