THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For the past 20 years, Mohammed Kausal has been serving as the cook of Joseph Mar Barnabas Suffragan Metropolitan of the Mar Thoma Church. And the festive occasion of Ramadan saw a rare display of religious harmony, as an Iftar feast was held at the Mar Thoma Bishop House, Mannanthala, on Monday. With a grand spread of fruits, salads, biriyani and other festival delights, the holy occasion was ushered in.
In fact, for the past several years, this has been how the Metropolitan and his aide have been celebrating every Islamic tradition. The Aramana chapel here has even born witness to Kausal offering his Namaz.
This epitome of religious harmony is something that happens every day at the Bishop House, where Mohammed Kausal joins in the prayers at the chapel, even whilst using the sacred space for offering his Namaz. “Unity in diversity,” says Joseph Mar Barnabas.
“India has always been like this. Our culture isn’t narrow, we accept all religions. It is pretty much why so many religions took root here. The tradition of unity in diversity is what we have to uphold,” Mar Barnabas told TNIE.
And so on Monday, the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr was celebrated in all its spirit at the Bishop House, with Mohammed Kausal preparing a grand spread of culinary delights for the Ifthar party. “He is an amazing cook and makes all the Kerala dishes. His specialty is the fish biriyani,” he said.
Kausal, joined as an aide of the bishop years ago. The only cook in the Bishop House, Kausal says he loves making food and has been diligently doing his work for the past 20 years. While his family resides in Bihar, Kausal doesn’t have any qualms about not spending the festive occasions with his family. Cause for him, this is also his family. “I feel at home here. During the lockdown, when I couldn’t go out to the mosque to offer the prayer, the Thirumeni said I could offer the prayer at the chapel. I have been offering prayers here during this holy month as well,” says Kausal.