Tag Archives: Love

Sufism: Reaching the Divine

If somebody would ask me do you believe in God, I would say Yes. If somebody would ask me do you celebrate God, my answer would be No. I only celebrate Love as I believe God lies where there is Love. The parallel I’m trying to draw here between God and Love is to concrete my belief that it is only ‘Sufism’ that truly celebrates God in its most divine form.

What is Sufism? It is certainly originated from Islam but the way it directs a soul towards divinity by cleansing the heart, repairing it from all sins and dedicate it to love that brings one closer to God. Sufism has given birth to many famous poets viz. Rumi who was called the Qutb, the pillar of love; Gilani was called the pole of power and Ibn Arabi was of knowledge.

There are many sayings/teachings of Sufis which if read would reflect a deep sense of our existence. One of them and my favorite is Sohbet. Sohbet can be understood as a spiritual conversation to cleanse the soul and a meeting of the hearts.  Sufis says that there are three ways of being with the God: i. prayer, then a step ahead is ii. meditation and then the ultimate stage is iii. conversation, this mystical exchange is called Sohbet.

Similarly, Zikr, a spiritual ceremony of remembering God involves silence, meditation, whirling dances and chants. This ceremony opens the hearts of the seekers to transmit the love and compassion in the most purest form.

I conclude this post with a poem that celebrates Sufism for enlightening the wandered souls over the centuries (I’m afraid I am unaware of the writer).

sufi

THE SUFI

Upon his soul marked the wing of heart.

The reed plays a note and the ancient drum beats.

His arms rise spread wide.

His smiling forehear bathed in light.

He dances through the primitive,

through the ancient,

through the contemporary

into the Real.

Beyond he whirls ecstatic…

His lips shape the heart’s petal sounding…

Hu…Hu…Hu…!

Hu, the Sufi call to Allah!

He whirls with opened heart, sober, balanced

and free.

 

Not just a photograph: A Final Embrace

Not just a photograph

This picture was shared to me by a friend and can’t agree more that it brings out most extreme emotions out of me.

This photograph is given the name of ‘A Final Embrace’ was taken by a Bangladeshi photographer Taslima Akhter after the tragic collapse of a garment factory building in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh happened in April 2013.  Along them died more than 750 people.

In this picture I don’t feel sympathetic towards the victims as they seem contented in dying in each other’s arms.  The facial expression of the man seems so relieved like he has no complaints from anyone in this world as this world has not given him much. They lived a deprived life but there seems no dearth of compassion between the victims here.

This incident raises some serious questions to the authorities who thinks they rule the lives of people. Is a life of any human that cheap? Over 750 people died, and not due to some natural calamity but sheer human negligence. This incident could have been avoided but since the lives of poor are too cheap that nobody even bothered of those souls working there.

This photograph also questions my philosophical side. If such an incident is overlooked or avoided for any discussion, then we all need to relook or revisit ourselves to ask are we humans? And if yes, what makes a human?

Lover’s Delight

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Remember when it rained and you held me close,

My heart skipped a beat as the feelings arose

We kissed under the beaming full moon,

Only to part ways till another monsoon

Never thought you as a stranger,

Time and again you asked for favors

Though I stayed alarmed,

Gravitated as I was unharmed

You wooed me with your subtle charm,

And we waltzed as I was still in your arms

I often wear your fleece when I’m alone,

Which still breathes in your cologne

With that toast of Chateau wine,

You promised you’ll always be mine

But you left me in a wrangle,

And I tried hard to dissemble..

I still remember the letter I wrote,

It was never posted as you often misquote

Today the sky is again crimson,

And the stars show up in billion

I still wait for that rain of desire,

When you and I will kiss on the pier.

Shakespeare Sonnet #116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

One of the reasons to like this sonnet is that here love is so divinely compared with marriage yet defines it different from the actual ceremony.  What I understand here is that love between two people (whether same gender or different) is not bound by marriage. Love which changes with time or circumstances is not actual love. Love is constant and it doesn’t change even if one of the partner is physically away. It doesn’t shake even during difficult times (“That looks on tempests”). Love is like a star that guides a lost soul.  Unlike the height of the star which can be measured, the star’s worth cannot be. Love is not age specific which is limited only when the partners are young and beautiful but it stays even when the body grows old and sick. It doesn’t change with hours and weeks but remains same even to the edge of doom.  And then Shakespeare says that if what he has written here can be proved wrong, then his writings mean nothing and no man has ever loved.

I still love you…

 My dog bit me today. Like seriously bit, it bled.

I have a 2.5 years old Golden Labrador. His name is Coco. Though Labradors are considered to be friendly and easy to be around but my dog is bit different he is friendly but he is one of those alpha dogs who become defensive when they do mistakes so that nobody could say anything to them.  So why he bit me? he usually does not poop or pee inside the house but last night he did. So he knew that he had done something wrong. In situations like this I’m usually a calm person I don’t mind cleaning his shit because I understand that he’s just an animal and sometimes doesn’t realize the urgency of nature’s call. As I finished cleaning up without any complaints, I reached out my hand to Coco for pat.  I know it was not the time to pat but I am very soft at heart when it comes to animals I couldn’t see him sitting in a corner with a long face so, I wanted him to know that it’s OK it happens sometimes. And suddenly he growled and held my right palm in his mouth with such force that his lower tooth pierced in my palm. For a moment I was shocked and couldn’t realize what happened. He released my hand after 15 seconds when it was already started bleeding. My family panicked seeing me bleed and started first aid as I writhed in pain. I got some relief after basic treatment and then wondered why did he do that. I started searching on internet and found out that pet dogs can bite when they are either in pain or under panic which was quite true in this case as he was already under the pressure of pooping inside the house and he might have thought I am coming to beat him. Another worth noting thing was that they bite to only those family members who do not scold them or are soft target which was true again.

After all the medical attention, I was resting my wounds and went into my philosophical self pondering whether it was only the bite that pained..No!! I was more hurt thinking that I brought coco when he was just 40 days old and now he is more than 2 years old, I had fed him with my hands, sat by him all night when he was sick and at times stopped people from scolding him on his mistakes but is this what I deserve in return? The wounds! Those who have watched Life of Pi will agree how much it hurts when you get emotionally attached to an animal and that animal leaves you without any gratitude or treats you as if you are nothing in his life.  I am not angry on Coco for biting me hard but for his failure to understand my compassion and love towards him. I may be expecting too much from a dog. Well, he is not a bad dog just couldn’t get my emotions right but I still love him.

Coco when he was 2 months old.

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Does serendipity really happen?

Does serendipity really happens?

When I first watched this flick I actually wondered if finding a soulmate could be just an accident (as in a happy one). By the way I really liked the flick and spent futile hours fantasizing on if I can ever bump into a person like that in a departmental store and end up eating an ice-cream in a cafe, who would turn out to be my soulmate !! This looks all mushy and enchanting, is it not. But in reality if I ever come across an eligible guy like that in a store I will for once ignore the cupid bells ringing somewhere in the air, not because I’d be shopping rampantly (which woman observes men while shopping?) but it is too awkward to show interest in any random guy. These days it’s difficult to trust people whom you meet daily, a stranger is out of question.

In the movie, both the characters-Jonathan and Sara get stuck with the fate of finding the contact numbers written on a 5$ bill and a book – Love in the Time of Cholera. We cannot expect this much drama in real life. I am just trying to figure out how far it can go if I consider the proposition of serendipity. So, for instance I welcome the probability of some sparks happening between us and end up eating a dessert somewhere, then what? Is it an end. If, we exchange contact numbers, I am not somebody who contacts a stranger but if he tries to contact me, I think my mind will be filled with all sorts of doubts and pre-conceptions about the guy. What if he is a jerk or a rapist for that matter. Let say going by my instincts I accept to go out and spent a day with him. My experience and observations from others’ experiences says that initially you like everything about the person, even certain things you hate are ‘adorable’. After spending a day, I can definitely say I’ll be locked in a charade of who takes the next step first. Most of the times the romantic aspirations sublimes at this stage as this charade stretches a bit too far, thus losing interests. But in case if one of the partners is smart it may go forth and end up in a relationship (not marriage).

If we go by the movie Jonathan and Sara actually end up getting married. Not that easy practically. In reality you have to be really wide awake before getting married if you do not want a divorce later on. Back to the story, if I and that imaginable departmental store guy ever go into a relationship, after spending initial months we will get exposed to each other’s bad sides and gradually those ‘adorable’ characteristics will soon be pain in the ass. Subsequently, we will look for the reasons for not spending time with each other. And consequently we’ll repent of shopping at that departmental store and swear not to shop from there ever. It’s not difficult to guess what happens next to this relation, it dies. I am not being pessimist about this whole romantic serendipity concept, well the whole scene could be otherwise as well but has a 0.05% probability.

After all this happens what I’ll do and where I’ll be? Well I think I would still be shopping at that store (if they have good collection!) but this time i’ll make sure the cupids don’t ring the bells at all. And I’ll be just happy watching and fantasizing about serendipity concept on the big screen with nachos and popcorns.

Forgotten Gratitudes…

Life is running out too fast. We sometime take our people for granted and forget to convey them their importance in our lives. May be to an extent that their absence might affect our presence. Some oblivious pointers of life that are needed to be recalled:

  • Show your Mom how much you love and care for her. That her food is the best meal you had in a day. That you are proud of her for all the pain she takes to keep the family integrated.
  • Tell your Dad that you are thankful to him to provide you all the things you demanded in life. That you look up to him for all the hardwork he has done so that you would never face financial crunch.
  • Say your brother or sister that no matter what you will always stand by them. That you fight with them because you adore them. That they are your saviour at times.
  • Sit by your dog, cuddle him and run your fingers through his coat. Thank him for being a mute listener for all your jibber-jabber. And that he is the best dog you ever had. 
  • Meet friends. Not like body meeting body but soul meeting soul. Salute them for being asses in your life. Thank them for all the laughter they have provided when you needed it most. Be grateful to them for taking you out from abyss like infinite times.
  • Finally thank God for being so kind on you, to grant you a life which is beautiful. And you wouldn’t have wished for anything better.

Enrich your life with these Oscar winners. As you don’t want to live with a qualm of not being grateful to people who are the reason for your existence.

How to be your own Valentine!!!

OK, so this day has come again..not so exciting for the ones who are eternally single. Like me!.  Not that I can’t find anyone but I am just too busy to entertain someone. At least for now. So before anybody with a valentine starts making me miserable, I thought of coming up with an exciting plan to uplift me on this day. I’m going to turn a narcissist for a day. Well, who said you can’t be your own valentine. I am going to do and treat myself in the same way I would want a man to make me feel special. 14 steps on 14th Feb to be your own valentine.

  1. Wake up with a song that makes you feel special like ‘A Woman Like You’ by Lee Brice. Stay away with the ones that can make you cry.
  2. Wear bright colors like red, yellow or orange may be. Something that reflects on your face. A very important step as it keeps you vibrant whole day.
  3. Bring the peppy side of yours out, wish everyone around you regardless of age. Don’t forget to smile it’s a good cover-up. You never know who’s falling in love with your smile.
  4. Buy flowers for yourself. At least I wouldn’t crib about its color.
  5. Buy your favorite chocolates. Don’t eat alone. Share it with others around you.  Eating alone is again a sign of miser ability.
  6. If you are a compulsive shopper then get yourself something nice, not expensive but something that pleases you.
  7. I don’t recommend a day off from work, because it gives you ample time to ponder upon it which is difficult to fill in so u got to go to work as usual and may be you can take something for you colleagues like tarts, macaroons or marzipan.  The idea is to keep people happy around you so that they keep you happy in return.
  8. Eat good breakfast. Something different from everyday. You can even go out for it, if that is not what you usually do.
  9. Stay away from people who bring evil side of yours. You don’t want to act like a bitch on this day.
  10. People like me would go seek shelter in the poems of Rumi or Shakespeare sonnets as they will levitate you against the convenient love of these days.
  11. In Evening, go out with other singles for drinks or some art activity like a play or an exhibition. Socializing is a brilliant therapy.
  12. If have time watch a movie like Casablanca, watch it not to dream about a partner like Humphrey Bogart or Ingrid Bergman but to admire the artwork by Michael Curtiz.. Nah… Watch a slapstick like the Dictator or Horrible Bosses. At least I would do that.
  13. Do something to relax yourself like spa, yoga, meditation or dancing.
  14. Finally. Feel Good. Keep Smiling. Thank God that the day is over !!!

Our Musical Lives…

No-music-no-life

Music is not only a gift but a savior to our oscillating troublesome lives. Thanks to all those artists who have created music that fits aptly for all moods and congratulations to all the music lovers, we now have applications to listen songs depending on our moods. Zillions of songs (I hate to call them “Numbers”) have been composed so far and it is certainly not possible for one soul to listen all of them in one life. I’m sure each one of us has their own playlists where we seek solace. There are songs that define us ditto and some you feel are made for you, for me it is She’s got a way about her by Billy Joel. And then there are songs that brings exact emotions at times, for example if I am watching a movie or reading a book on Jewish catastrophe by Nazis’, In the Ghetto by Elvis Presley, fits best in my mood or may be Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley on Black resistance.  

I like to kick-start my day with an exuberant song like New Day by Alicia Keys, but my spirit sobers down by the evening and makes me listen a sombre song like Shaam Tanha (a hindi song) by Agnee. When I’m hitting the road, I am listening to On the Road Again by Willie Nelson. After whole day toiling, I need something such as A Good Day to Run by Darryl Worley to inspire myself on the treadmill and the feeling continues till late night when I end up with We are Young by Fun.

This is my best part, songs for every weather conditions (so they never leave you alone) a rainy day song has to be Raindrops keep falling on my head by B J Thomas or Rainy Days and Mondays by Carpenters; a wintry song California Dreaming by The Mamas and The Papas, a peppy Summer in the City by the Lovin’ Spoonful for summers. This makes me think I haven’t come across any brilliant autumn song as of yet. Do let me know if you have one.  

Relationship songs, now there are like infinite number of them but only quite a few stays in your heart, classic like Casablanca by Bertie Higgins, or a new world song Just a Kiss by Lady Antebellum. We also have quite nice break-up songs, the recent famous Somebody I used to know by Gotye and my all-time favorite You’re so Vain by Carly Simon. Certain songs are made in heaven (figuratively); they fill you with tranquility and high degree of spirituality such as Lazarus by Porcupine Tree. I can listen to this song over and over. And then stress-buster songs that soothe you and brings smile like none other than Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bob Marley.

So you see how music revolves and intricate our lives. Without it, I imagine this world be just like the movie Equilibrium. I’m thus grateful to all these music pieces that have consoled me at some point of my life.

Keep listening. Keep humming.

Marriage: A moment of happiness

It’s been quite a while since I last wrote, my first cousin’s wedding kept me busy past weeks. This wedding has brought me to the terms that family is imperative in social well-being of an individual. Being bohemian and free spirited has always inspired and defined me but this time I felt something different, I felt good in being bounded.  Anyways, it’s about the wedding.  The big ‘W’ has always jittered me for obvious reasons.  Brave cousin of mine!!. But this is amazing, a woman leaves her home, her family, her things, even city and job (in my cousin’s case) for one man.  And this is not done out of force or moral duty but love for one man.  I dedicate this lovely and touching poem by Rumi (a sufi saint/poet) to my newly wedded cousin and brother-in-law and wish them a wonderful life ahead.

A moment of happiness,

you and I
sitting on the verandah,
apparently two,
but one in soul,
you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I,
with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed,
will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation,
you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together,
you and I.

In one form upon this earth,
and in another form
in a timeless sweet land.