The Master Wit

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The DSC awards for South Asian Literature has announced its long list. My friend K.R.Meera’s book- The Poison of Love- is in the long list of 13 books selected by an eminent jury. I am thrilled that her  amazing talent as a writer has yet again been recognised.( I have lost count of the number of awards she has already won:) I am also happy that my role as a translator has been recognised.

My job takes me to very traumatising places at times. Like a place of suicide. A severed head  and torso- lifeless-of what once was a very brilliant young man. When you stand looking at the gory remains of a human body, you realise yet again the futility of ego. The way death beckons with a loving smile. Love can be poisonous. It can tempt people into twisted ways of paying back. I have experienced it in my own life. Is it love at all?  Isn’t that sort of love rather evil?

Perhaps as Gibran’s Prophet explained: ‘.. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst.Verily when good  is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters…’

I see the ripples of love turned poisonous in both the lifeless body now firmly etched in my memory and in Meera’s iconic novella. Tulsi epitomises the peculiar way women can sometimes love. Men too, for that matter. The theme is universal and yet so enlivened by traditional montages and nuances. The human mind is the greatest mystery ever created by The Lord.

I think the Lord has a taste for black humour at times.He has taught me once again that He is the master wit of them all.

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Flower and Bread

 ” Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not! I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.

It may not find a place in thy garland, but honour it with a touch of pain from thy hand. 

I fear lest the day end before I am aware,  and the time of offering go by.

Though its colour be not deep and its smell be faint, use this flower in thy service and pluck it while there is time.”

Tagore, Gitanjali

So many times, I have felt, that the Divine is honoring me with a touch of pain from His hand. It happens when one becomes a part of a chain of positive events, doing one’s bit, however tiny it might be. It could be reaching out to one trafficked girl, one helpless child bride, one suffering woman or man, and  after doing it, one feels blessed.

Khalil Gibran in his Prophet wrote,

“Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine…”

I wonder, how many of us  are aware of the power that we are blessed with- in whatever roles we might be doing- To do good.

In all the exceptional souls I have had the fortune of meeting, I have found a sense of purpose and a sense of self confidence. They loved doing whatever they were doing. They were doing it  like a tiny flower being used for His service.As if they were baking bread, with lots of love.

And then I usually remember Tagore and Gibran.

With awe.