What we do shows a side of us. It shows who we are or what we are and what we think. A man who can cook good is likely to make a good husband but that is just likely. He might not be married and still be a good cook. Similarly, a girl who takes good pictures might not be photogenic herself. Yet many would assume her to be equally of an art herself. Just by looking at a creation, we habitually assume a lot of things about the artist and that goes for the artists including poets, writers and painters etc. One artist is God. The perfect artist. We have never seen him, never heard back from him in our prayers, never met him yet. So just by pondering about what he has made around us, in us and the very us makes us imagine how he would be and so on. Almost always, we fail to see the ultimate reality itself that beyond the appearances is what the real artist is. A person with a camera is not a photographer, a person with great cooking skills is not a perfect husband(that is a long debate) and a person carrying a gun is not a murderer. Our mind plays such tricks and we are lured into believing what we see and assume. Hence a person with an SLR becomes a good photographer, a person with a pen in his hand becomes a writer and a good cook is taken as a good husband even though desi legends say that husbands are never good and can never ever be either. A creator or an artist must have an inner mystery that can churn art out of them. Otherwise even I have a DSLR camera and I can cook too. But neither am I photographer nor a husband, a good being out of question!
There is a painter I know just through his works that he posts online. The fact remains that he can paint real good. Over the years his work has improved a lot. Each of his brush stroke shows an evolution from what he was some years ago. As I have already seen him so I never needed to imagine how he would look like. He is an artist beyond his appearance with that much needed mystery inside him which is a must for any and every creator. Recently, he received a comment on his online post that his work has improved in the recent years to which he replied,
“We excel in anything that we keep doing over and over and over.”
His answer struck me. It made me think about love. Would we excel if we keep loving over and over and over. Love is highly controversial word for in the present age, holding different meanings in different souls. It demands an intricate dissection to understand it. If you want your mind not get confused, please stop reading here. Beyond this is a dark alley for many where you can not see and just feel.
Love is a mystery every poet from Baydil to Faraz has tried to unravel and failed. In fact they tried to lift the curtain of the mystery but ended in themselves disappearing behind it. Love is too divine a thing that takes a worldly man years, in fact his whole life to know what exactly it is. I got only one life in which I can live as me. I don’t have any time machine either which I can use to go back and step in someone else’s shoes just to know their perspective and lesson on love. So I read what they have said about love in the form of prose and poetry. It is like living their life. Just feel the mystery when Momin wrote
“Tum mere paas hotay ho goya”
The mystery never breaks who exactly was with him. For a young man it would most likely be a woman or women with a nice music in the background. For a veteran soldier who has lost everyone in the war and now sitting all by himself in his dark room, that “TUM” can be a mixture of extreme sorrow and rage who visit him when he is alone. This is that inner mystery that made Momin an artist and all creators have got it. This makes that divine love un-apprehended for a young fool. Love is a heavenly element the men of earth can glimpse once in a lifetime and that too not any sooner. The other shades of love are many. As a school boy, I used to fall in “love” twice every month yet here I am still happily surviving. Later I knew that it was not love but it tasted pungent enough to confuse me as love. Then the hormones settled. And so did the laundry bill. The boy changed into a man.
Doing a thing over and over polishes it but can it be applied to love? The ladies of sub-continent have always disagreed. They keep their fictions about love alive and feed them well hoping that love is a one-time phenomenon that we can’t improve ever simply by loving over and over again. For them it is not a game of archery one can master by practicing. The men of sub-continent would disagree to them. A man can fall in love more than once and he can improve by falling in love the second or the third or the fourth time. As they say love is an art, perhaps the most epic one of all arts, logically all the realities of art would naturally be applicable to love then. The ladies who might have read till here would disagree.
I believe that a man no matter what his age is can love over again if he had already loved in the past. But let me lift a curtain. We always seek an aroma in the air that our heart has felt in the past. In new love, the similarities with old one are desired. Love is so like a plaque. It never lets go off the walls of the heart. It penetrates so deep inside. So even if love has occurred once or over or “over and over” or “over and over and over” some traits of the old love always remain. Just like paint coming off a wall and beneath the new coat the old colors tell a story only if one sees close enough.