Thursday, August 11, 2011


Eleventh day of Ramadan. Middle East. A glade of earth, as extravagant as it is affluent and filled with contrasts. I don’t know if the mere act of keeping a fast cleanses us spiritually. I don’t even know if it really makes a difference. Yet there is something utterly graceful about resisting what comes naturally to humans. Trying to stay un-moored, even if for a month, in a world and age filled with seduction is in itself an elegant thought.

A lot of charity happens around here this time of the year. Those wearing subtle notes of Yves Saint Laurent fragrance sit with poor workers, smelling sweat, straight from their construction sites, to break the fast together. All the world's racism and xenophobia -- so inherent to humankind -- evaporates, by some magic. I like it when the distinction between the haves and the have-nots fuses in some beautiful symphony.

As such life is never easy. We seek to make it pliable, only to sit back and let things take their own course. We sashay past situations. We get attached to memories, places, people. Often enough it takes extraordinary courage to be in the saddle. On occasions, time slips peacefully by, in a haze of relaxation. Yet at other times, cheer, like a clandestine lover, slips away quietly, from the back door, tip-toeing. Without the sentimentality of a poet.

© Sameer