Amrit | امرت

Synonymous with Ambrosia, the Drink of Gods, Amrit has been understood as a substance to be ingested, having qualities of being alive forever. Having a Sanskrit origin, it does anchor its meaning to immortality.

However, Amrit, really is the nectar of consciousness. The very seed that we plant between moments of silence and chaos, the space between the in and out breath, the movement between the switch of one foot to another in a stride, the moments of silence when a glimpse moves into a gaze, the miniscule stillness before day break…

For instance, drawing one’s attention to a largely automatic breathing regime, also slows the breathing down. Its only when we are conscious of the sound of breath, or the movement of the lungs and abdominals is when we focus in the presence of just the moment. It is often said that during moments of external or internal chaos, unsettlement or disagreeability we should try and breathe. And the counter defense often is, but are we not breathing all the time?

 Yes, we are breathing but with little or no presence. And our breath is the easiest of the tools, honing in, dissipating the mind chatter, diluting the external noise – and then targeting our entire being towards the breath, slowing down if need be, closing our eyes if that’s what the situation demands and giving a large enough pause before our reaction is what amrit is! Rarely is the case that attentiveness to our breath, gives any room for the mind to wander…

“Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation” Rumi

I would imagine that Amrit is often thought of as aliveness and a plausible reasoning could be that when we become conscious of the present, we essentially create space, internal landscape widens, external sensorial stimulations are at their lowest, the past weakens its hold on us and the fear of future releases the grip… enabling us to sit down, accept the moment – discarding all internal and external threats so that we can breathe a little better, think with more clarity and take action with purpose . The process surely seems long and tedious, however, with practice, the space between responses does increase – whether the space is between thoughts, words or actions – amrit helps us to make better decisions, leading to emotional satiation, which eventually leads to calm nerves, connectedness and peace!

Featured Photograph: Wazir Khan Mosque –  The iconic mosque, with its faience tile work, incredibly placed in the heart of Lahore, Pakistan

Petrichor

14 February, 2019

Often times I have found myself tongue, thought and expression-tied, simply because I cannot seem to find the right word to put forth a series of thoughts. Recently came across this word ‘petrichor’ which describes a certain smell– the initial fragrance that a dry, parched soil gives off when it meets the first shower of rain.

Growing up in Lahore this experience had its own resonance and depth, especially the monsoon rains, when the dark thick clouds would gather together and then pour unabatedly, and the earth would rise to meet it with the same vigor, letting off a pleasant whiff – a whiff of relief, a whiff of gratitude, a whiff of complacency, a whiff of a tight hug.

Lahore cannot be described in words either – it is an experience! A city that is iconic, embracing, warm, forgiving and possibly one of the most beautiful historic cities in the world. A gentle gait to the city, a lazy hum of the traffic, the smell of burnt sand which warms and cooks rather milky and juicy corn on the cobs, the sight of the star lit midnight sky during load shedding evenings, the freedom of a fast car driving along the stately roads beside the canal, 1992 cricket world cup, dadi key qadmoon kii chaap, Dr. Ahmer and Dr. Zoya’s beautiful romance in Dhoop Kinarey, gas heaters in the dense winters, moong phalli, sar kiye yeh pahaar by Strings, eid kii churiyaan, gannay ka russ (sugar cane juice), bholi kii chaat (a tangy yogurt snack), raat ka sukoon (peaceful nights) and not to forget barsaat kii Khushboo ( the smell of the monsoons)

And at times i resignedly agree that it is better to stay tongue-tied. Surely, the whiff of rain-kissed soil cannot be contained in such a matter-of-fact word! Just like Lahore can never be contained in any prose, poetry, canvas or blog!