THE AJMER PROJECT
'Dargah and the city'
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SALEMA MOIR QURESHI

Name : Salema Moir Qureshi
Age : 38
Profession : Devotee
Profession : Devotee
Education : 12th pass from a college in Siria, Jharkhand
Work-place : Doesnít work. Stays near the tank well inside the Dargah
Family : Formerly lived with mother-in- Law and husband and her 5 children and now for the past 6 years lives with other women in the Dargah
Biography:
(Read More...) Read less... As we were wandering in Dargah premise, we came across a group of women chattering and chilling near the step well. Their feet were chained along with lock, which increased our curiousity. The place was quite secluded except for some pilgrims here and there. We went forward to speak to them. Each of them introduced themselves happily. One among them was Salema; Salema Moiz Qureshi. Salema lived in Siria with her children, Mother-in-law and Husband. She was mentally ill and disturbed and was also said to be possessed. Her friend calmly told us that she had committed crimes subconsciously; she had murdered her mother-in-law and also three of her kids which she still regrets. Ruksana, another friend of hers, added in the conversation by saying that Salema often vomits sharp blades but emphasized that she does not bleed even a bit. She was also accused of a suicide attempt; because of all her threatening activities, she was abandoned by her family and hence came to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. It is a belief that the dargah is well known for healing and recovering mentally ill people. The dargah does not permit anybody to live inside except for a few mentally disabled people who are believed to have come by the invitation of khwaja himself for spiritual upliftment. These people are identified by a chain in the feet; some were even tied to pillars because of their violent behaviour and threat to others; some others were also swearing on top of their voice cursing their bad fate. Salema seemed comparatively calm .Salema is currently living in the Darga premises with other women who have a similar history. Itís been six years that this woman is living here. She sometimes goes to Anasagar Lake to have bath and sometimes freshens up in the guest houses in the vicinity of the Dargah. Her family visits her once in a while. When we met her, her younger son Suleman had come to visit her with his father. She said that she does not look forward to go home because she fears killing her other children too.