A year ago, this day was a very good day. It followed one of the best evenings with friends. The day was filled with much of hope happiness and joy.
I remember it fondly, it was a very good day.
There was a time when I used to toss utter disapproval in the general direction of a few fellow-bloggers who were lax in updating their blogs. Most, often complained of being busy. And I usually responded with a mild reproof to that response. There is no such thing as not having time; you have to make time. (Certain dialogues from a late-80s film that you watched many a time, while young and learning to shave, stick with you forever. We are all forgiven for that)
And here I am, pretty much in the same boat, except it isn’t exactly the same boat. (The boat’s the same, the same is proverbial) But I am not making the time-tested lack-of-time excuse. I just don’t write anymore. Except when I write about not writing, i.e.
Thankfully, no one chides me for not writing as often. Except a few. Actually – just a couple. One, to be frank. If you minus me, of course. But that would make that two, if you did include me.
And here I am. And I got here somehow and got back anyhow. I left this place for a while, kept coming back, got addicted elsewhere, got into rehab without knowing it and rode many adventures that eluded awareness, though the experience is present and intact.
It seems we are sometimes doomed to wander. Do things that are completely irrelevant – if only to know that there was a path that wasn’t to be.
Sometimes we are able to make it back to route that would take us to the place where we wanted to be; sometimes we lose our way and get somewhere else. It is not always a bad place – this somewhere else. But only if we allow ourselves to let go of the fantasy of the place where we wanted to be, else we never enjoy being somewhere else, even if somewhere else is a nice place to be, because we yearn for the place we wanted to be.
One way of being happy in any place is not to want to be anywhere in particular, because then there will be no aspirations. But it may not work at all, because not wanting to be anywhere will not make you want to go anywhere. And if you do not move, because there is nowhere you want to be, you will probably be nowhere, which means that you will not be anywhere and you will never value being anywhere because you wanted to be nowhere in the first place.
So it is good to want to be somewhere and yet allow yourself to get somewhere else (altogether) and enjoy that place where you are. But if that somewhere else does not make you happy, it is important to start wanting to be somewhere else (whether its the place you wanted to be in the first place or a completely new place).
Someone said that the journey is more important than the destination. Something about this sentence irks me. The purpose of a journey is to reach a destination. Enjoying the journey is an option, which you may (and should) fully exercise. The purpose of a journey can never be fulfilled if you never reach the destination. It is a state of being not-there, when you want to be-there. You cannot enjoy a journey forever. You may choose to go to a new place after you reach the place where you want to be and restart enjoying the journey to go somewhere else.
But sometimes you get so lost in enjoying the journey that you miss the the place you wanted to be and you pass it by. You cannot always return back to the place you wanted to be and you are now somewhere else. You are without a destination and without a journey (because now that you have missed the destination, the journey has no purpose and without purpose it ceases to exist).
Where you are, then becomes the destination and the start of a new journey.
*The title is a mash-up of Destination and Journey. It has nothing to do with Destiny, which is a predetermined course of events considered as something beyond human power or control.
दरारें-दरारें है माथे पे मौला
मरम्मत मुकद्दर की कर दो मौला।
A friend who doubles as my Urdu consultant and dictionary was not very pleased with the word for “repair” in this song. I was asking a question that wasn’t relevant to this line, yet she had to make known, her displeasure (which, of course did sound more like disapproval, then).
Why, I asked?
The word repair is so incongruent with the word destiny, she said. I ran far and wide in the dark corridors of my mind to find a response. She is very strong in her language and I didn’t want to sound Urdu-illiterate (though I am). Unable to find any argument worth deploying at that time, I let go.
Only to get back to her later, i.e today afternoon.
I asked her the proper meanings of the words मरम्मत (marammat) and मुकद्दर (muqaddar). Confirmed, that they meant repair and destiny, respectively. She added, vividly remembering our conversation from two weeks ago, that the choice of words came across as unsophisticated; it wasn’t incorrect and neither did it damage the context of the message.
I have come to love the song since I first heard it, on a promo on TV. This song, if you haven’t guessed (or do not read Devanagari or the font hasn’t rendered well on your browser) is the song “Arziyaan”, from Delhi 6 [IMDB] [Official]. Since the incongruent comment from my consultant, I have been thinking a lot about this song; the love for it, however, growing and the interest strong as ever, if not more.
Today morning, I thought about the song, and this line in particular. Whilst allowing myself broad and loosely worded poetic license, I thought:
Fissures, fissures deep, etched on my forehead,
Fill them, fix them; repair my destiny, oh Lord!
I was wondering of the person who approaches God with a damaged, broken destiny. I wondered of myself in places of worship. How I have prayed, other than the prayers and the chants I have been taught, when I really wanted to reach out. I remember, when younger, I wasn’t thinking straight, I once prayed in English. It was a request-prayer of sorts. All the way back from the temple, I was gripped by a cold doubt; would my prayers be answered? What if He doesn’t accept prayers in English? What if He gives preference to prayers in the local dialect? I have been to temples where I saw folks engaged in vigourous and involved rituals. The environment and the perceptive belief system that I grew up in, caused some sense of insecurity — till such time I stopped going to temples and places of organised worship for the sake of prayer (I now visit them as a student of architecture and a tourist).
I (think I) understand my friend’s mild annoyance at the choice of the words. This is a poem and in the language employed, there is infinite scope to make things beautiful – effortlessly. Part of the annoyance probably comes from what we are accustomed to listening. Asking the Lord to “repair your destiny”, I agree, is unconventional prayer. However, there is a raw, unconstrained honesty in the request. That, to me encompasses all the beauty possible in a prayer. Devoid of convention, bereft of formulations, empty of sycophancy. I also imagine the state of the devotee — the pain and numb helplessness, where only restoration of destiny will help. Imagine the state, also, when there is only one who is capable of the repair. In many ways, it makes you experience the same that the singer is expressing.
There aren’t many songs I pay attention to, but my good friend, caused me to dwell on this for a long while and forced me to find and make meaning of what I hear with such joy. That is, perhaps, God’s way of answering prayers, through friends. When reduced to their minimalist state, all prayers are questions and all blessings are answers.
There is much beauty in this song; made delicate and pure, because of the unsophisticated presentation.