My back aches as I get up….a remnant reminder of the eight hours I spend every day in front of a computer in a chair with a straight back, the only luxury being its wheels that I use to swing myself around in moments of utter boredom or frustration. 15 minutes after shutting down the AC, the heat has begun to show a teaser…..It is almost mid June….we have no pre-Monsoon rain in Karachi. Dousing down the lure of more time in bed with a cup of chaai, I’m up. It’s another day…..Is it a new day? That’s debatable.
A malaai lawn shirt is picked up for ironing. The phone is switched on….messages of early risers await to be answered. The tv is switched on; the newspaper breaks free of the stifling hold of the rubber band. The pressure of “knowing” mounts as usual…..what kind of journalist are you if you do not know what’s going on in this world?
It’s just another day. Or is it?
The phone vibrates. A Whatsapp message awaits. I read it. My inner pace simultaneously slows down and speeds up.
We search for Him here and there
while looking right at Him.
Sitting by His side we ask,
“O Beloved, where is the Beloved?”
Enough with such questions! –
Let silence take you to the core of life.
All your talk is worthless
When compared to one whisper
of the Beloved.
The message is Rumi’s poem: One Whisper of the Beloved.
The message has opened a door inside me……a door that best remain shut if the usual business of life is to carry on.
Yet, I cannot unswitch……a weakness by default.
So Rumi it is, sporadic but sure, all through the day. He’s got me thinking. And thoughts overlap. Dots are connected. The heart is on a roll. The mind follows suit.
With Rumi come all his friends….some more spiritual than others, but all masters of words, raising existential questions: Why am I here? What am I doing? Who is my beloved? Is He my Beloved? What does the wind mean and the sunlight say and the lark sing?
My inner questions are beautiful but exhausting. Worst of all, they don’t gel with what’s happening around me. A long queue at the fuel pump, cars honking at other cars – all owned by impatient drivers. I must go to Mangal bazar to buy veggies & fruits for the week. The tailor had promised to give the clothes today. Three stories wait to be edited and I have to file a report today.
And I find myself zoning out repeatedly….like one in love.
But this is love, isn’t it? For a centuries’ old soul had once told me that “love is love….majazi (for a worldly beloved) or haqeeqi (for God)….and one who cannot love humans cannot aim to love God”. And all that poets, writers, philosophers and the important people in life have talked about is….well….love.
The work day is trudging along. Inside me, a dervish longs to whirl. On the outside, the world continues to go round.
Once back home, I long for some solitude.
But the daal chawal and qeema must be made.
I am walking toward the kitchen. And Rumi refuses to be silenced.
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.