'Otta Chora: Kerala Muslim student's poem celebrating interfaith bond is heartwarming

Otta Chora (Same Blood) by Shuhaib Alanallur, a student of Madin Academy in Malappuram, is being quoted by speakers in their programmes all across Malabar.

Published: 07th June 2022 05:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2022 01:37 PM   |  A+A-

Shuhaib Alanallur

Shuhaib Alanallur

Express News Service

KOZHIKODE: A poem that celebrates the warmth of the relationship between Hindu and Muslim families, penned by an upcoming writer, has become an instant hit after it was published in a magazine recently. Otta Chora (Same Blood) by Shuhaib Alanallur, a student of Madin Academy in Malappuram, is being quoted by speakers in their programmes all across Malabar.

In the poem, a Hindu woman, Narayani, finds solace in Nabeesu’s Islamic prayers while enduring the labour pain, and the ‘Mollakka’ (Muslim cleric) recites a verse from Quran to help her husband Velu quit drinking. Finally, Velu refuses to take his usual quota of toddy because the ‘Mollakka’ had donated his blood when he got injured after falling in a gutter. “I will not pollute Mollakka’s blood that runs in my blood by mixing it with toddy,” declares Velu at the end of the poem.

“Such relationships were quite common in our country-sides few decades ago. We are celebrating the bonding because it is fast fading away from our midst,” said the poet.

“The poem was written during the ‘Sahithyolsavam’ conducted by the Sunni Students Federation last year,” he  said. It was the patronage given by Syed Ibrahimul Khaeel Al Bukhari Thangal, chairman of the Madin Academy, that shaped the writer in Shuhaib.

“Muslim Youth League leader Shibu Meeran quoted my poem in an impassioned speech that made it a discussion point on the social media,” Shihaib said. It was the fond memories that he spent with his Hindu friends in Alanallur near Mannarkkad that inspired Shuhaib to write the poem. 

“There are people who argue that such relationships are normal in our midst and they need not be highlighted. But I believe that such voices should be amplified at a time when dark forces are lurking in our society,” said Basheer Faizy Deshamangalam, Islamic scholar and the leader of Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation.

“Narayani didn’t refuse to take the Islamic blessing saying that it is from another faith nor did Velu say no to verses from Quran. Such innocent virtues should be underlined when there are deliberate attempts to divide us,” he said.


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