Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Luck That I Am

Aadya had visible creases on her forehead. She stood pensively in one corner of the Rajiv Chowk Metro Station, eyes staring intensely at the metro tracks. Someone, she remembered reading in newspapers, had been received by these very tracks a few months back with an open embrace to escape the rigours of life. Was Aadya contemplating the same course of action? No. Not quite. She was contemplating a course of action which takes her away from these destructive thoughts. However, nothing today was helping her cause. Not her thoughts. Not her surroundings.

She kept still as a metro creaked to halt in front of her. A girl was hurrying in her direction, face lit up with smile, eyes lit up with love. Her smile widened as she approached Aadya, however, in a dazed state, Aadya realized, the smile was meant for the guy standing next to her, leaning stylishly against the wall which Aadya's limp body was falling over. The anonymous, gleaming girl came and eased into a hug, pressing herself passionately, yet carefully against the guy. Their hug might have lasted for an eternity. Aadya felt repulsed at the open display of affection. Why, you ask? Ah, well. It was the same embrace Aadya had been dying for. Not from a boy necessarily. From anyone. Anyone whose one hug could for sometime dissolve her worries - her family, the fights, the miscommunications, the stress and the directionlessness. Wishful thinking, she knew.

Half an hour later, Aadya saw herself staring at a strange, bustling crowd. Heads covered in humility, eyes deep with faith, numerous faces headed in the same direction. Far down the alley, disappearing behind the bend. Aadya felt scared, but she had heard of this place and its wish granting powers. She had heard of the golden domed Dargah, nestled in the midst of winding alleys, of Delhi's most loved sufi saint - Khwaja Nizam-ud-din Auliya. However, it was not his', but the name of Hazrat Amir Khusrau which had caught her fancy. Only recently, Aadya had come across these lines -
"Saajan aisi preet na kariyo, jaisi lambi khajoor
Dhoop lage toh chhaon nahi, bhookh lage phal door."

The desires Aadya had allowed to take root in her heart had a queerly similar quality to the object of love warned against in the above lines. Her love, her desires, were simply not coming true. Standing outside the mesh which protected Hazrat Khusrau's tomb, Aadya contemplated how sad her life is. She concluded, her life is perhaps the saddest of everyone standing around. She stood there, head covered in a fuschia hued dupatta, when she felt her left foot flinch as if a rat had scurried over it. She jerked her leg as a reflex, and ended up hitting a little human figure huddle near her on the floor, She regretted her action even before she had completed it.

Clad in a dul pink T-Shirt and shorts, an almost balding girl sat near her, peeping into Hazrat Khusrau's dargah through the net carved out in stone. Aadya's hands were still raised in a dua, but her eyes were transfixed on that strange looking, little girl. She could tell that the balding kid was a girl solely on the basis of that one smile which Aadya received in return of the unintended kick. That was the only time that girl had looked up, and despite the visible, insurmountable stiffness in her arms and legs, her feminine attributes had been vividly coloring her tired, colorless face. The little girl secretly stole Aadya's heart away. And then, the same little girl caused a tear to trickle down her cheek. The tiny feminine bundle near Aadya's leg was sick. How, she did not know. But sick for sure.

A lady dressed in humble shades of brown appeared out of nowhere, and pushed her pink clad daughter to kiss the stone carvings outside Hazrat Khuswau's tomb, and ask him to make her fine. "Chalo Sabeena, deewar ko choom lo. Aur peer saab se bolo ki humein theek kar dein. Taaki hum khoob khel sakein, iskool ja sakein, and apni mummy ka dhyaan rakh sakein. Chalo, jaldi se dua karo. Pata hai, yeh sab theek kar dete hain." Her, Sabeena's mother whispered into her ears. What caught Aadya's attention were not so much the words, but the infectious smile on Sabeena's mother's face. Her pretty daughter was in a sorrowful state, or so Aadya thought, but here, the mother and her daughter seemed far from grieving. It seemed, that with the dua for getting better, they were also sending via Khusrau, words of gratitude to Allah, for giving them whatever they have, and for looking over them. Such faith!

Aadya gently sat down, giving little Sabeena all her place to play and soak in the sacred air around the dargah. May be the influence of the place reverberating with so much faith was therapeutic. Aadya could not be sure. She closed her eyes, and burst out crying, uncaring for who was or was not seeing her. No one was. It was as if the place understood that grieving is a personal activity, not to be intruded upon. She would have cried for a long time, for she only stopped when her eyes ran dry. As the smell of incence wafted up her nose, Aadya felt as if the burden of a million tonnes had been lifted of her chest. Her mind, which was ready to implode was now throbbing with pain, but with signs of life. Resuscitated, she lifted herself, and walked out slowly from the dargah.

While slipping on her shoes, she was promising herself to smile. She had not a wish left in her heart out of the numerous she had come to seek the answering of. On an impulse, she wanted to wish for pink-clad-blading Sabeena's well being and happiness. But no, she decided against asking for that. She decided in favor of having faith. Through the gestures of that tiny rat whose hand had caressed her bare feet to draw her attention, Aadya had witnessed a lifetime's lesson. No worry seemed insurmountable now. A tiny farishta was all it took to lend her some faith. In our world, sadness coexists with bliss, melancholy with mirth. Experiencing both is necessary to experience life. A little faith and gratitude in our hearts is all it takes to balance those two emotions, and to be able to find the best learning out of the worst situation in life. It is necessary to thank, insane to blame, now understood Aadya. There was a conscience screaming to be heard inside her. There were thoughts waiting to be turned into actions. Everything she needed, she had it within her.

May be she understood all this by herself. May be little Sabeena was actually a divine messenger.


27 comments:

  1. i can read it a thousand times as i am taken to the place, where none are above anyone, and all are one.

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    1. You know your comment means a lot. Thank you. Each word you utter acts as a huge encouragement for me.
      Love.

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  2. So do i.. ur writings are so genuine and full of honesty and creativity that any normal and common man would fall for them. I salute your work !!

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    1. Thank you so much dear! This comment really warmed my heart :)

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  3. "touched my heart" really superb, I salute the young (spiritual) writer.

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    1. Your comment put a million watt smile on my face. Thank you so much for all the encouragement.
      :)

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  4. "It is necessary to thank, insane to blame"
    your writing is ever so vibrant and raw,your thoughts pure and earthy,i can never get enough of your imagination,u are spoiling your readers but for the good..:D

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    1. Oh my god! And am I not a fan of your expression. You flatter me, that's okay. But you motivate me, that's important. Thanks!

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  5. Maybe little Sabeena was actually a divine messenger... felt like I was flying through places as the emotions kept changing .. such a wonderful piece.. :)

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    1. Thanks a lot! I myself crossed over landscapes while writing this one :)

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  6. That was lovely. And you would be surprised at the sheer number of 'Aadya's out there! If only they all had the sense and the oppurtunity of discovery that this one had - the world would be far happier and more grateful!

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    1. Ahaan! This name sort of stuck with me. Catchy, and with a nice meaning. I am glad you enjoyed the story :)

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  7. A poignant story! Everytime I visit this blog am convinced of the eclectic company I keep these days :)

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    1. Yay! This coming from one of the most intelligent and sensible people I know makes it very, very special. Keep dropping by!

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  9. I am speechless.....

    I have nothing to say about the post...

    I just want you to know that i read it and no word can express how glad i am that you wrote it....

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  10. Aw! Thanks Sushruti! Your comments always make a very special place for themselves in my heart :)

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  11. Gradually I'm falling in the the trap of this blog and feel that sth worthwhile from a young Indian can be found here and congrats to the author coming out with such a substantial and coherent story :):)

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    1. Aah. I cannot put in words how lovely it felt to read this comment. I am honored!

      Please keep reading and do leave your feedback to help me improve.

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  12. i know i am late but how could i miss this one..
    divine by every word, purity of thoughts and above all the way in which you have potrayed the ultimate faith towards Almighty deserves all the applause..i am really moved.

    This line,
    "It is necessary to thank, insane to blame, now understood Aadya"

    has so much to teach in itself..

    Yet again..You are a magician!!!

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    1. I am no magician - this expression is just a part of what I get to learn in some magical moments of life. Gratitude is important - I try to remember that. And so, I am thankful to have you on my blog, time and again, to make me want to write more!

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  13. Very interesting and absorbing read...

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