Monday, July 17, 2006


One can hardly predict, when in life one experiences an epiphanic moment. Nuggets of wisdom are littered around all of us, yet to pick the right one at the right time and letting it touch your heart is another matter.

I was rummaging through our old suitcases - the ones that we brought when we came to US many years ago - and found a gem, an old, worn out cassette (yeah cassette!) of a collection of gazals by Ahmed Hussain and Muhammad Hussain! Fortunately for me, the cassette was not all destroyed. I could actually play it and listen to some of my all time favorite gazals, one of which I quote here.

Aainese kab talak tum apna dil behelaoge
Chayenge jab jab andhere khudko tanha paoge

How long will you indulge in reflections? After all, when the darkness falls, you would find yourself all alone.

Really, isn't that what we do? Build a home of mirrors, much like the sheesh mehal (palace of mirrors) of Mughal-E-Azam and call that our life? We interpret people, places and events not for what they are, but for what they look like to us. Our feelings and emotions are colored with our experiences and pre-dispositions. We even prefer to live in self image rather than in acknowledging our true self. As we grow older, all we do is raise guards around our true self and call that maturity. Not only do we close ourselves down, we also begin to view with suspicion those who choose to be free.

Many times in life have I dug myself a hole, only to eventually crawl my way out of it. Every time, after much soul searching when I eventually came out, a new vista has presented itself, a new lesson has been learned and a new clarity has emerged. I have learned that one cannot sustain a world of pretensions for long. No matter how long you think you can keep up the bubbles of reflections, the time of reckoning with truth comes sooner or later. The hardest part, perhaps, is to have the courage to face the truth when it presents itself.

There is much in life that I have lost or I never had. But there is much in life that I do. For everything I have, I have struggled. But struggling and winning is much better than struggling and failing.

Each morning, when I wake up besides my husband, I feel, God, I love this man, what would I be without him? And I feel immensely grateful! There are many things I could list that make my life full, and there are many other things which have left a gaping hole in it. But whatever it is I have and lost is all a part of my truth.

In life as events come and go they leave behind golden nuggets of memories - some good, some bad - but all together they sparkle in the sun and in the end, when we look at them dazzled, we know, this is what they called the Truth!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

For P

Each day I raise my hand
To knock on your door
Then I take it back
And turn around, alone

Beyond the door you live
Perhaps sad, perhaps happy
A burden of many questions
Chafes at your shoulders

I want to touch that burden
I want to release that pain
I want to be free of them
I want to set you free

What more do I want ?
I don't know and never have
Your anger perhaps I want
Then your sorrow, some more

Fragile something we hold
A golden crown of thorns
It could prick or it could sparkle
But we cannot take it off

I said I'd go away
But could I really leave?
You said you'd stay away
But can you really be?

With you so far beyond
My sorrow is not complete
With me away from you
Can your joy be free?

Tell me what to do
So I can come near
To look you in the eyes
To tell you I am here

To see you soar with joy
To hold you in your pain
To show you all my dreams
To see yours sustain

Don't crush this precious bond
Don't feed it to your fears
Life is long and dark
Full of lonely years

I say I am a sinner
Worthy of your disdain
Punish me thus my dear
Give me all your pain