Sunday, September 24, 2023

"The Rose's Rarest Essence Lives in The Thorns"

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 22 September 2023 “The rose's rarest essence lives in the thorns.” ― Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi This is one of my favourite quotes. This short, succinct and pithy aphorism speaks volumes. What's often perceived as ugly, useless and apparently harmful can have far greater and deeper significance. But that needs discernment. Zarre-Zarre Mein Samandar Hai, Nazar Paida Kar (Every particle contains a sea. You need to develop that kind of discernment and observation). "Rose is contextualised in its thorny existence, "wrote Nigerian novelist and poet, Chinua Achebe. It's because of thorns, a rose is valued. It's what we call 'contradictory juxtaposition' or Fahzat in Persian. A day's importance is valued because of the night. Japanese would say, ' thornier a fish, tastier it is.' The essence of life lies in a number of tests, twists, turns, trials and tribulations. They're the thorns of life. Gold becomes sterling when it passes through a series of exacting tests. Amrita Pritam wrote of Sahir, "Unke Chehre Pe Kuchh Daagh Thay. Unhin Daaghon Ki Vajah Se Sahir Mujhe Bahut Acchhe Lagte Thay" (There were a few scars on the face of Sahir and I liked him because of them). Nothing is wasted nothing is in vain/ The seas roll over but the rocks remain. What we often reject as useless, often has the essence. Coming back to the thorns of a rose, its thorns lend a dash of uniqueness to it. To quote poet-lyricist Aish 'Kanwal' (he wrote that immortal number 'Main Toh Tere Haseen Khyalon Mein Kho Gaya', sung by Rafi, Film: Sangraam, 1965): 'Khaaron Se Badha Hai Jamaal-e-Gulaab/Va Gar Na 'Kanwal' Bhi Kuchh Kam Na Tha' (Thorns accentuated the beauty of a rose/ Otherwise, a lotus wasn't far behind). The 'prickly beauty' (Keatsean phrase for a rose) of a rose is its USP. Remember, anything in life is appreciated and valued in its totality. It's the comprehensiveness that creates profundity. Totality accommodates beauty as well as beasts and barbs. Thorns complete a rose and are completed by it. ------ A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to the world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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