Girish S. Pattanashetti
Doors are a bad omen in this village
Dawal Malik (Gadag District): From a distance it looks like any other hamlet situated at the base of a small hill, where a place of religious worship is usually located at the hilltop.
But once you enter this hamlet situated near Mulgund in Gadag taluk of Gadag district, you start noticing houses having no doors. If you think that the poverty might have forced the residents of the hamlet to use curtains to cover the entrance of their dwelling place, then you are wrong.
All the houses in the hamlet have power supply and many of them have television sets.
The youngsters have motorcycles and few have light motor vehicles through which they carry out transport business.
The only thing that is missing in the whole hamlet is the door. No house in the entire hamlet has a door either at its entrance or for inside rooms. The reason is “doors are a bad omen and, moreover, are not required as Dawal Malik is there to punish those who steal things from our houses,” a villager put it.
All the families in the village belong to the Muslim community carrying the surname of Mujawar and are related to one another. Mumtaz from Navalgund, who was married to Mehboobsab Mujawar 15 years ago, said they were not afraid of living houses without doors as “Dawal Malik” was there to protect them.
Sixty-five-year-old Muyyinbi Mohiddinsab Mujawar said that there had been no case of theft in the village. As far as she can remember, once some persons from nearby village stole jowar preserved in the “hagevu” (grain pit) from the village and “Dawal Malik made them to return the stolen jowar back to the villagers the very next day.”
It is this belief that has made the villagers live in houses without doors. Maqbul Ahmed Mohiddinsab Mujawar, who runs a small-scale transport business, said that his father who died last year at the age of 88, had told him that the villagers had been following the tradition even before his grandfather was born.
However, the elders in the village have not much information on when exactly it all started and they only know that Dawal Malik was a Sufi Saint who had the “power” to solve the problems of the people.