I will try to write about these five things, one each day.

LOVE, LUST, LONELINESS, LONGING AND LIBERATION. I will write them to my capacity and understanding. I am in no way an expert on these. Well hardly anyone is because there is no set formula to these. And that makes us humans eager to understand and decipher.

Love

It is a common understanding that Love makes one blind. But the great psychologist Abhram Maslow in his one of the finest works “Toward psychology of being”  goes on to explain that it is not that love makes one blind but it is rather love that makes one wake up. To the beautiful potential and possibilities around and in other people. But the world would be a better place if everything was that simple. 

He goes on to explain that – “We must understand love; we must be able to teach it, to create it, to predict it, or else the world is lost to hostility and to suspicion”. But a mother hardly or rarely needs any teaching or understanding on how to love her children. Its innate. But when it comes to romantic love there cannot be anything more complicated. When I was taking exit from my teen years and fell in love for the first time, if I look back at it now more than a decade later, what a passionate mess it was. And when it’s all over and the storm in your brain has settled you take pledges and oaths to never make the same mistakes again. But then again Dil toh bachha hai ji ( Heart’s just a kid ).  This reminds me of my five year old nephew. Lying tucked in bed with fever and stomach ache he quietly asked me “when I am fine again in a day or two, we will have those spicy momos again?”

At one point I was lost, like abandoned on a beach and in front a vast sea of despair. Not knowing which direction to go in and more hopeless than hopeful to ever find the shore again. Friends and family were supportive but only like the sun, to give an idea of four different directions. But which direction to choose was the question. What came as the first rescue was the childhood habit I had cultivated to read. My initial quest was to win over my lost love, so I started reading all sorts of material in my quest. I read on random blogs, self help books of Mark Manson and like, psychology books talking about love and its dynamics. 

One particular quote that is with me till date I read on the blog The Marginalian was by Buddhist Monk Thick Nath Hanh. He says “To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love. To know how to love someone, we have to understand them. To understand, we need to listen.” And in that moment I knew that I humbly need to ACCEPT that I don’t know how to love. He goes on to say further “When you love someone, you should have the capacity to bring relief and help him to suffer less. This is an art. If you don’t understand the roots of his suffering, you can’t help, just as a doctor can’t help heal your illness if she doesn’t know the cause. You need to understand the cause of your loved one’s suffering in order to help bring relief.”

Acceptance was the first step and I think it should always be. To take stock of your reality. Where you are and what you are. And then decide where to go and what all is needed to reach there. All the reading helped me a lot and sort of settled my restlessness. But I was still deficient in love, as the term used by Maslow. Company I had of many, I longed for a companion. I started meditating and chanting. Now I was directly looking towards God helplessly but hopefully. And I was heard. Long story short I found new love. Very giving, very loving. 

It was like all the reading and understanding was raw material to create a raft and finding Love was like the thing that tied the raft together. Happy and high on dopamine I could feel myself sailing into the sea to find home again. But if you have seen the movie Cast away you know the raft can only take so far. The sea is vast. My ship wasn’t still here that would pull me out of the water and take me home. I was meditating those days and I wanted to gift my new found love a book on meditation and I started looking for such books and I came across this book on amazon where not a single review about the book was discouraging and I got curious and ordered the book. The book was A million thoughts. 

I am sure I don’t need to talk any further. There was no looking back from there. I found my Ship. I am home. 

By the way the raft is gone. Dil toh bachha hai ji. (Heart’s just a kid).

And the spicy momos for the nephew were made at home this time. To lessen the suffering of the ones we love. 

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Sartaj Saifi

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