Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Little Notes from Arabia

31 Aug:
Sometimes, dua, prayer, supplication, moves through us, if not from us. I learnt that today, while standing in front of the Holy Kaaba. I remembered the name of a woman that I have not met. Ever. But I know that she ails. And that almost intangible ailment filters into the lives of her loved ones. Her name came to my lips in full form, surprising me.
I also discovered that empty spaces, mundane ones, are filled easily by the wholeness of humanity. I realised that I am here to experience the notion of a crowded oneness that I write about, ramble about, and even try to fashion into words.
The concept of tawheed is neatly embodied in being one with the crowd. Circling the Kaaba for the last time, amid midday heat that defies logic in its sentient calmness, coolness. Having sought newness, this is it: both Content, Complete.

1 Sept:
The thought crosses my mind that its Spring Day back home in SA. And we're roasting peanuts in the Arabian Sun. The glow is unmistakeably tinged with the radiance of the moment's entirety; of being here, and just being.

3 Sept:
There is something about Madinah that unties that last knot. The last tether is loosened here; and all flows freely. I am easily moved to tears, being the unapologetic sentimentalist that I am, but being here removes that final frontier of abandon. Grace is felt here. Mercy adorns. Forgiveness flows. Love does, too.
I am at once soaked and drenched in it. The beauty of it all.

6 Sept:
Woke up to the distinct sound of the Athaan Call to Prayer in my ears. Its 11am in Madinah, and check out time is after the midday prayer. Only thing is, its too early for the Athaan. But I was so sure. Still. The mind lacks a tether here. It only knows greatness, not of its own doing though. It's time to say farewell to this City of Angels, sadness distilled with the hope that the tranquility prevails, somewhat.

We traverse the Arabian desert for most of the afternoon, chomping kilometres in a rhino-esque vehicle called a GMC; less Gulf-ish than it sounds, as its really an American creature. We arrive in Jeddah just as the sun sets. A golden-pink sun bounces playfully on the horizon for a last few minutes before it plunges into the depths of the Red Sea. We take in the sights of this final destination of our Arabian journey. And then we fly home. Finality has so many colours for me. This time, it's many shades of red.


Nielfa Hanifa said...

I read this to Razeen, with a lump in my throat... and our hearts quiver equally with so much longing.


Americanising Desi said...

you took my longing to a whole new level. i so love the way you are havin this amazing moment there. sigh!

i guess only the lucky ones make it!

Azra said...

Beautiful as always *sigh* :) Hope your Ramadaan back home is going well!