Friday, February 25, 2005

Bar'ay be-aabroo ho ke tere koochay se hum nikle

Three years of friendship, sharing and living together culminated into three bags (a briefcase of paperwork, a sleeping bag and a suitcase full of broken promises), as I exited 2011 and called a cab.
A friend, who had sought help from me at a time when I could offer none, came to the rescue, making arrangements (and freeing up floor space), so I could crash with him for the night. In the evening I spoke with the owner of the place, a kind-hearted fellow, who realized that I had no explanations to offer. We haven't finalized the rent, but looks like I'll be here for March, too.
They call this place a 'musallah', which is maulvi-speak for a space to pray. The living room has no furniture, just a plain grey carpet, where the people from nearby come to say their prayers, five times a day. There are four rooms. One for the owner, the other three are rented out to singles. For now, I am sharing the room with my friend.
In the last two days, I have met all the regulars, those who live here, and those who live nearby, coming and going as they please. They respect my privacy, and I respect there's. There was a time when I would have cursed at the idea of living in a masjid, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
The evenings are sullen and pass slowly. I keep myself busy with my books, keeping my mind off of the immediate past. Sometimes it works.
For two days I waited for the dreaded speech, for the invitation and the initiation into their way of life, into their shared prayers and tableegh. I tried to make up arguments as to why I don't pray, and why I don't look forward to prayer with the fervor that they do. But the logic keeps falling apart, and I have nothing to say.
But the invitation hasn't come and I don't think it will, until I take the first step.
A part of me wants to confess, to my past mistakes, to come in from the cold and be greeted by someone... anyone. And another part wants to shout out obscenities at the slightest thought of what I have suffered at the hands of some of my dearest.
Inspite of so much to say, my lips remain silent. In prayer and in person.
And I wonder, if this is the silence of the mathnavi, or the silence of paralysis?