Saturday, September 24, 2011

Look at love

Look at love-
how it tangles,
with the one fallen in love

look at spirit,
how it fuses with earth
giving it new life
why are you so busy
with this or that or good or bad?
pay attention to how things blend

why talk about all
the known and the unknown
see how the unknown merges into the known

why think separately
of this life and the next
when one is born from the last

look at your heart and tongue
one feels but deaf and dumb
the other speaks in words and signs

look at water and fire
earth and wind
enemies and friends all at once

the wolf and the lamb
the lion and the deer
far away yet together

look at the unity of this
spring and winter
manifested in the equinox

you too must mingle my friends
since the earth and the sky
are mingled just for you and me

be like sugarcane
sweet yet silent
don't get mixed up with bitter words

my beloved grows right out of my own heart
how much more union can there be?

-Jelalludin Rumi
translated by: Nader Khalili
taken from the Poetry Chaikhana

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

rah-e- talab mein kaun kisi ka?
apne bhi begaaney hain,
chand se mukhrey, rashk-e-ghizalan,
sab jaane pehchaaney hain.
tanhai si tanhai hai, kaise kahein, kaisey samjhayein,
chashm-o-lab-o-rukhsar ki teh mein,
roohon ke veeraney hain,
uff, yeh talashey husn-o-haqeeqat,
kis jah theherein, jayein kahan?
sehan-e-chaman mein phool khilein hain,
sehra mein deewaney hain...
hum ko sahaarey kya raas ayein,
apna sahara hain hum aap,
khud hi sehra, khud hi deewaney,
sham-e-nafas, parwaney hain,
bil-aakhir thak haar ke yaaro, hum ne bhi tasleem kiya,
apni zaat se ishq hai sacha, baaqi sab afsaaney hain...
- Ibn-Safi

English translation:
(on the path of desire,
even the dearest become distant,
and pretty faces, admirers of beauty,
all remain familiar.
who to tell, to speak of,- this loneliness?
beneath the layers of all eyes, all cheeks,
lie shadows of haunting souls.
oh! this desire for truth and beauty...
where do we go and where do we stop?
flowers blossom in gardens and terraces-
yet in deserts they wander madly, in vain...
for me, no support has worked,
except myself,
myself- the desert, myself- the crazy wanderer,
myself- the lamp, myself- the moth,
alas! my friends, I admit,
With oneself only, love is true-
the rest are but tales and fables...)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Sinking Ship

My aunt says, the ship's sinking- and its our fate to stand by and watch it sink. This perfectly describes the way I feel, when I look around the state of my country, and even the world at large... the feeling I get reading the news each day. With every headline, my heart seems to sink a bit lower than it was a day before. There must be a deep limitless well, somewhere within me, where all this sorrow has found its place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a chronically depressed individual. In fact, like most people, I want to enjoy life and be happy as much as I can. But these days, happiness is a bit hard to find. You can laugh at jokes that your friends forward you (but there is a tinge of sadness when you see the joke is about a recent tragedy- is this what we have come to?), you can visit places to amuse yourself (but you avoid certain areas/roads on the way- where there was a bomb blast or firing incidents), and you can watch TV (but you can't avoid that ticker at the bottom, telling you all the unfortunate news you'd rather not hear about).

It's not just about a certain city/country anymore. When I log on to the net each day, I'm greeted on my homepage by more global tragic incidents mixed with absurd celebrity news. When I log on to Facebook, I find one more tragedy per week to add to my sinking ship. When I read/watch the news... you get the drift. It's not surprising then, that my internal dialogue has this constant hum of "escape escape escape escape"...but where?

Why has the world today come to this? Is it because we are more connected that, we learn of more dreadful things happening around the globe? Is it because the media all over the world is consistently enamored by all things sensationally horrific? Was it this way before? I doubt it. Not in my parent's time. True, the world had its sad days, but I feel nowadays it's more frequent. 

I wish our generation wasn't stuck with the mistakes people made in the past. That we didn't have to live in this world full of anger, hate, crimes; with people after each other's throats, ripping bodies apart for their satisfaction. Others hell-bent on destruction of all that is good and human, or running after a mirage of commercialism. The race of life is too fast, too narrow, too single-tracked, too un-scenic, too plastic. Why?

Are humans today happier? Is this planet a happy place humming with life and creative energy? Or is it a sinking ship, dragged down with our misfortunes, greed and negativity?
No, I don't have an answer. Just escape escape escape....