TOUR WITH ME

IMG_1375“As the weatherman forecasted snow in the next  24 hours, so did my reminder alarm remind me of my friend arriving from overseas in an hour. I immediately got off from the cozy fire place, ditching my brewed coffee and my inked quill and put on my coat and my boots, when suddenly this compassionate voice of my mother from inside of the next room came in, ‘don’t forget to put on your coat and gloves.’ This voice had already made me feel warm. I reached the airport in time luckily with all overjoy and received my friend with the hugs and love. We were both excited to see each other after such a long time. The last time we had seen each other was our high school farewell party. Then as the things kept boiling back here in hometown, her parents decided to move out. But, now it didn’t matter, all we realised in that moment was that we were together ,talking to each other while looking at each other’s face without dependence of wires connecting us or without any cyber space of invisible fibres. We had so much to catch up. But the first thing that caught the attention was the one where we had left years back.

‘Kashmiras manz kith halaath woen (how are the things in Kashmir now)’ , she asked me struggling hard enough with her Kashmiri but couldn’t hide her twang that had taken over the archaic accent. She tried to keep our conversation as much native as she could, even more than what we normally used to back then. I could sense that she wanted to re-fit in the hometown. She didn’t want to feel left out after a gap of so many years and to her, language seemed to be an accessible way to fill the void and meet the roots. I thought in heart of hearts that as a witness bearer of the wounds and trauma this place has been through, I deserved empathy, but here the case was getting reversed with my friend. So I tried to be compassionate and replied to her question which now seemed apprehension for her home rather than mere curiosity, ‘Yuth trayoth tyuth chu na bilkul’ (not same as you left). This positive reply glistened her face somehow. She wanted to know more. So, I asked her if she remembered a dictum that we used to hear from our parents and grandparents since our childhood, ‘yi chi peer vaer’ (this is the land of sufis)  (she smiled and nodded affirmatively). This continues to be the land of Sufis but now age is no bar, only knowledge and dedication is.

The minds that were oppressed for years are stretching out from the cocoon of ignorance ,to rise up again in the land of intellect and creativity. Even after being criticized and questioned, people wake up every morning with increasing faith in God and greater hope in heart to chase a new dream every day which they walk with valor, to overcome the fears and accomplish their dreams. They smile when they hear a word of love, they also feel the radiance of happiness and they do feel sting of pain. The terrifying memories of gunshots in the day and that knock on the door in the dark of cold night, with the creepy sound by the window might try to horrify but people still dare to sleep with no malice but only God in heart and dreams in  their eyes. They feel the constraint of the scars but now that pain has taught them the beauty of art. The muse of cries still haunts their strong souls, but it has mentored them to sing the eulogy of hometown. Kept under the thumb, with broken wings, muted intermittently, their speech has been caged within the forts of might behind the reasons of helplessness and concern, but now they have learnt the words capable enough to jump off the gag of hypocrisy.

The sufferings never made them any less human. Their blood still bleeds red, though. Air around was polluted with malevolence but snow here is still frosted white. Liberty has many meanings here, but the wind still blows carefree cutting any angle it wants to. We are all still struggling, but we are doing great.” With this, my driver blew the horn and I realised we had reached home and my dear friend wondered how she had already started her tour with a beautiful day.

“hum mit ke bhi na mit sakey, dard tou bas fasana tha,dhoob gaye hotey kabke warna, agar bhagi ban na gawara na hota”

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SUFISM FAITH AND LIFE

I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE STORY WILL GO BUT DEFINITELY, THE PHRASE “I GIVE UP”IS NOT IN MY SCRIPT.

 

A few days back,I was sitting on my couch and trying to write something, my attention was caught up by a bird just outside my window. It was picking on this fruit laden mulberry tree right beneath my balcony. I couldn’t stop but continue watch how hard it was trying to get hold of one whole mulberry by its beak. The moment it would catch hold of one,it would burst and lose hold of it. It tried it so many times and the result was only broken pieces on the ground. Thinking that the bird wouldn’t make it after so many attempts and it was just waste of time, I got back to my computer and as soon I cut my gaze from it, the thrashing sound of wind blowing through my ears made me see a God’s marvel again. Yes, here it was the bird munching on a whole bunch of mulberry, which wind had only made it easy for it to reach. This bird is just a connotation of you, the tree is your life, the mulberry your aspirations and desires and the wind is your struggle that hurts but gives you an exact amount of push to take you even more higher and to make you even more better.

Life teaches the best of the lessons in the worst of the times. It has its own ways to set you straight and pure. It might throw you off the cliff and you will hate it to your guts but it will leave you amazed when it catches you in the middle of the flight and lets you fly. Life is a beautiful experiment of highs and lows, of desires and sacrifices, of certainty and ambiguity, of sorrow and joy. It will be wrong to call us guinea pigs in this experiment because it’s a theatrical one and we are all playing by the script pre-composed. All that you can do is to give the best of your performance. Resistance will only lead you in becoming the thread suspended lifeless puppets.

Once angel of life was telling its different experiences with people on earth to God. Looking at how bewildered the angel of life was with the people’s different perceptions of life, God smiled. Angel of life, seeing this, asked God if it was really a pathetic angel that even after yielding so much it still couldn’t make man happy. God replied,”one of my best creations is the man himself. So I left somethings about his ownself too a mystery to him. Its not about your incapability to overwhelm him everytime ,its about his weakness of not finding solution to everything he encounters. When something makes him happy, he praises you, but when something hurts him and blurs his comprehension as why it happened to him, he starts blaming and cursing you. This is how he is being made. This weakness makes him human and humble. This weakness makes him turn to me in all gratitude and obedience. This weakness makes him to ask from me the way I like him the most. This weakness only gets him the best in abundance from Me. And the moment he overcomes it and realises its not him but someone higher up controlling his every breath and its not his love for his mojos that he should brag rather love between him and his God that will win him over everything through eternity, he becomes my sufi.” As mentioned in Quran , “And your lord is going to give you and you will be satisfied” Surah ad-Duha 93.

 

We all behave like this confusion as explained by Angel of Life at some point of time in our lives. Just sneak peek into your life in your solitude and ask yourself is it worth wasting it on a few things you can’t understand why they happened or are happening or should you better be thankful for endless favours you are blessed with? From smaller to the bigger accomplishments, shouldn’t you be grateful? One who provided you today He only will lead the way for you tomorrow. Only thing you need to do is to Just keep the lamp of faith lit. Its faith only that makes you believe once you go down in prayer that you will be up again.

“To trust God in light is nothing ,but trust HIM in dark-That is Faith”, as stated by Charles Spurgeon, regarded as Prince of Preachers.

SICKNESS: PUNISHMENT OR BLESSING

I didn’t know sickness was so bad until I got admission as a med student. Sickness is a complex term which reflects multiple meanings. Like for example for a 5 year old tot ,it might be a good unprovoking excuse to turn down on school for a day, for a corporate junkie, a painful way to breathe in life, for a person with mental sickness a reason to stay in persisted denial or for a frail old person the gateway to bid farewell. It is quite subjective, with all the colors or to be precise different shades of dark.

A few days back something (will be talking about it in the later part) that I encountered inevitably pushed me into the pensieve of memories. I still can’t get over the face of this teenage girl, who was admitted with Ewing’s Sarcoma (a rare tumor of bone or soft tissue frequently seen among teenagers or young adults). She was admitted in the surgical ward while I was the intern in the same ward during my apprenticeship. As a part of log, I was asked to assist in history completion of the patient. We tried to settle her down and make her comfortable in her bed. She started to open up up and help us with our history taking. She looked frail and pale yet her words were so clear and cut through my ears with every stroke of my pen. She was youthful with every dream that was still glistening,though with the tired sheen in her eyes. I asked her about her age and being soft-spoken, she told me , ‘Ma’am I just got admission in First year in econ’,she further continued, ‘can I ask you something?’ I smiled and nodded affirmatively, ‘do you think I will make it’, left me thunderstuck with this question. I realised this was just a baby step towards the bigger doorway. Still estranged to the pangs of afflictions, I froze in that moment. I just didn’t want to confront her on this any sooner. So, with the dumb ear I pushed her stretcher and went to shift her to the OT. We were about to perform a diagnostic procedure on her which would confirm our diagnosis. As the needle was piercing her skin into the tissue, she clenched my hand not because of pain but out of hope, the hope with which she looked at me as if her eyes demanded a confirmation if we were going to inject her with an elixir. But, to her dismay the only thing that the procedure confirmed was her Cancer, not only that but revealed it to be in the later stages. She died 2 days later. Her family was a normal middle class family, who had put in all their faith in medicine and its dispensers. They were infuriated at the fate their child had met but had nothing to convey to us except their broken and bereaved hearts. They had already accepted the grief of losing their girl and were leaving the hospital premises embracing the sore that their daughter’s death had left them with. The same evening we admitted one young boy in emergency, who was brought in a petrified condition in a feran (special Kashmiri cloak worn to protect from cold) drenched in a sting of hoplessness and cowardice, with a weak pulse and a near dead valour.

But, let me take you back to the present. Last evening, while I was on my way back home, I came across this young chivalrous, enthusiastic boy whom I couldn’t recognise at first. Dressed like a gentleman with a sober speech, he approached me and wished me with all the grace and respect. I had a twilight memory of his face. So as I was about to return his wish(Salaam) with a little hesitation, he caught the ice of the moment and spoke, “thank you for giving me the antidote of my life, which not only counterpoised the poison of my body, but flushed the venom of my brain too, thanks for helping me avail the only chance”. This paradigm of survival from the survivor himself was enough to remind me who I had just met, the guy we had admitted the same evening ,the girl with cancer had passed away. The entire scene re-played in front of me. I was surprised but mesmerised at the same time to see how that one well learnt experience resulting from his tumultuous mental burst had saved him from an eternal wrath. I remembered it quite well how while discharging him, I had affronted him with the stern look and these naked words, “We ain’t in any high tech video game. We live in a real world with real mazes to chase, with real success to accomplish, with real failures to walk past and with real pain to bear, but we got only one life for this all. We get only one chance to correct our mess and tread past our mistakes, you can’t afford to muck up even that one.” And here I realised how he was now not only out of stupor but after years of detox and toil, the person who was in front of me with all smiles and humility was now a successful, promising young philanthropist cum entrepreneur.Nothing could have been better enough to wrap my day with than this. It warmed my heart which was cold with the chills of memories of death of the girl. At the end of the day, I realised every life saved matters which counts rather than cradling redemption of every death where even if as doctors we might have a momentary God Complex but are incapable to go beyond the line. It filled me with humbleness and pride at the same time to know how even one life saved years back had given birth to so many hopes and endeavours of present and future.

Sickness is a two-edged sword. It is a fierce fire-emitting, life devouring monaster when it gobbles up life whereas if you survive it, it becomes a dark prism with glittering silhouettes that enable you with a special vision to break through all the barriers, to come to lie in equal with the triumph and zeal of life. Practice to live life by making the most of what only you are best at, without whining and sobbing for only a few things that go bad, though you anyways have no control over them. You are born with an eminent capability to be whatever you want to, only if you realise that even in sores and pain lies a deeper wisdom and a secret blessing.

PEACE IN THE TIMES OF INTERNAL CONFLICTS

“It is not extravagant to wear Nina Ricci and yet sound humble, but it is gruesome to get buried under the edifices of your own falsely constructed dynamism and flashy egotism”

It was one of those less common evenings in the city, when dust was not mixed with the stink of human sweat. And, I decided to go on a coffee date with my friend. Well, cafes indeed are one of my favourite places to get my pen and words to do some serious work, but not that day. It was after a long that I managed to steal some time to stretch a bit and spend some quality moments without boggling my nerves. Busy looking streets and yet so lazy demeanor of people crossed my way to the cafe ,which was quite a sophisticated place, with well assembled tapestries hanging by its walls and small chandeliers lightning up the hall (and the occupied minds too). The music of 90’s on a subtle note was playing in the background, as if Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley had appeared in person to pay themselves a self-tribute. It felt home with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the dusky theme of the place, calm and pristine.

Every face was lit up and everyone was dressed up so fine. But what was even more louder than the sheen of their clothes and fragrance of their scent were their conflicting heads. However, amidst all this (so-called mind reading exercise), I made myself comfortable in one of the cozy Jules Chairs. I was in a good mood to observe and look around. I wondered what would “fun” have been in the times when there were no coffee shops to hang out, with no hams and no sushis. While this mini tussle was going on in my head, I heard the crinkling sound of the door, distinguished from the background music, from the other side of the Café. A man roughly in his late 30’s, well built with a confident walk, all suited up in a black long jacket with aviators covering his eyes (more from the fear of being misread rather than the shield against sun), made his way in. He didn’t mind to put off his Elixyr, which he continuously puffed in, even while talking to the attendant. The smoke mixed with the aroma of the coffee, now felt stinging rather than reviving. This hue covered his face through which could be seen only his brown hair locks with occasional greys. The rapport that he shared with the owner made me think that either he is some big shot or a regular favourite coffee junkie. Later, I learned he was both. I continued back to myself and tried to read something, when suddenly a voice crashed in the room. To my surprise, it was this same man talking to someone on phone in a tone which somehow seemed imported to his personality. “I am struggling more than you think I can”, he hung up the phone with this line, while continuously puffing his Elixyr. Everyone got quiet for a moment after his emotional loud outburst and as he tried to clear the air, his eyes seemed to carry an explanation to defend his elite (made up looks) against the helpless cry of words that just had slipped. It was not that Versace was not on, but its weight was too much for his shoulders to bear. I thought to myself, “Really! Did he just use the word STRUGGLE. How come a man of his aristocracy and elitism be even able to spell the word STRUGGLE”.

I was again in a small conflict with myself. But, then I remembered how even strong winds struggle while rustling through the woods. We are all somewhere connotations of this chivalrous man. We struggle and struggle to achieve all that we aspire. But, the irony is even though we succeed to achieve most of it, our minds keep struggling to collect the pieces of our long lost internal peace.

There is this not so common saying in our profession, “Doctors treat diseases not patients”, implying that we kill the cause not the sufferer. However, all of us (‘all’ meaning each common man) are doing exactly opposite of this in our lives. Although with no intentions whatever they be, yet we are constantly killing our peace to feed the saviors of “more”.

The beds are not rosy for everyone, not everyone has a silver spoon to be fed with, not everyone has a velvet rug bowing and comforting his feet with the first step he lays on ground every morning. Not everyone has a privilege to comfortably sit in a chair with hot mug of coffee brewed and yet make his living. It is a real business out there, cruel and crude. The world is not a fantasy. Its for real, reality with so many wars, wars amongst and wars within. And as Law of entropy states, “The total entropy (universal tendency towards disorder, chaos, disorganisation, and disintegration) will increase over time, approaching a maximum value”. So, you got no reasons to blame universe for its conspiracies against you, as it is itself in an ongoing strife to find solace. There is a need to understand something basic here, that peace and happiness have been in the same box ever since the dawn of human race and this box doesn’t fit, if one is left out. Try to fill the box with only these two. Overburdening it and leaving the real tenant out will only make the things worse.

People did laugh, even when there were no e-memes, they did feel worthy and special even without “likes” and “comments” cursor toggling on their names, people did feel expression of love and friendship even when emoticans were nowhere around, they could manage to initiate conversation be in it, live it, even when the ‘chat rooms’ were a far off concept. People did tap their feet and hum the lines even with their own melodies. And of course, coming back to my “coffee Question”, Yes! They did enjoy it (even in the 15th century).

The conflicts within ourselves will never end. They are like hallucinations. You need to control them before you lose your show. Life is worth of living not wasting in adoration of whims.

MEETING THE ROOTS

As the heat of the scorching summer had started to mellow out and the fall had begun to endure, I tried to catch some juvenile breeze later in the evening. The air was no longer harshly lashing. From work to back home and just being confined within the blinds of our A/C rooms, it does sometimes feel smothering. Nothing can replace the nature and its purity. So, the thought of taking a carefree walk, again in the greens, a break from the city noise and the rush was kind of exciting.

As I was about to put on my Joggers, my phone rang and to my delight it was the call from my soul friend, my mentor, my childhood best mate. He had just given me the news of his arrival in the town. I was highly overjoyed with this news and it felt the childhood was here again. I was going to see my best friend after a decade long gap.

After I hung up the phone, I proceeded on with my walk, with more excitement and elation. So many memories started to brainstorm my mind and I could so well see the old picture in my head again. I remembered playing cricket in the streets of our town, without the air smelling foul and fear, instead its fragrance was fresh and so earthen. There were some lazy days too, but without big mouthing each other’s achievements and failures, rather they were days of love and fondness for each other. They were days of free minds with no prejudice at all. The hearts didn’t weigh rocks with the burden of malice and envy for each other but they felt lighter with the compassion and empathy for each other. It was once a real nice world.

While I was getting lost in the train of memories and enjoying my evening walk, the rattling breeze got me back from the misty land of memories to 2018 (haughtily). I was wondering how fast the time had flown, how swiftly the things and people had changed and how perceptions had altered. For a moment, I wondered if the world I was lamenting about, was even real in the first place. Yeah! Definitely it was (that voice in the head). It was not any scene from a fantasy novel. It was all real, all of us have lived in there. When people went to lie in the lap of nature and breathe its freshness without the fear of an unwelcome trespass and without the anxiety to disappear in the woods. The times when we valued lives and the emotions more than our whims and swollen egoes. The times when the relationships meant real with no business of bragging fancies.

It was the time when kids played out in the greens and not in the closed aphotic cubicals. So that when they grew up, they adopted what they imbibed from the nature; tolerance, sacrifice, compassion, pliability, accommodation and so much more. And all that our comfortable, murky cubicals have given us so far is constrained, egotistical, tunnel vision. Congratulations! (this voice in my head is so vocal, you see).

Life has many colours, that are a metaphor for different situations in it. Mixing of colours don’t make them lose their basic essence, then why did man forget his basic nature, while dealing with the hues of life? We accuse the situations and circumstances of the vulnerable and gruesome change, but in first place who created them, who chose to get divorced from the very roots? We are considered the most advanced of the creations, right? But even beasts move in flocks and herds, knowing the power of their unity and sticking together as the sole key to their very existence. This makes me ponder for a moment, are we endangering our own survival, by axing our values? Are values soon going to be the talk of the past? Is arrogance going to be in vogue and named the new face of confidence? (Think for yourself)!

From rags to bits, from bits to a few morsels, from a few morsels to the Kharoof Manshi, life shows it all. But, the important thing is how you absorb it, how you stay unruffled, compose and still humble you and how tightly you hold on to your riches of virtues.

As successful nations, we all have come a long way through. And undoubtedly, man has progressed to become better in almost everything, be it education, technology, science, medicine, or standard of living, but to our dismay what got lost on the way to reach here, is our HUMILITY, sensitivity, tolerance, love and longing, and empathy for each other. Nowadays, to live relations is not more than social networking, that’s the closest we can reach these days, in forming social bonds.

Most of us have accomplished a lot and are blessed with the best of the things (best by all the standards). Some of us have achieved by sweating it out and may be some got it by default. Irony is that even after our status upliftment, we are still in rags, we still are in need of help, but this time a bigger help. Earlier we were financially, economically and intellectually disabled, but now its worse, far more grave. This time we are disabled much deeply, we are DISABLED HUMANITARIANLY. We have now become one big, successful, glorified but miserably numb civilisations

Let us take a moment and realise the strength of humility back again. See for us, how it feels sitting together, looking in the eyes, facing each other, giggling in real conversations (rather than the virtual, confusing emos). Let us try to find happiness in giving rather than asking. Let us (atleast) try to get back to our roots, with all the present luxuries and evolutionary perks of present being intact. Let us become less of machines and more of evolved, compassionate humans. May be we might re-discover the art of living the human bonds, rather than just surviving them; because we owe no technology and no progress our humanity. We absolutely owe no one that!

“Where there is love for mankind, there is love for the art of healing”, Hippocrates.

FROM ME, WITH LOVE

“I embraced you not only when you were scared,

but even when you trembled with fear of frightening others:

I wiped off your blood not only when you hit the ground,

but even when your hands were drenched in it shamelessly:

Irony is that, now when you are vilifying your only existence,

you don’t spare staining my cloak to bury your sins along with humanity underneath its hem.”

 

Oh my beloved Man (Man as in every Human)!

Ever since the blink of life, I have bore you peacefully,comfortably and with compassion. But as time passed, your desires touched the newer heights and your dead weight kept mounting. It still couldn’t move me much. After all I was created with great yielding power. You pierced me with swords and spears, you afflicted me wars and conflicts,you scarred me with bullets and bombs, but never did I give up on you. After all I was supposed to show a bigger heart. You split me into fragments and I overlooked at it as your ignorance, collecting my own bits. You seared the life around me, but I tilted myself making it patent for new. The burden of your lust, your sins, your ruthlessness scalded me to my core. I further tried to devour it all. But now I feel choked by your weary load. My chest is inflamed with grief that only ripping it off would bring me solace..

I was made to be an abode of Orchids and Damask roses, Tulips and Peonies, not a graveyard to bury humanity and not a barren land for corpses. I am filled to the brim. No mulch is nourishing me, but the fodder of human blood is what you are suffocating me with. I don’t smell of musk, but diffuse the sting of shame. My skin is torn, my core is dwindling and my being is jolted with ignominy that you have brought me. I am awestruck, how I have nurtured savages in my cradle of altruism.

I do not hear songs of gaiety and yearning anymore. Only things I do hear are the cries of tyranny and sounds of horror and devastation. I have seen love blossoming all around me, but now hatred is the trend with so many connotations. I don’t feel the longing of lovers but the sting of foul. The lovers don’t hold hands anymore, instead they shoulder the coffins of their dreams wrapped in white shrouds of satin. I don’t feel humility when you tread past my roadways, but I feel smothered with your every step towards covetousness.

Oh my dear, I never needed your claims over me. You didn’t need to owe me. Had you ever looked beyond the shallowness of your head, you would have known how you always had me. But Ah! Your poignant cowardice. You plowed me with the blood of my sons and daughters, you muddled me with your loathsome adoration. Blinded in your hegemony, you couldn’t comprehend the innocence of a child, couldn’t feel the pain of a mother, ache of a lover, couldn’t hear the prayer of a priest, call of a Muezzin. You belittled me way beyond I can forgive you ever.

Intoxicated with the ecstasy of greed, drunk with the filth of transient power, possessed by the dementors of false might, your sight has been obscured, leaving no stone unturned to bring me shame, trying every bit to make humanity sound either extinct or Greek. Where in God’s name has your soul gone lurching? Don’t your veins bleed red anymore? Do you not breathe in the same air as Eve? Does your anguish feel different than those you slain in the name of THEORIES?

Yank your timid self, look into and around you. Feel the smile of tender faces, hear the singing of nature into your deaf ears, read a few ballads of harmony (only if you can read anything but malice). Go with the flow of Sunday mass, Cathedrals will seem pristine again. Hold the string of virtues, disdain the sheen of savagery and abomination. Clean the dust of ignorance and rawness from your corrupt minds, pinch your self a little, may be the pain will awake your slumbering conscience, feel your heart with your hands, may be you will re-discover humanity.

 

With love,

Not yours Mother Earth!

DOES LOVE HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE?

From the childhood days of fairy tales to the adult life aphorism, “Marriages are made in heaven” , I have always wondered about one thing , what if love had an expiry date? Rather does love really have an expiry date? Despite the fact that I have always tried to dodge this question, it has managed to lurch in my mind somehow. Moreover, In the present era of social media romance , real affection seems kind of Greek .To add more to it, tall-standing edifices of our egos have come crushing down on our relations and have left them wounded every now and then. It seems to be a laboured task to cherish each other but a birth right to pick on each others’ faults. This whole thing sounds a little disheartening, it did to me too until I met this beautiful old couple.

I was waiting for my luggage to arrive at this conveyor belt no 02 at the airport hallway, when my eyes were caught up by the sight of this compose beauty and sheer elegance of an old lady. Dressed in sophistication with her Chanel silk scarf wrapped in delicacy with a shining pearl necklace going around her neck, wearing a neatly finished blue dress, slipped comfortably in her red soled kittens and above all, the radiant smile that she wore on her face made every other thing look dusky. Her bones might have been frail but her walk was all about confidence; her skin was wrinkled no doubt but it smelt of grace and elegance that seemed to have only increased with her age; her eyes still had longing for her only love, as she tried to look for someone through the crowd out of that exit door. As soon as her luggage arrived I tried to be polite and helped her with it. While I was lifting her bag, she stroked my head and gently touched my cheeks. With all smiles, she blessed me and continued in her sober tone, “Thank you my darling!” While I was struggling with myself if I could ask her for whom she was so happily dressed up. Meanwhile I smiled back and thanked her. The next thing, I remember she asked me was , “Well before we part away, for your generosity my dear, I would wish you to meet the most important and undoubtedly the most handsome man of my life, who never gets tired of making me happy and luckily who seems to be my husband.” And then she smiled, (I guess my thoughts were a little too loud). I was wondering how a mere mention of a person could lit her face so bright, that too at such an age when supposedly rush of hormones seem to be fading away. Overwhelmed to see how the love of this couple had managed to blossom and evolve better with every even and odd and still manages to be intense enough to charm them and perseverance stood even better than our present day (so-called) ‘SMART COUPLES’,  I decided I should definitely meet him. So, I accompanied her out of the exit door. A few steps away, a man with built that still sang songs of his youth, walked out of his black Mustang, with a cigar in his mouth and wearing a fragrance that her wife recognised even before he had stepped out. He was all suited up to receive the love of his life (doesn’t matter how old, after all age is only a number).  The eyes of the old lady shone with excitement and she seemed 19 again for a moment. She was greeted and welcomed by her husband in the most adorable manner, “Welcome home darling, It must have been really tiring. Though it was for me too, as if my watch had slowed down when you were not here. But now I got you and my watch is ticking back, I guess” (And the man smiled and hugged her). Soon, the lady realised that I was waiting around to get introduced. Finally, she got us introduced in a very humble way. The man as expected was full of generosity. But I was still struggling to understand how was this possible, I wanted to believe my eyes and ears. But I was wondering how could they still manage to keep their relation so strong and interesting, when we as 21st century highly intellectual geniuses are scared to even enter one, not to talk of preserving it. Aah why should we, we are strong and intelligent heads. Only fools succumb to relations. Is this what most of us think? Lets introspect on that.

Well coming back to this old couple and the questions that were flabbergasting my mind. As we were now about to say goodbye, the couple read something on my face and the man looked at her wife. It seemed like they had reached such a level where they could even read each others’ silence. The old lady stroked my face and continued in her delicate and poised voice, “Look my dear child, LIFE is like a BOOK, LOVE and HUMILITY is the INK and you are yourself its AUTHOR. You get one life, and one chance to write it and it depends on you only, how you want to write and frame the story of your life. Like ink, love (read relation) too has a tendency to spill around but do we stop writing due to that fear? No we don’t, we just take extra precautions to keep the ink contained. The earlier you understand it, the better your life will be. We chose ours to be simple but amazingly happy, and here we are. We have been married for last 40 years and no day passes when I don’t wake up for him to make him his bed tea and no sun sets without him telling me how much he loves me with every single day. My beautiful young lady, they might seem very mild gestures but who said love increases with rich rituals. Marriages don’t just happen like that, they are nurtured and built on strong foundation of trust, patience, acceptance and tolerance. Indeed marriages are made in heaven, but not to just fade away in the hell of our intolerance and narcissism. Don’t be scared if you are making right or wrong move but just make one. Flexibility nurses relations, while stubbornness only wounds and wanes them. God Bless you!”

Well I think by now we should be able to answer the simple question in the very heading of this article. Does Love really have an expiry date? I leave the honors of answering it upto you.