Finding alternative food to the langar is an experience on its own. From amongst the crowds, you emerge into the area known as The Bazaar. This bustling little shopping centre is full of delicious food, clothing, digital equipment jewelry… the list goes on! So much is available for purchase here. It is by far one of the busiest areas during Jalsa.
Amongst the hustle and bustle I manage to track down the Nazim Bazaar. The big man in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly here. From the shops to the customer service. From health and safety to cleanliness.
And he is quite a big man indeed, standing almost 6 feet tall with a physique that gym fanatics aim for. This is Tanveer Ahmad.
He tells me he has been a part of the bazaar team for many years, previously as Naib Nazim bazaar and now as Nazim Bazaar. It is by all means no small feat to be in charge of such a busy location of Jalsa.
‘I start preparing for this duty a few weeks in advance. My team and I have to make sure everything is set up according to the standards required legally and that all precautions are in place to avoid any kind of dangerous situation since a lot of gas and fires are going to be running for the three days. After that, my duties are very ad hoc, mainly keeping people calm and making sure that customer service is being provided at an above adequate pace. It is very hard to try and serve 1000+ people during the breaks in Jalsa. Tempers can flare alongside the weather!’
‘Regardless of how hectic it gets I thoroughly enjoy my duty. This bazaar is a nice get away for people to buy gifts for loved ones or treat their children who are not used to the langar food yet. The sacrifice of time is essential here and Alhamdulillah my team and I manage it every year – it is important for us to stay in our marquee in the corner of the bazaar throughout the duration of Jalsa. because you never know what could happen. As Nazim I take my duty seriously and I am there 24/7 throughout Jalsa.’
I finished up by asking him what he expects to gain from this Jalsa. ‘Nearness to Allah. Even though throughout Jalsa we are couped up in this fenced off location, we have a small TV and radio from where we can watch and listen to all the speeches and our beloved Huzoor (atba).’
May Allah bless the bazaar team in this enormous task of catering alternative foods for all the guests.