October 17, 2012

Dear Blog,

I miss you.

Dear Readers,

I miss you more.

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I've been reading (devouring actually) the story of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz. The book - Rumi: The Fire of Love - by Nahal Tajahod is by turns inspiring, intriguing and sensibility-shocking. I'm three-quarters through it, and I'm fascinated by the vivid descriptions of 'carnal' Arabia, and the life that past great-men led. I'm disappointed (a little) by how marginalized women are in this narrative (despite being wives, lovers and concubines floating - in diaphanous veils - around the periphery) but the I figure, perhaps women don't really have a large part to play in the one of the most celebrated masculine love-stories of all time.

What settles in, after the mixed emotions die down, is that love is a force to be reckoned with. It is the singe human emotion that has the power to transcend practicality, capability, morality. When in love, the only thing that matters is the lover. Everything - and everyone - else is subsidiary and unimportant. Love can make you less, love can make you more.

That said, taking the story forward, while love moulds and makes a 'real' person out of you, it is the ABSENCE of love that makes you great. When Rumi met Shams, he was a renowned scholar. While he was with Shams he was a lover, and he discovered the essence of spirituality (the communion, if you will). It was only after Shams disappeared (speculatively, he was killed by jealous former-devotees led by one of Rumi's sons) that Rumi became the man WE know - the poet. In his own words, first he was raw, then he was cooked and ultimately he was charred. Out of the pain, came greatness.

6 comments:

LanternSaturdays said...

Have you have you read "Forty rules of love" by elif shafak? Beautifully written story of Rumi and Shams. By far the best.

Anonymous said...

dude rumi was not gay!

Thoth said...

I somehow feel that you have disrespected Rumi. Something that i can't deal with really.

The death of Shams Tabrizi is shrouded in doubt. I actually have a friend who wrote a doctoral thesis on him. Nevertheless the Sufis say, that Shams himself disappeared so that Rumi can fulfill his destiny. You cannot sit here and judge either of them. It's the greatest work of poetry ever. You can't say more about Rumi or Shams.

Each one played their part and history is just tricks played upon dead. And i am actually cringing as i write such irrational lines.

But yeah Hell is relative as well, and to know you are in hell you need to be in Heaven first.

So yeah. I am still pretty cool and bad ass, though i said something like that.

Thoth said...

And another thing. When i started reading Masnavai i couldn't go past the first few lines. I was pretty well read at that time as well, but for a few days i was stuck on the first 5 or so couplet.

"My wailing is heard in every throng
Each interprets my notes in harmony with his own feelings."

You and me we can't understand the whole thing.

Xeb said...

LS - Have heard about the book. Need to get hold of it.

Anon - I never said he was. Read again.

T: I haven't. I've actually been trying to read between the lines of the story, and I'm more than a little intrigued. The poet, I've read for a long time. The story (multiple versions) I've just discovered. And I find the version by Tajahod a little too explicit (particularly in the later chapters) for my liking, I find the narrative fascinating. I'm probably going to find another biography soon-ish! :)

Point is, no disrespect meant (at all).

Thoth said...

Ok we're kool then. Will never read this book you speak of.

Cheers.