People – grown up people – can be classified into two broad categories. On the one hand, there are those who fall in love with other people. On the other, there are those who fall in love with God. In Urdu Literature, these two forms of love have been termed as Ishq-e-Majazi and Ishq-e-Haqiqi, respectively. The stories of those who have discovered the former, found in a plethora of fictitious works and in real life, are characterized (besides love,) by disappointment, pain and all words synonymous. The stories of those who have discovered the latter, however, are characterized (besides love,) by fulfillment, peace and all word synonymous.
A while ago, I realized why.
I was munching on mum-made chicken fried rice, comfortably settled on my sofa, as the many faces of orphan children whom I and my friends are working with, as part of Community Service, floated in front of my eyes. I reflected on everything I had seen in the four days we had spent with them and the two that we had worked with them. Their orphanhood, is an embodiment of the havoc man’s carelessness is capable of wreaking. Their circumscribed freedom, a manifestation of the consequences of man’s experiments in mechanized warfare. And yet, they are happy, all of them. Happier, perhaps, than us, all of us. These, fellow fortunate ones, are victims of what we regularly refer to, as “collateral damage”.
The stories of those who have discovered the former, found in a plethora of fictitious works and in real life, are characterized (besides love,) by disappointment, pain and all words synonymous. The stories of those who have discovered the latter, however, are characterized (besides love,) by fulfillment, peace and all word synonymous.
Thinking about them, and everything we owe to them – from our money to our time – I wondered how ever will I survive when Community Service ends, university reopens and studies resume. Because when it comes to these kids, it’s not just about discharging a duty, it’s about living a life knowing that you are making a difference, albeit small, with every second that passes, every eye that twinkles and every face that smiles. I don’t see it anymore – a point in leading a life or seizing opportunities that catapult me to success. It doesn’t make sense anymore. Having been exposed to this dimension of life, I have finally, and thankfully, understood the famous couplet,
Upnay lee’ay toh sub he jeetay hai(n) is jahaan mei(n)
Hai zin’dugi ka muqsud aw’ro(n) k kaam aana
Everyone lives for themselves. The real purpose of life, though, is to live for others.
And that is where the difference between the respective capacities of Ishq-e-Majazi and Ishq-e-Haqiqi, comes in. How is it, that, with so many injustices troubling the world and so many aspects of life pleading for attention, one can find fulfillment in a single relationship, associating their joys and miseries, pains and pleasure and life and death, to one person? How is it that with all the violent commotion outside, one can take refuge in the peaceful quiet of Ishq-e-Majazi? One can, of course, like one has always. But it can’t be fulfilling. No. Because it is just not enough.
We need to realize how deeply we are connected to this universe, and that for us (the Part) to be at peace, the universe (the Whole) has to be at peace. And while we work on that, the source of all our strengths ought not to come from fickle and transient sources like the love of a fellow human being. It has to come from something stronger, something longer-lasting, something that is beyond human weakness, something above human intelligence. It has to come from something all encompassing, something multi-dimensional. Something like… Something like God. Yes. It has to be Ishq-e-Haqiqi.
As far as we have it upon ourselves to live where we are as what we are, finding fulfillment elsewhere is well-nigh impossible. Nay, it is absolutely impossible.
And Ishq-e-Majazi can just come along. Because as far as we have it upon ourselves to live where we are as what we are, finding fulfillment elsewhere is well-nigh impossible.
Nay, it is absolutely impossible.