Meeting India

India, You will meet her, not in newspapers nor in a movie, not an idea or fantasy, not in her texts nor what the journalist, moviemaker nor prejudice says, not in fables or documentaries.
You will meet her on the open road, where magic, beauty and dust from the earth, whirl up to collide. You will meet her in conversation with her people.
You won’t find her solely in her famous crowded cities, nor in the disparity of poverty and wealth upon her land, nor in the strange blend of ignorance and knowledge.
You will meet her in the fiery strength that hides in the weakness. In an unknown face that walks in an unknown village in a staggering mountain, deep in the desert wind, by her verdant forest, gushing rivers and her endless ways.
You will meet her if you forget everything you’ve been told she is.
You will meet her when you embrace her with your heart

by Shenaz Wahid

image

Advertisements

Love, pride and fear

“I believed in love. I put all my faith in it and I’ve been completely disappointed, hurt and humiliated. I can’t possibly put myself through it again. I’d be foolish to risk my heart, sanity and everything that I am all over again.”, uttered Kris

“I should be practical now. Focus on my dreams, build my career, after all it’s more reliable than another unpredictable human being. I can be wealthy, travel, spend time with friends, have fun, make something of myself and surely enough I will have someone to share life with.” he says, his eyes betraying the words his lips just uttered. He wants to share life with someone, but he’s tired of love’s heart-shattering complexities.

And then Kris shared his story. “It’s been three years she’s been on my mind, but I just can’t tell her. I was at work when someone had baked this amazingly delicious cake. I took a bite and asked every one who made it. They all pointed at her. When I saw her for the first time, I stopped in my tracks. I’ve seen a lot of women but this was different. What I feel just being in her presence……. She’s kind, radiant and like no other.”
” What?? Three years and you haven’t told her, why?? you have to tell her.”, I say unable to contain my expressive self.
“No, do you not remember how it ended with my last girlfriend? What if she doesn’t feel the same way? What if she says no? I don’t want to hear it. What if she has someone one else? I really can’t put myself through the pain or rejection again. Then again not everyone gets what they want.”
“No,you get what you ask for and what you believe you’ll get, if you risk everything to get it, and that includes your heart.”, I say.

I sound so confident, so full of faith but I’d be lying to him and myself if I said I hadn’t experienced the same stone-cold fear, deep aching hurt and terrifying confusion after my first heartbreak. I was 21, my heart ripped open that I turned over to God who with time and his majestic love, made it whole again. He taught me that only those who had the power to touch our soul, had the power to break it open in such a way, that only then could we ever peer into it and slowly over time discover it’s power, magic and love. Only then would we listen to its dreams, truths and what it yearns for. Only retrospectively can I understand that it was a blessing I had deemed as a curse.

Consider this my dear friend, God does with the human heart what he did with the world’s most magnificent mountain ranges, The Himalayas; the earth lay low, resting blissfully in the sun and for no particular reason, He decided to disrupt the peaceful lands with a mighty earthquake. The earth would have let out a long terrified cry, confused as it trembled, but from it was born the world’s mightiest mountains that towered into the sky. Only such utter disruption could allow the earth’s mighty heart to reach into the clouds. I know you’re afraid my friend. Believe me in one way or another we all are. I sure as hell am for my own heart, but there’s an awesome invisible hand leading us through the mystery, that we must trust.
You have but one life (one that you know of anyway) and you must express the love it feels, no matter the outcome. If you believe, you will one day triumph.
Tell her Kris, tell her!!

by Shenaz Wahid
393479_10152069420475394_1394771501_n

What would you do if you had no boundaries?

“What would you do if you had no boundaries?” asks Mia the blue-eyed girl sitting in front of me.
It is one of the most important questions any one has ever asked me.
She means to ask, What would you do if you had no boundaries from your mother, father, lover, friends, brother, sister, neighbor, from the boundaries you impose on yourself and the ones imposed on you. What would you do?

We are talking about choices and I am sitting there contemplating which path I should choose to tread upon, what is right and wrong, what I should and shouldn’t do, when Mia looks me in the eye and asks me that one simple question,
“What would you do if you had no boundaries?”

It suddenly became easy to answer what had puzzled me. I start answering her with excited little heart of a child speaking withou care.
I think of my dreams and what I would do with life, if the only thing that steered me was the mast of my soul.
The answers that came was the naked voice of my heart, stripped bare of anything superficial, of what another thinks I should be and who I wish to be in front of another and who I’m supposed to be for another.
The voice that answered was my own. It was me being me.

Where would I go? What would I do? What would I say to another and to myself? Who do I love?

What would you do if you had no boundaries?
Who makes these boundaries but us, for ourselves and for each other?
Any one who truly listens to his own soul, could never go wrong because our souls are the throne of God, where his voice guides our feet.
If you listened to that voice, would you choose a new dream? Where would you travel and who would you meet? Perhaps you would meet yourself on a foreign street. Who would you say the deepest words of your soul to? Which friends would you hold onto for ever and who would you let go of? What would you want to see and what would you to do to go there, just to glimpse at yourself.

“What would you do if you had no boundaries?” If you listen to that answer, you will hear your heart speak.

by SHENAZ WAHID

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.”
Rumi

The royal man and the arrack seller’s daughter.

He was royal.
An Indian steeped in British blood whose family owned lands as far as the eye could see and lived a life of great luxury. He loved his whisky and drank it everyday, and for some reason on that particular day he ran out.
Left with no choice, he drove to the little local liquor store to get freshly home-brewed liquor.

She was poor and too young to sit at her father’s arrack shop.
In fact she never did sit there, but for some particular reason on that day, her mother and father were out and when he came in to ask for liquor, only her hands came out of the little wood opening to serve him.
He saw just her fragile beautiful hands and fell in love. He wanted to know who they belonged to and just how beautiful could the woman who had such hands be.

He came back the next day, saw her and he knew. He asked for that very hand.
When he proposed the idea to the church, they said, “It’s Lent, this isn’t the time to get married.”, but he cared little for such rules, got married and took her home.
In true movie style, his family was outraged saying, “If you choose to be with someone from the street, you’re free to leave the house.”

And he did. He went to one of their many lands which had two little rooms and turned to her, ” Well this is going to be our home darling.”
She looked around and there was no electricity, there was almost nothing.
He took his grandmother out the next day for a few drinks, got her drunk and got her to sign that land’s paper on his name. They had a home to live in now.

For the next 50years that was their home, and as my friend invites me to the mansion that now stands on that land overlooking the vast coffee plantations, telling me the story of two great lovers, her mother and father..
She also tells me of the time when she chose wrong in love.
Her mother who knew exactly what it is like to love a soulmate deeply, told her outside the church door, “Sweety forget about the people gathered here or the money spent, if you take two steps back instead of two steps forward, I’m with you. Don’t worry about a thing, I’ll call this off.”
She looked into her mother’s eyes and said, “I’d like to go ahead.”
Her mother sighed, made the sign of the cross and walked in with her.

Her mother was right and after what almost seemed like an eternity of pain and separation – she found the one with whom her soul was twined by God’s very hands and the house was once again filled with great love and magic.
“My mother and father are so happy.”, she says to me.
“How do you know that? They aren’t here anymore.”
“They are with me always. I feel their spirit smiling.”, she says as if death were only a door into life.
The hot wax from the candle lit to her father in prayer, seeps out from beneath and forms a perfect heart.
The two great lovers are happy, that their daughter found love as great as theirs.

What inspired a man of great wealth to trade the world for a woman, just by seeing her hands? Was it not great love?

by SHENAZ WAHID

Meeting fear in the dark lake

Dusk was soon handing herself to the dark and the three of us are standing on the rocks by the lake.
The lake which has a signboard outside saying, “Beware of crocodiles.”
The villagers say it is a hoax, so that the tourists will swim in a nearby beach whose shops can profit.
We ourselves had swum in the lake, the previous day in the sun’s company.

But right now is completely different.
The rocks casting dark shadows in the darkness that deepened every second, brought alive all our fears.
The crocodiles, whether or not they were hiding beneath those deep black waters, were alive in our imagination, lurking somewhere far beneath, waiting.
It is all so beautiful as long as we are standing outside, looking at the sweeping landscape begin to dream in the night, but we had come here to jump in.

Wasi heroically says something about swimming to a far off rock and back, but quickly changes his mind.
“So I’m going to have a smoke over it.”, says Tanzim as he sits down on a rock to light his cigarette.
We are all staring at the water when Wasi says, “Look there, the eyes staring out.”
“What? Where?”, we ask. It was his attempt to get us to completely change our minds. A cup floating in the water appears as the crocodiles snout and by now there is no way I’m jumping in either. There is not a soul far in sight but for the three of us and the crocodiles in our mind.

In one crazy moment, I ask my guardian Angel to protect me. Wasi runs and dives into the water first and I follow him. Pitch black bottomless darkness within.
We swim out in a matter of seconds.
Me and Tanzim jump in the second time, and the manner in which we jump back out, both throwing ourselves at Wasi, arms and legs beating the water madly, to get us out, is beyond hilarious.

We laugh hard as we ride into the stars and the rice fields, our bodies and hearts soaked in the lake’s sweetness, feeling more alive than ever.
Even if just for a few moments, we had dove into our fears to find they were silly voices in the head, that die the moment we embrace them. As I turn back to look, while the bike drifts through the road back home, fireflies ignite the path.

by SHENAZ WAHID

Love makes us warriors

Love makes us warriors.
Perhaps a warrior of Love is far more than a warrior of war.
For in war, you wield your sword and if you use it right,
you can conquer with your power and might.
But to love takes maddening courage,
to stand naked, no shield or sword,
and offer up your blood and everything that you are, willingly.
Not knowing what the other might give,
nor does it matter.

You love, because you must love.
Because you can’t imagine it any other way.
You love, because you are love.
And you offer this bravely,
A warrior of the soul.

And what love brings is always a mystery.
Sometimes a sword piercing right through,
but if love is wielding this sword,
then painful as its thrust, Love is exactly what pierces through,
deeper to a place, we haven’t yet been.

There are times your heart beaming golden,
dances in love’s all consuming fire.
And the one to whom you offer this, turns his face away,
leaving you confused in his shadow.
But if it is love that makes him turn,
then she knows a dancer better suited,
to dance her ecstasy in harmony with yours.

Sometimes you walk her road alone,
And although it seems she has abandoned you, she never does.
She leaves you there alone, to learn what she has to teach,
to share when another arrives.
To teach what is so hard to learn,
that even though you may seek her in everything and everyone,
she lives in you and if you find her there,
you will everywhere.

If love is your true pursuit,
you will find it in the eyes of another,
On the corner of the street where you least expect it,
You will find it love warrior.

by SHENAZ WAHID

To God

God,
Thank you for giving me birth in a world full of beauty and full of agony.
One that only you understand, why you made it so.

Thank you for Love, and for the pain of hatred that teaches me Love’s worth.
Thank you for the sweetness of solitude, for the joy of company and for the aching loneliness that allows me to treasure both.

Thank you for the butterflies, mountains, fishes, oceans and trees.
Thank you for the friends I lost, ones I found and for those who stay through it all.
Thank you for the love I lost. Thank you for the love I found.
Thank you for those who come from nowhere, light a fire in my soul and change me forever in ways I couldn’t have done without them.
Thank you for those who make my heart cry without tears.

Thank you for my Angels and thank you for keeping me safe from the devils in my own mind.
Thank you for the moments of magic that turned into despair, and for the moments of despair that turned into magic.

Thank you for music and dance and for the deliciousness of silence. Thank you for the silence even when its loud.
Thank you for the joyous laughter. Thank you for the bitter tears.
Thank you for the sun and the moon. Thank you for the dark sky.
Thank you for light and thank you for the darkness, that gives the stars and moon a place to show themself.

Thank you for the moments I know myself, for those where I feel lost, and have a chance to find and be found.
Thank you for remembering me and thank you for forgetting all that I too must forget.

Thank you for those who understand who I am, for those who misunderstand and for those who couldn’t care less.
Thank you for all that I understand, and all that is far beyond me
in beauteous mystery’s womb.

Thank you for wisdom and insight and for my mistakes and folly.
Thank you for the nights of peace, and thank you for the restless sleepless nights.
Thank you for the mountains triumph. Thank you for failures abyss.
Thank you for the blessings, and for all that my foolish heart deemed as a curse.

Thank you for all that’s deep and for all that’s shallow in me, that needs digging.
Thank you for a mind that wants to turn moments into a story,
sometimes beautiful, sometimes frightful.
Thank you for words, without which I couldn’t tell any story.

Oh Thank you Dear God for the Dreams in my soul, for putting them there and thank you for all that is good and bad
that I will have to encounter along my journey’s length.
Thank you for what I know, for what I don’t, for what I will and for what I won’t.

Oh Thank you for People, both happy and sad as they make me. The ones who amaze and inspire, and the ones who hurt and confuse.
Thank you for keeping me company even when I don’t ask you to, and for never forsaking me even when I have myself
Thank you for all that has gone past me by, for now and for all that will be.

Thank you for magic and mystery, for revealing and hiding.
For all the funny contradictions of Life, the ecstasy and agony
one without which I wouldn’t know the other.

Thank you above all for LOVE
Thank you being a God of Love.

Thank you for it ALL.
Yours,
Shenaz

by SHENAZ WAHID