“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” It was because of this quote that I looked up Rumi seriously, sometime back and It was a treat to know him. So what do these words mean? Only when you have trusted and broken your heart enough times you will reach a point where you‘ll realize that love is not a game of defenses. Love is a space where you have to drop your guard. A profound meaning and it gave me ideas to see how one can break their hearts themselves. First, become “trustworthy” before you trust others. It was the week where we heard “fakir” in a political speech. It was a week I was in awe with “Rumi.” Yes, I was “Rumi”-nating! It is no wonder that world leaders quote him often to get their point across to the masses.
So who is this Rumi who has become one of the most popular voices on the contemporary literary and spiritual scene? Why does he speak so compellingly to our sensibilities at this time? What need does he fill? What wound does he help to heal? How is this 13th-century saint became the darling of so many who profess an interest in neither poetry nor spiritual discipline? I was keen to explore.
I was thinking let us do something amazing with the kids before the school opens. As Rumi quotes, “Respond to every call that excites your spirit“. So we ventured on a coffee, book and Italian food evening. My mind was occupied with this plan for some time and finally, it manifested. It was the last week before the school opening and so we decided to have a book and dinner time outside. So we decided to hit the street. We had a nice coffee and we decided to venture down the street. It was time for each one to pick their choice of books both second hand and new arrivals. It was always on my mind to get a book on Rumi. I did not get it in the first shop. We continued our walk down the street. To my utter surprise, I saw a lady reading a book on Rumi. I had to tell my wife and then I decided to get close to her and read the title. She was sitting on the pavement and was so immersed in that book that hustle and bustle of the street didn’t bother her one bit. With a full load of books, I decided to give it a shot in this book shop just to get a copy of Rumi. I asked for Rumi’s books and he asked me to go in that direction. In front of me was a stack of books of Rumi. I was not sure which one to pick and I decided to pick a simple title Rumi bridge to the soul and yes finally I got the book she was reading as well. I glanced through this pocketbook and rubaiyat 1078 gave me the chills.
I decided to purchase those books along with a pocketbook. So I was wondering why is that for the first time in so many years I was getting so attracted to Rumi. I thought it may be because of quotes and words. I had heard one of my close friends also sharing his favorite quote of Rumi, ” The wound is the place where light enters you” and one of my other favorites is ” what you seek is seeking you“.
His work addresses the most important subject that can be addressed: our relationship with ourselves and others. Rumi’s words touch us at the level where we most need to be touched, the very depths of our hearts, which I call “RICH” ness.
It was the week just before the school opening, signifying a new “chapter” in their lives. Two months had just passed by in a jiffy. I am in a new job, my kids had a great time during this vacation with grandparents and my wife had a great experience in a writing workshop. As they say in cricket ” It was all happening out there” and yes to put a fine point on cricket, after a gap of several years we watched the IPL finals as a family. Together, we had not seen a single match. I was not interested and my wife was not keen to sit and watch. My elder daughter had seen a few matches. I decided to support Mumbai Indians and my wife and daughter Chennai Super Kings. I thought in the initial and middle of the game that Mumbai Indians “ruined” themselves with those couple of dropped catches. As Rumi said, “where there is a ruin there is hope for treasure“. So no wonder Mumbai Indians pulled up their socks and made it all matter in the end. It was interesting to see how a nail-biting finish broke my wife’s and daughter’s hearts when the last ball got Mumbai Indians a wicket. They triumphed despite all the odds. My family agreed that in an even-steven game which had yo-yo moments, the team which made fewer mistakes won that night. It was a great moment for us as a family to enjoy that match as it made us feel good about our camaraderie. We initially rooted for our favorites but finally, we found favor in the winner. As a parent, one of the things we are learning is how to communicate with our kids with words and not voice.
It was after a long time that I had the chance to sing as part of a chorus and dance with my friends. I enjoyed each and every step and the music, as the cell phone videos started capturing my motion and emotion. It was a chance to enjoy at that moment and it was so liberating. The best part of the dance was the group and I was following the lead steps of my daughter. It was amazing to see how the younger one showed to the crowd some of the steps which I had never seen at home. It is put nicely “The job of feet is walking, but their hobby is dancing”. I discovered that night that dance is the hidden language of my soul. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well, is what I learned that night.
RUMI”nation” is the RICHest nation for the moment as I get to map out his insight and wisdom into day to day human experiences. We need to go back in time (sometimes) to explore more literary work from the past and see how we can best represent them in our day to day life. Let me leave you with these words from “Auguries of Innocence,” a poem by William Blake
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
As Jason Silva puts it, “Science describes accurately from the outside, poetry describes accurately from the inside“. I decided to dance between “RUMI”nating and “BLAKE” magic.