Thursday, January 29, 2009

c'est la vie

i try to sit still, control my breathing and embrace my delinquent thoughts.  vexed. with myself. things are changing around me, the sun is regaining its colour, no longer a pale invalid but healthier, more robust now...the breeze is at times the exact degree of your warm breath.  I envy the seasons their knowing of time, their purpose, it all leads to somewhere... to a newer place with a regularity which is ancient, timeless.  I on the other hand, an errant lost soul, time passes me by but i don't reach a state where beginnings lead to fullness and endings to closure...for me its all a continuum...i feel i am becoming a river which only knows how to flow and right now i am carrying a lot of debris along.   I have no clue to my purpose, no idea of my destination and I don't even know if there is any goodness in being so...all i know is that it is so and that you shall always bring me sweetness to my heart.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

of sufi shrines

hands raised in prayers all around me, doves circled the golden dome. peace and hope wafted from the incense sticks as i heard stifled sobs around me.  

over the weekend i visited ajmer sharif with khairul, my sister in law and some of her freinds from her office. Ajmer Sharif is a sufi shrine in rajasthan. and earlier in the evening today i visited Qutab sahib, another sufi shrine in delhi with my mom and khairul.  

i am not really into visiting shrines and honestly up till now i did not understand why people do...but maybe i am begining to get a handle on it now. the reason i suppose is that you allow yourself to be immersed in a space which is afloat with the power of faith. its a space blessed by angels and for me to feel that I had to suspend my cynicism and i stopped trying to 'put a brave face on'; i allowed myself to cry and it was that release or whatever but the vibe was gentle and so soothing, that the tears just kept on rolling. faces shone with tears and humility...absorbed in pain they clutched to hope, even if it was frayed and trampled upon. when you come to a shrine, you put yourself in a space where the air is soaked in prayers and adoration of the divine.  

the rose sellers, the fakirs (alm-seekers), the khadims (guides)...all clamour for your attention. even though you are standing in a crowd you are consious of only your own heart's voice. words float in the air and you catch a few strings and like signs from above they touch you with utmost gentleness and you feel you are blessed.  

i believe god is everywhere and not just in 'religious' spaces but places like these where millions come and pray, where every inch is stood upon and prayed...all that energy come together and bounces aoround and seeps back into you and all of that is because of that sufi who just prayed and prayed and prayed and loved the creator in a way which is beyond my comprehension; such piety, such love transcends time and space and that is what blesses the likes of me who go begging...its not the sufi but god who blesses those who come and lay respect to his lover.  

the qawalli singer at qutub sahib sang about the universality of pain and I realised just how commonplace are my desires and how often my prayers are answered. These sufi shrines have been here for centuries and people don't come here just to get the work done, so to speak but i think it is to reaffirm hope in a higher power.