Yes, I Have Met Urdu

May 28, 2016 at 9:15 PMMay (Friends, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Painting by: Shahnawaz Zaidi

Painting by: Shahnawaz Zaidi

Over a month ago a comrade of concern on Facebook saw me sharing some of my poems and asked if I knew Urdu. My reflex almost typed, “I have met Urdu too,” but before I could type and post my comment I censored myself and let it be.

The reason I withdrew my expression is because I wasn’t sure if s/he would understand what I mean and because sometimes what we feel about a beloved person is so delicately beautiful in our heart that we fear enveloping them in words as it might just break them.

But yes, I have met Urdu. Urdu in flesh and blood.

There is nothing else that I compare her to. Coming across her, was like coming across the language of Urdu for me. She, to me, was like Urdu: Elegant yet mundane, naughty yet philosophical, romantic yet lonely, jubilant yet suffering, humorous yet melancholic, wounded yet therapeutic, divine and religious (not in the institutional sense) yet rebellious, silly still deep, strong yet delicate all at the same time and also, like Urdu, an amalgamation of (many dialects) and torn between distant, yet related, political struggles.

When I discovered the language Urdu it felt like my inner world had finally found a language to express. It had, in its collective unconscious, the right words the right expressions right metaphors right silence which would bleed into my inner world. Knowing her, similarly, was like coming to find a person who is familiar and knows the grammar of the language of my inner world in its texture, in all its seasons, all its colours, all its shades, in all its flavour and also in its silence.

Urdu, more than a language of communication, to me, is a language of soliloquy. She too is my soliloquy. Like Urdu she too made me come in tune with my inner core, my essence.

Yes, I have met Urdu. I have met Urdu.

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