on Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's after long that I have gotten down to blogging. The reason for that, simply, have been the rains. I have already published blogs about rains, and still, the most prominent source of inspiration as far as writing is concerned , has only been 'rains'. Today as well, it is no different. Rains definitely form the back drop of my narrative, but, the perspective has altered. The joy associated with raindrops touching my skin has long disappeared. Now, there is a shadow of gloom forever marking my face.

The rains have continued for far too long. Or may be, it is the first time I am perceiving them that way. Hindrances to already delayed constructions works, traffic snarls, puddles, difficulty in commutation- if you(the reader) think these are the sources of the absent enthusiasm in my heart, then you are highly mistaken. These are the things that I laugh at. Then what is it that is letting this tangible, yet incomprehensible melancholy fill my being?

A single peek of sun from behind the clouds makes my eyes shine with alacrity; but this revelry is rare to visit my door. I was sitting today for really long in CP, by a huge window, which gave me the most spectacular view of mud hills lining the roadsides, cars of every color and brand stuck in an unending ennui, white colored Victorian buildings damp and their paints chipping, and a grey, almost-black canvas of a huge cupola of clouds, which seems to have sworn sun-protection to all citizens of Delhi for quite some time now. I was sitting and sketching the scene in front of me. Not that i am good at drawing, but i was just trying my hand at being a bit destructive (of the beauty of the scene), a bit disappointing (of my famous sketching abilities) and a bit disgusting ( to my companion who himself is acclaimed at wielding magic as he draws).

Anyway, point was, i was doing it, and in a very sudden, or rather, unnoticeable manner, an unmistakable feeling of grief started springing inside me. I tried to fight it, but i sensed my mind submitting to it. As a natural reflex, the first thing i did was to figure out reasons. My jejune brain first held Ghalib culpable for my condition. Yes, you are right, the same, old, Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. Why, i will tell later. I was almost about to take punitive measures against his long deceased soul, when i was held back by an expeditious onset of slumber. It was in that sleep i found answers to my heart's unease. It was a dream...a dream which made things lucid to me...dream-

"I was sitting on a hillside. My favorite hillside. The air was damp. Sun nowhere in sight. The valley was green; it's depth not calculable. Cottony fluffs of clouds were rising from deep down. My side of the hills were iridescent with flowers of variegated hues smiling from both corners of my eyes. I was sitting quietly looking blankly at everything around. Only my eyes were peculiar. Water was running down my cheeks. I am not sure if it were tears, because my heart was devoid of emotions. I felt no stabs of sadness. I only cried. Suddenly, a divine person came into the picture. Filled with clemency, benevolence, and sure 'answers' to my discomfort, he came and sat by my side quietly. I said nothing, just stole a sideways glance at him. He was dressed in casuals- green T-shirt and denims. He had a white, perfectly chiseled face. His hair and eyes were unnaturally black. His lips were pink, with a cleft which could be missed sans close scrutiny. He started gazing straight ahead, where the view of the opposite hills was being blocked by the nascent clouds. He sat observing the clouds. With no warning, he raised his fingers as if a seasoned pianist is preparing his agile fingers for a concert. His fingers started moving in incongruous patterns in the air. I was about to ask him, but he shushed me even before i could utter a word. Gave me a glance which conveyed- "patience". After about fifteen minutes of this queer activity, he gave himself a satisfactory smile. Then, he kept one hand over my head. He said, in his soft, echoing, almost a chime-like voice- "Clouds are my most formless creations, but when I make these clouds my canvas, and my fingers the paintbrushes, my mind can picture them in a thousand different shapes and forms and meanings. I gave these clouds nothing. I gave them a transient existence. But then never complain. They utilize their short life giving shade and hope to the others. When they die, they weep- the only, and the final expression of their grief. But, even as they weep, they lend smiles to many. People are glad for the water, relief, rain, respite but no one cares for the very clouds who carry these droplets safely till they are delivered at their destination. But, they carry on, continue, persevere." His gaze pierced through me as he said the last word."

I did not even see this divine creature walk away. I was woken up as we were getting late. I saw the unfinished sketch lying in front of me. I raised my head for a final gaze, intending to finish my sketch, but the only detailing i added to it were the grey, almost black clouds in the background.

Mr. Ghalib, aptly, can find his mention here. He writes the most beautiful lines, and has this uncanny, unmistakable ability to stimulate that corner of my heart which hitherto was latent. This time, the lines were as follows-
"Dil hi toh hai, na sang-o-khisht, dard se bhar na aaye kyun?
Royenge hum, hazaar baar, koi humein sataaye kyun?"
(It is only a heart, not stone or mortar, why should it not fill with grief?
We will wail a thousand times, why should anyone torment us?)

For me, a better translation of the above lines is- The heart is heart, it will weep. Why should anyone be critical of my grief?

I walked down the footpaths of CP, trying to fathom my dream. May be I did. May be the Almighty was fed up of the incessant tussles i have with him, and wanted to talk about the many basics that i ignore while censuring him for my mundane problems. May be he was genuinely concerned with my listlessness about where to head as i found myself without support, care, concern, love and understanding from anyone i hold dear. And then, he sent me this quote in my Gmail inbox-"You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering"

Whatever it meant. Whatever it was. One thing I will surely laud Him for is the medium he chose to communicate with me. This one voice, i can never ignore. Never.