Friday, September 16, 2005

The most beautiful thing that happened to me

This is one of the many posts in a "series" that I am going to make. If it ends or starts abruptly, look for the thread. It rolls on like a Qissa Chahaar Dervesh.


The most beautiful thing that happened to me is the Umrah that I performed during August 8 – 16 this year (that’d be 2005). It now makes for a quick answer to the question, “What was the happiest thing in your life?” Earlier, I had to tax my memory – not because of want of a good moment, but actually because several wonderful little moments happened and most of them are intensely private. Don’t let the mind wander: many of them were between me and my God, and others between me and I.

Why is the Umrah the happiest and the most beautiful? Because for me, it was one long moment in my life when time stopped. There was no past; and no future. For a pattern-reader, this is an inexplicable joy: to be in the present. Not reading the past, not construsting the future. Just being.

It was like one of those times when you step outside the car to enter a wedding reception, but before you enter, you wait for the one driving to come and join you. And you beckon the hurried ones accompanying you to wait back, until the family have gathered to make an appearance together. The whole family, in one step, makes a “joint entrance” (for want of an un-Pakistani term).

My Umrah is the time when I have stopped, and waited for my life to catch up with me, the life that was behind me, and life that was ahead of me. This was so that I could make a smooth transition in to the next phase of my life.


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