Rumi for the Dummy

Reading a Rumi quote is a wonderful experience. Most of these quotes seem wise, and therefore out of this world. Even if you don’t get it, you can’t help feeling that there is a grand vision in these quotes, a meaning that’s close, yet just out of reach, just like any good piece of poetry.

So you read it again, and you start analyzing. What this man must have gone through, what went on in that mind, that he came up with such gems. More often than not, you find an acceptable reasoning. Following are some of the quotes that have been researched and analyzed to satisfaction, presented for your perusal.

Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.

And turn into water?

What Rumi is trying to say here is –
you could wash yourself of yourself,
but you wouldn’t be the same.
Washing changes the person.

But did Rumi hate to take baths?

The next quote might shed more light on the subject.

Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being.

That’s what Rumi told his friends
when they dared him to dive into the troubled waters.

They were used to Rumi talking to them in quotes and didn’t give it any importance.

This quote is appreciated years later,
when water bodies became inaccessible,
and people started seeing things,
hearing inner voices, of their being,
locked up alone.

Anyways, coming back to Rumi, he must have succumbed to what his friends judged him to be. He had to write himself out of the situation.

Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

This is clever and loosely translates to:
dont be a dud,

its okay if you are selfish and lazy.
the universe is after all – just you,
and its already ecstatic with movement,
so relax.

Rumi did, for only then one can come up with such wonderful quotes, but he fell in love? It surely happens to the lazy and the selfish more than others.

Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.

This is a difficult one to explain,
because its purely anecdotal.

Young Rumi loved a girl and wrote her a verse every Friday night [note: he didnt write daily!]

Even though the girl didn’t understand the content, she grasped the intent and asked him to meet her.

Rumi went running to Shams for permission, and of course that meeting was not to be.

A disappointed Rumi wrote this [very reusable] quote.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

Well pain follows,
because nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
Also, by corollary,
if you are in a really dark place,
you won’t get any wound,
not until you switch on the light.

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.

Rumi might have meant something wonderful, but for the modern man this sums up corporate life.

You sell your skills and talents
and buy bewilderment,
about why they wont give you a hike or a promotion.

The modern man follows Rumi’s quotes without realizing it?

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?

Of all the quotes, this one stands out due to its overtly metaphorical tone,
because if you are in a prison
and the door is wide open,
its always a bad idea to step out.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

What’s wrong and what’s right is subjective, like this in-depth analysis.
Therefore it doesn’t matter where we meet,
could be a field, or to be more sensible cafe,
what really matters is the grass,
of which you take so much that your soul lies down,
and once that happens,
then not just the world,
you wont feel like talking about anything.

I must stop too.


Jokers of this world

There are essentially four types jokers in the world:

  1. those who laugh at their own jokes, before the others do
  2. those who laugh midway when telling a joke, especially just before the punchline
  3. those who laugh even before they start telling the joke, just by thinking about it
  4. those who tell a joke with straight face, don’t laugh with others at the end of it, rather look disinterested.

But do jokers take selfies, you might ask.

Well, you never know.

A good joker survives on surprise factor, so much so that one might take a selfie out of nowhere, just to punchline you.

On the other hand, people taking selfies every day for no reason are jokers in their own right. Even among these, there are four types.

  1. People who take one selfie everyday are the narcissistic jokers.
  2. Two selfies: those who are never sure about their jokes.
  3. Three, to four: when they are insecure, probably desperate.
  4. More than four: when instead of their own material, they blame their audience, and also the phone cameras.

But why selfies, you might still ask.

All I would say to that is good jokers never care about their looks, it’s the content that matters.

Which brings us to distinction between men and women.

There’s a reason why the image of a man appears when you hear the ‘joker’ word. Every man goes through four stages before he becomes a true joker.

  1. Single men with singular thoughts: they keep wondering what women want, what are they thinking and such things.
  2. Single men with second thoughts: When single men fall in love and their girlfriends call up at weird hours to tell what they want, what they are thinking, what they must want, what their friends are thinking, and so on.
  3. The relationship man: Ignoring the second thoughts, the relationship man marches bravely into a relationship, to finally learn what his partner is thinking, what she wants, and why, even without being told.
  4. The reawakened man: With the awareness of everything that was to be known from his woman, it becomes imperative for the reawakened man to start wondering what other women want, what other women are thinking, and so on.

These four stages in the evolution of the joker man doesn’t amuse women, bringing us to the next list in the series.

No, I am not going to write about women. A continuous narrative appeals to the writer, but becomes a drag at the reading end, they say.

With that disclaimer, we come to the finale.

Evolution of a romantic. This has nothing to do with women, or jokers, it’s no joke either.

  1. The romantic amoeba: loves the moon, dusk, rainbows, stares into nothing. Never being able to articulate it, the amoeba never decides on a single form.
  2. Platonic romantic: the amoeba stage goes on till they start meeting people in potentially romantic setups. This triggers an evolution of the formless romantic to a platonic one. These people forfeit what’s available and remain distant in the name of the proverbial knight, or a cinderella [see? this is not just women]
  3. Soulfull romantic: as they adapt to the mundane world around, platonic romantics mature into amateur romance scientists and philosophers. They produce treatises on souls and soulmates, and if encouraged, may even sell you the idea of twinflames. With diagrams.
  4. Full moon romantic: at some point in the lifetime, and due to unknown Darwinian reasons, the soul wielding romantic mutates. They turn into the ace form in romantic evolution. These people live among us, and behave like us, but come the full moon night, or full with alcohol, or filled with blues, the full blown romantics shed their disguise of denial and show the true alien form.

It’s almost always a bad idea to laugh, when that happens.


Unanswered DMs

What’s wrong with humanity today.

With a heavy heart, or shall I say a disappointed heart, I write this post. People have forgotten the basic courtesy of giving a reply when addressed to, or to be more precise, women who I have sent private messages to. With our communication happening more and more online, this sad state of internet etiquette is disturbing.

Is it too much to ask for, to ask for a reply. I am posting a few of the longer messages, the length of a message being directly proportional to the amount or anticipation, and anxiety I have been living with. As you can see, or probably not, these messages have long been read, but left unanswered, even after the customary one-month-has-passed reminders.

They say we must not judge people by private messages, but how can we not.

To Shweta Singhal:

Hi Shweta, I take friendship seriously and we are clearly not friends, Though we did come very close to that, during the singing classes we attended last summer. So I am sending this message instead of a friend request.

If you remember, and I am sure you do, we were the worst of the lot. Not that I feel proud of it. When the others laughed at us, I remember the connection we developed. It’s still very strong within me. Also, I don’t care if you have improved your singing, I am sure you would have worked on it. You definitely have lost weight.

It’s been a month and I am still waiting for your reply. It’s not important how you sing, or whether you have put on more weight, I am not shallow. Only I don’t like bad singers.

To Mia:

Hi Mia, we met at the bar last night, but I didn’t get your number. Yes I am the guy who asked you such intriguing questions about your tattoo. You look a bit different in your profile picture, but then, I was a bit dizzy 🙂

By different, I don’t mean you look bad, actually this is an improvement over yesterday. Maybe the natural look doesn’t go well with you, if you can take the pain of a tattoo, a little make up won’t be much.

If this isn’t you, please tell me so. Since we both are in Bangalore, even if it’s not you we can get together and continue this conversation in the bar. Dizzy!

It’s been a month and I am still waiting for your reply, it’s ok if you don’t wanna put anything on your face, I won’t mind, I am very accommodating that way.

To Queen kalam:

Hi, I like your id and you can tell why. Well it’s a no brainer, I have such a cool id myself, and the reason why you were eager to read this message. Well I have been going through your wall and I am surprised at how your views on god and religion match mine.

Would you like to get together, so we can share each other’s open mindedness. Also, it’s summer and you might think of opening up in the sartorial sense, not that I mind looking at just your eyes. They are beautiful and I am not shallow, just very open about things.

It’s been a month and I am still waiting for your reply. I see you changed the color of your attire, but still only the eyes. Say something, even if it’s about god.

To Priya S.:

Hi Priya, I will be honest with you. You have the exact same name as my ex. But wait, it doesn’t mean I am not over her yet. I wasn’t even searching her name on fb. It’s just that something about your profile drew me here.

Maybe it’s the red dress you are wearing, my Priya had the same dress. Well not so low cut. Don’t take it that I am judging you, she cheated on me. I just hope your dress is just a profile picture dress. You seem like a nice girl, even your earrings match hers, the one she wore on the day of breakup, and on the Friday the week before. I just hope you won’t cheat on me.


It’s been a month and I am still waiting for your reply. Priya, don’t do this again to me.

To Neha Sharma:

Hi Neha, you must have seen my id pop-up in your tinder, and then the insta account. I guess you don’t add people who you don’t know. It’s a good thing, but you must face the reality and be less selective, there’s nothing exceptional about you. That’s the reason why you are on those platforms. But it’s none of my business.

Anyways, I thought enough of hypocrisy, let me leave her a message here. I am not any random user anymore, am I. I know a lot of things that a stranger might not. I love the yellow helmet you wear when riding the bike. There’s something about you, maybe the new hair cut, or the blue painted nails that you got done yesterday, that makes me certain that you are my soulmate, and if you don’t believe in soulmates, maybe roommates? haha!

It’s been a month and I am still waiting for your reply. Sorry about your roommate leaving you last week, destiny? Haha!


The post-lockdown wave

Lockdown was finally over.

The night air was rife with depravity of the long deprived.

People were openly touching their faces, some were hugging without a hint of hesitation, coughs in the crowd were greeted with laughter.Masks were being tossed into a bonfire someone had started, they all looked like school kids who have been let loose. It’s as if the even the air outside the packed pub was intoxicating.

In the last few months, he had given up on the chances of encountering fellow humans. All his morning, afternoon and evening exercises had started to seem futile, all the books had the same thing to say, all music was a static, he had long lost the ability to discern between Netflix and porn. Today however, things were poised to change, today he was determined to meet his friends, and drink, and talk to their live faces.

Lockdown was finally over.

The night air was rife with romance of the long deprived.

The familiar entrance of the pub she visited with her boyfriend looked seedier than ever. More so because of the motley crowd going absolutely crazy. She was however, good at erasing the unwanted, even out of her peripheral vision. She knew she could achieve much more, if only she focused.

And she will. Nothing would deter her now, not the long heeded parental advice, not the doubts about compatibility, not the resolve to delay sex till she was absolutely sure. Everything inside her turned liquid as she spotted him in the ocean of faces. She shouted his name and waved. He looked lost, probably dizzy seeing so many people together. When she realised that her voice won’t carry, she started waving frantically.

Standing outside the pub, he felt already high, or probably a little crazy. It was contagious. As he scanned the crowd for his friends, he could almost taste the chilling bitterness of his favourite IPA. And then, he saw a pretty woman waving at him.

Her eagerness and urgency in waving was infectious too. He couldn’t stop his hands and as if in trance started floating towards her. Concepts like destiny and fate started to make sense in the gliding daze. Only when he was a few steps away, he realised there was someone behind him, also waving at her.

It was just too late.

She saw this other guy waving at her. She looked behind to check if he was really waving at her. He didn’t look familiar, but the long lockdown had made her unsure. Maybe she wasn’t good at faces anymore, it does need constant practice. Maybe it’s her wishful imagination, maybe she should stop waving, she thought.

Only when he was really close, she realised how handsome he was. The shabby look, and the stubble was so different, and somehow very refreshing. Her boyfriend, on the other hand looked very dapper, as usual. A bit too well dressed, a bit too perfect. Maybe he is not the one, she turned around for the guy who had now walked past, only the last remains of a wave was visible.

It was just too late.


Lockdown diaries: sleeping late

After WHO declared that sleeping late is the only way we can defeat the coronavirus, people all over the world have been pacified.

Anonymous readers of my blog share their lockdown experiences.

‘I never knew I could sleep so late, this has made me believe that I may be talented after all. I wait for the first rays of sun hit the horizon, I am good at waiting too.’

‘Waking up late is not the same as sleeping late, they tell you it’s the same, but you know that they are lying. If you wake up late, you would be lying too, except not in the bed.’

‘If you sleep late enough, you could skip making breakfast and start your day with lunch, and voilĂ , you have a diet plan as bonus’

‘Sleeping late has made me alert to the faintest variance of inflection in how others talk to me. Sometimes I can almost hear their fears and prejudices throbbing in the pauses in conversations’

‘Before the lockdown, I was an insomniac, and I had tried everything to get a sound sleep. Now I try all that, but very late.’

‘My partner hates it when I sleep late, she doesn’t say it but I can sense it in the way she looks at me in the morning. If I ask what’s wrong, she eats her cereal with much slurping’

‘Sleeping late is better than having sex, or writing poetry, at least you have a clean conscience. I stopped writing poetry at night after lockdown.’

‘I have been recording my sleep hours for the last two months, and I see improvement. But do I call myself a perfect late sleeper? No, it’s a long way ahead.’

‘Sleeping late gives your brain less time to play the dreams. It only goes for the ones with high IMDb ratings.
PS. IMDb is a private joke between us, expands to – I m dreaming brain. You won’t get it immediately, but it catches on’

‘It is well established that sleeping is an essential physiological activity, better late than never, I say.’