This is what I am: sometimes hidden, sometimes seen.
Sometimes a momin, sometimes Jew or Christian,
Able to fit into any heart,
Taking on a new face every day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Inner and outer journeys

Jami, Sir Mohammed Iqbal (national poet of Pakistan), Gandhi and Pope John XXIII have spoken very highly of Rumi, to a name a few. Rumi's poetry has inspired singers from Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, India and Pakistan; flute players from Turkey. Now, it is time for Rumi to inspire yet another generation through film.

Film acts as a medium of visual poetry, allowing audiences to break free of their everyday experiences and become wrapped up in deeper worlds of existence. Muzaffar Ali's latest passionate endeavor, Rumi the Fire of Love, seeks to reach out to everyone--youth especially--in order that they may seek deeper connections between their inner and outer worlds. For, like the film, there are both inner and outer journeys to be experienced in life. Coming to know the self and the self's relation to greater forces--irrespective of religion or belief--helps us to come to know others. Rumi, a humanist to many and poet to all, has inspired every generation. In times of turmoil, whether it be acts of terrorism like those seen on 13 September in Delhi or everyday violence on the street, perhaps it is best to remember one of his poignant lines from I Have Relinqueshed Duality...

I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Magian,
nor Muslim.
I am not of the East nor of the West, not of the land nor of the sea.
I am not from nature's mine, nor from the circling spheres.
I am not of earth, nor water, nor wind, nor fire.
I am not of the heavens, nor dust, nor existence, nor entity.
I am not of India, nor China, not of Bulghar,
nor Saqsin...

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