I used to wonder what it meant, if someone said, ‘this is the best.’ It took me a while to comprehend what the exact meaning of those four words that crowded my mind, really means.
I got my chance when my husband went looking for a car he wanted to buy. He bought a magazine named ,’Consumers Report.’
My husband spent six months reading about various cars. Every now and then I’d question him, ‘hey did you find the best car?’
He’d give me a look which seemed to say, ‘Do not disturb me. It’s too complicated for you to understand.’
Then came the day when he wondered about the colour, obviously he found what he was looking for. He couldn’t decide on the colour so he asked me, ‘what do you think?’
In two seconds I said I like burgundy. From his look I knew he didn’t like my preference. He tried to make it a bit sweeter, he gave me a lot of examples why burgundy is not suitable for the climate in this country. He said because of the weather, he believes the colour lemon would be perfect. You’d be able to see it in snow or fog. I did not agree but kept my mouth shut.
Next thing I saw was a Ford Fairlane lemon colour car arriving in our parking lot. My husband was ecstatic not only he bought the best car and also his favourite colour lemon.
A month later, we got ready to move to Newfoundland. My hubby was the driver. Each mile he covered he was praising his car.
We were on Quebec highway the sunlight was gone and evening set in. It was dark and the narrow two lane highway was scary, suddenly there was a thud sound and the car’s fuel indicator turned to zero. It was a cause of worry, luckily we were near Nova Scotia, in a few minutes we found a garage. The guy at the place exclaimed your fuel indicator is bent. You must pay attention, if the indicator shows zero, it means the gasoline is half full.
Cautiously my husband drove to the ferry, which would help us get to Port Aux Basque. After arriving in Port Aux Basque, we realized there were ten more hours left to get to Gander, which was our destination.
We were taken to a hotel where we stayed for a few days. When we settled in my husband took the car to the Ford’s dealer. They could do nothing.
After five months in Gander, we had a stormy winter. My husband noticed the power steering of the car was tight in the morning. He had to turn on the ignition and wait ten minutes in the car for the steering wheel to loosen up.
Once again he took it to the dealership and the reply he got was, ‘Doc we cannot fix it.’
I could not help but remind my dearest hubby, ‘lemon is the best it is visible in snow and fog!’
“We can achieve immortality, but only as an ever-growing ego”
According to Iqbal, one must try to heighten his/her ego to a height where even God would ask, What kind of destiny do you want? ( “In Urdu, khudi ko ker buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle, khuda bande ko poochhe bata teri raza kia hai,” Iqbal ).
The question is how and what are the steps to achieve that goal?
Iqbal says, ‘All things are given to self-display, without the desire to self revelation life is death.’
Change is necessary, rest is impossible in this workplace of nature. Anything or anyone that doesn’t move dies, this is the secret of existence.
According to Iqbal it is never enough to achieve something and live on his/her laurels. He says, life is to make a pearl from your inner oyster. Do not borrow it from outside, take it from your inside.
If I wanted to achieve an ever-growing ego, I must avoid distraction. It leads my mind in a state of stagnation.
I bring myself to reality by reading Iqbal’s thoughts. It tells me to achieve immortality, I must have an ever-growing ego.
One cannot hope for perfection, for it has no growth. It belongs to God only. We humans must concentrate on our ever-growing ego. Perfection has no place for mankind for it has no potential for growth. I’d rather remain as a human.
Iqbal ends by saying, ‘I have no desire for a sojourn, for I die if I rest.’
I was impressed by Iqbal’s Quote, where he says, : heighten your ego to a height, where even God himself would ask you, what kind of destiny do you want.’
It was the beginning of my search for Iqbal. It’s how I joined the online course and am still fascinated by this poet and philosopher.
This is an old Hindi song, sung by Muhammad Rafi and Noor Jahan. Both are not with us today but their melody lives on. The song reminds me of leaving our home in New Delhi to one in Rawalpindi. We lived in a three storeyed house and it was located in a place called Lal Kurti Bazaar.
There were stores, people’s houses and the neighbourhood was filled with music enthusiasts. Each morning the above song was played, they used loud speakers so the rest of the neighbourhood could enjoy it. I was one of them.
It used to be mid-morning when the owners of the record would turn on the song.
It is a song from an old movie, but the singers were very popular.
The lover complains that his beloved is unfaithful. he says’I tried and found
love is deception.’
I was seven years old, I did not know what the lyrics meant, I was humming the tune.
Suddenly I hear mom, ‘Where is Ranu?’
I go running, ‘ji amma,’ ‘I say,’ ( yes Mom).
‘The thread of the needle is broken, fix it quick.’
The chore is simple, but I missed hearing the full song.
Next morning I made up my mind I will pretend I did not hear, if mom calls me.
The song starts again, the second line is what I’m interested to hear, I already know the first.
Sometimes she feels happy and sometimes unhappy. ‘This is how the world changes, this is the name of the world.’
‘It doesn’t let me feel the pain of my helplessness.’
‘Forget the time when you loved me.’ says the beloved
The lover always had answers to her grievance. He sings, ‘forget the word love ever came in you lips.’
Next both each separately tell each other to forget the love story, forget the happy days they spent with each other.
The last line from the beloved is, ‘the world of desires is filled with darkness.’
Not to be outdone, he sings, ‘how can I say someone who was mine now belongs to someone else?’
This time Dad calls out, ‘Ma ranu, if you learned the words of the song, can you sing for me, I will give you money?
‘No abba, I do not know. ‘
Then I hum in my room, yahan badla wafa ka bewafai ke siwa kia hai. Yunhi duniya badalti hai isi ka naam duniya hai. ‘
Ghazal is a genre of poetry dealing largely with topics of both worldly and spiritual love, comprising of couplets, the second part of which are in rhyme. It’s sung by Ghulam Ali, who is also the lyricist. This particular ghazal is romantic.
I will try to translate it as a story. Ranu
The story begins with the lover who tells his ex-girl friend. He is visiting her city as a traveler. He wants to see her just once to tell her. He is lost, he doesn’t know where his destination is and has no idea about where he lives.
He asks for permission to stay till dawn. He doesn’t know after leaving her where must he go. To solve his problem he needs to think.
Then he complains about his life. He has hidden the firefly in his eyes, his eyelashes are holding on to tears. He wants his ex to give him permission to shed his tears.
This is the night he wants to talk about his painful love, his lips are trembling to complain.
He needs to express his thoughts therefore he needs permission to get it out of his system.
Then he shows some anger, he says, ‘if you intended to forget me why did you accept my love?’
He continues, ‘you are unfaithful, you shouldn’t have betrayed me.’
Finally he tells her, ‘I need to ask you a few questions, please let me see you just once.’
Then there is repetition of the beginning three times. “I’ve come to your city as a stranger!”