Trouble in Paradise

I had a moment the other day. One of those that in my entire bookaholic life hasn’t happened before. I stood in front of the “Fiction” rack of one of my all time favorite libraries and couldn’t find a single book that I could drop the whole world for and read. And how badly I need that book, actually half a dozen books like that in my life right now. ( I ended up picking: White Oleandar by Jane Fitch, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers and a Jodi Picoult novel)

Why you ask? Well. I won’t bore you with the details but lets just say there is trouble in paradise and all I want to do is not think about what just happened and as you can imagine that’s all I have been doing, feeling more and more miserable and hopeless with each rumination. I am passing through the days keeping every waking minute occupied like a maniac, hardly sleeping, overactive just so that one idle moment doesn’t come where it all dawns on me and I explode into a million tiny little pieces of broken trust, unable to put myself back together.

Me and my achy breaky heart had the privilege of attending a Kabir Festival a couple of days ago and I was enthralled and introduced to the goosebumps-inducing poetry of Bulleh Shah, a Punjabi Sufi Poet. One of his metaphysical poems Bulla Ki Jaana was recently made popular by singer Rabbi Shergil:

The singer, Radhika Sood at the Kabir Festival rendered a beautiful soulful version of Bulleh Shah’s Kalaam “Bas Kar Jee Hun” which just tore at my heart not only because of its haunting melody but also because of its uncanny relevance to the state of my mind.

The lyrics went something like this:

Bas kar ji hun bas kar ji,                                          Enough!   Now enough!
Ik baat asaan naal has kar ji.                                    Smile! Speak to me!

Tuseen dil mere vich vasde ho,                                  You inhabit my heart.
Aeven saathon door kyon nhasde ho.                       What is the use of running away?
Naale ghat jaadu dil khasde ho,                               Using magic you keep pulling me toward you,
Hun kit val jaaso nhas kar ji.                                     Who are you running to now?
Bas kar ji hun bas kar ji.                                           Enough!   Now enough!

Tuseen moiyaan nu maar na mukde si,                     You do not tire of killing the already-slain.
Khido vaang khoondi nit kutde si.                              You play with me, a ball thrown over and over again at a stump.
Gahl kardiyaan da gal ghutde si,                                If I speak, you gag me,
Hun teer lagaaiyo kahs kar ji.                                      You might as well just pierce the arrow right into me!
Bas kar ji hun bas kar ji.                                              Enough!   Now enough!

Tuseen chapde ho asaan pakare ho,                          If you hide, I will catch you.
Asaan naal zulf de jakre ho.                                         I will tie you in my tresses.
Tusi aje chapan nu takre ho,                                        You are able to stay hidden for now,
Hun jaan na milda nas kar ji.                                         But you will not be able to escape from me.
Bas kar ji hun bas kar ji.                                                Enough!   Now enough!

Bulha shauh maen teri bardi haan,                               Says Bulha, I am your slave.
Tera muhk vekhan nu mardi haan.                                I die to see your face.
Nit sau sau mintaaN kardi haan,                                    I plead with you a thousand times,
Hun baeth pinjar vich ghass kar ji.                                 O enter this cage. Occupy it.
Bas kar ji hun bas kar ji.                                                 Enough!   Now enough!

I left the festival with my heart beating in my ears and my skin prickling. I could not remember the last time a song had such an effect on me. Then again, I can’t remember the last time my heart felt so broken.


3 thoughts on “Trouble in Paradise

  1. Dear friend, although one can understand what you are going through, one cannot feel it. Everyone in life goes through painful experiences, but each person’s experience is unique. But one thing I’ve learnt from life is that you can lessen the hurt and pain by remembering the good times, and realising that time heals, well at least that’s what everyone says 😐
    One place I always find myself looking for answers is in Khalil Gibrans ‘Prophet’. I don’t know if you have read that book, but here is a link to an online version of it
    Take care dear friend…..

  2. baba Bulle shah and his poetry is indeed a bliss.
    life is such ups and downs…time is a healer too.. and with time things calm down.. you take care of yourself
    my best wishes

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