Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Zahir

It ends with a glimpse or a passing thought. It ends in obsession. I read the cover of The Zahir. Not impressed yet. It is not the first time that I have thought of buying it. I read the short summary at the end- it’s about a famous writer who discovers to his horror that his wife of many years has left without saying a word.

I start thinking. What can this story mean to me? The thought of a wife leaving a husband under mysterious circumstances is that  fascinating to me. Nothing. In fact, I think that it is in contrast to The Alchemist that was about following your dream, or to give a kiss to a woman waiting for you miles away just by blowing it to the desert wind.  I hesitate and read the epigraph. It is from the Gospel of St.Luke. Still not as interesting as to own a copy of it.

Then I turn two more pages and I read :

“According to the writer Jorge Louis Borges, the idea of the Zahir comes from the Islamic tradition and is thought to have arisen at some point in the eighteenth century. Zahir, in Arabic, means visible, present, incapable of going unnoticed. It is someone or something which, once we have come into contact with them or it, gradually occupies our every thought, until we can think of nothing else. This can be considered either a state of holiness or of madness”.

Immediately I understand that it holds an answer to something that I was searching for.  Obsessions-ideas, people, songs and books- that's something I really identify with.

There are only a few books that I have read burning the midnight oil. The gripping, un-put-downable handful like Anna Karenina, Memoirs of a Geisha and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. The Zahir was one such book.

It is not really a search for the absconding wife, just as The Alchemist is not about a shepherd boy’s journey for treasure. The Zahir is a tale of self-discovery after long years of wandering in search of love.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017


You are my other that helped me to grow, to learn more about life and even about my own self. You might be a person, an event or a book that has left an imprint on my soul. 

You are my first love, this entanglement with melodies, the way my soul lifts up in the Hosannah or feels happy with the Magnificat or bursts out in a raga with the rains. 

You are my ever existing dream of weaving together dreams, words and melodies into a book of poetry worthy enough to be engraved in a beautiful script and to be set before your appreciative eyes. 

You could also be my love, the one that never found its way to express itself yet reaches out to you in words, gestures and memories wherever you are. 

You are a lesson, a mistake, may be a chapter that I cannot forget, a memory that I cannot erase despite of all the bitter strife of these years. 

You have taught me how to be, how to love yet not to lose myself and the lessons are not bad as you can see for yourself.


This was a path this heart had long forgotten;
Yet you taught me how to tread this again.
In this twilight, you have disappeared quietly
Just when I thought the dawn was so near. 

Tell me why this heart doesn't beat the same way,
Why it does not feel the same way it did with you.
The dream was so beautiful though I asked nothing,
Yet there was a magical aura that surrounded us.

Under the stars, there was a beautiful unwritten story,
Everyday, in those countless dreams we wove in words,
Though you and I never saw each other in reality
Nor did I ever get a chance to know your name or face.

In a few weeks' time you had won over this heart,
Brought back its music and then disappeared again.