The clock strikes, reminds me it’s time to sleep, but in an alien land you always have sleepless nights, longing and missing is a state for the ones who are like me. I miss my homeland—those paddocks, green meadows, lush green scenic beauty that embraces me, kisses my cheeks, passes a fresh airy breeze that hits the soul and tranquilizes ones heart from the dirt and ding, the way a lovelorn after so much toil and effort receives a positive not from her beloved. Ah! I too had my salad days. This time, for it belongs to none, remorsefully though, those handsome sugar-candy butterfly days didn’t last long and weaned away like a rainbow. So, I have turned an old man now in a dry house that is being read by a boy and waiting for the rain.
However, I want to write something, something rainy tonight that would sooth my soul. Although, the atmosphere is utterly disconsolate, I bend my neck on an easy chair on the terrace to look upwards and observe something transcendental up above the skies but, I see nothing than the endless dusky clouds that float like Shikara on the Dal-lake. I marvel while contemplating, do the firmaments resemble my state of mind? I guess, not. For why would they be the semblance of my heart-- an ailing heart of Jameel that often falls prey to ‘Ode to Autumn’ and ‘Ode to Melancholy’.
“Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too.”
However, I ask myself, what I seek and what am I after? Am I after love, happiness or something abstract which I am yet to figure and don’t know myself; for love too is a state like happiness or sadness which can be beautiful or ugly like an achievement or a failure? But, when I dig deep, I find everything is but nothing than a mirage, a piece of an art that a superficial painter paints with some brushes on a canvas with a validity assigned. I ponder and wonder, was Plato right by disowning poets from his ideal state; or to be precise, I mean, artists in general in his beautiful book ‘Republic’; for what they speak are mere lies and fabrication of realism which in actuality don’t exist and are just an imitation (mimics) of that real object or things that is already present in the universe, ‘Horse’ and ‘Chair’ that he quotes. Whenever I muse about these things they pushes be back to recall my university days when we would read the essays of the father of empiricism, Mr. Francis Bacon, “A mixture of lie adds pleasure into the truth.”
We all strive and are after happiness and the state of satisfaction by trying diverse means and ways to achieve it; be that loyalty, disloyalty, by being crafty, cunning, smart so on and so forth. But, the question remains, does happiness or satisfaction exist? Do the kits we aspire bring us closer to happiness, satisfaction or joy after achieving it? If yes, is it ceaseless?
Conversely, if I am being asked the same question, I would downrightly say, it doesn’t. For the joy that we aspire and dream of; is simply a state. I’ve often times felt in my heart that an empty pocket, tattered attires and a friendless soul can be more joyous and in the state of jubilance than the ones who we see in luxurious cars with pocket full coins or being hailed here and there. Have faith, I have seen the latter ones constantly in want and need ---the need of contentment, satiation of heart and eternal peace. Again, the question that boggles here is; what are they?
Since time immemorial, a man has remained but a perfect glutton, who works like an donkey to make a mark in this world, his greed and satisfaction in quantifiable deeds is endless like an ocean or shoreless sea, but what is baffling that he after so much toil and drudgery which he goes through in achieving what he aspires in order to make an abstract into concrete falls into the trap of suicide and gives away his life like a nincompoop. Does it mean, his idea about the feat, his sense of triumph, his aspirations, and dreams that he wanted in his life were simple misconceptions and erroneous dogmas that were being associated with happiness, satiation, contentment or so to say eternal peace? For why would one commit suicide and give-away his life after creating a long legacy, and declare everything nothing but useless before satiation of heat?
Does it mean that a man is simply an unthankful being who loses the value of the things that sometime back were a reverie for him? Or, is it a mannerism of man which he follows religiously to trance what is not in his kitty. These questions are quite perplexing like old philosophical one, what came first, hen or an egg?
Still, we will try to figure, what real gratification, fulfillment, contentment of heart and happiness mean. Are they related worldly achievement by amassing a good wealth; no matter, whatsoever means it be, and remaining guilty at the end and committing suicide in its catharsis? Or does it mean, being at peace without having the above entities?
Now, if I am being posed with the same question, I would say the real contentment is the satiation of your heart, which we call ‘Sakoon-e-qalb’ which has nothing to do with amassing wealth, having luxurious cars, beautiful house to reside, or wearing a fine attire with the finest fabric textures for ‘Sakoon-e-qalb’ doesn’t come with these things but, it comes when conscience is at peace by not being a fraudulent, double-dealer, treacherous or not being the cause behind someone’s seamless wailing tears. Remember, a soul with these things will never be at peace, no matter, how much wealth he/she amasses or what position or status he/she reaches.
Since a soul in the human body is the cleanest entity that cannot remain at peace with contaminated deeds and actions, that’s why people commit suicide even after having or achieving so much that it seems a gigantic task to reach. It’s simply because at the end they understand real meaning of contentment and satiation is not they were taught, to have material things by whatsoever means.
(The author is English faculty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Feedback at: Mufti.firstname.lastname@example.org)