Seeking the Beloved (is Seeing the Beloved)

Be Love
and Let Love be
Some samplings for the Kabir Project.
I'm working on their next cd+book on Mystic Traditions in Kutch.
Though the Kabir project has previously worked primarily around the poetry of Kabir,
A new venture into the work of another 16th century poet- Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai 
has just begun. :) 
Bhitai's words are daggers. are occupying armies.
he leaves no room for sugar-coated-sweet-nothings.

what to do with these eyes?
falling in love
without asking me? 
i am trapped
no retreat for me 

these eyes
brimming with tears
clashing like monsoon clouds
such a heavy downpour

these eyes
crisscross paths
ever since they fell in love

now quarrelling
now making up

hold a steady inward gaze
swim contrary to the world’s ways
choose to go upstream
while others float downstream


I pray
for the dagger
to be blunt
let it linger
a little bit longer
in the beloved’s hand
if you want love
go to the tavern

cut the head
place it in the barrel
drink brave one
drown in the draught

this lethal drink is cheap
in exchange for the head

Bhitai often juxtaposes Love and Death.
And this is not the physical death he talks of..but the death of the Ego (cutting off your head)
as being the beginning of Limitless Love.

Some of me photographs from Kutch 
 these are the Waee singers who sing Bhitai.
They're the last three singers of this tradition left in India. 

 'Waee' means an intense "pukar" or Immense calling/cry to the source.

And then there are the women of that region. 
Bhitai's poetry is based primarily around the 'Seven Queens'
Seven Love legends from the region of Sindh.
He uses these beautiful folk-tales as metaphors for Divine Love.
Each of these women become the protagonists of his poetry.
Tragic as these Love Legends may seem- The queens of these legends are trapped in fortresses, swallowed by rivers, turned to stone only to realize that their Beloved is not some distant thing projected far into space and time.
But their beloved resides within their own bodies.

 Waves in his forehead. :) 


KK said...

Fantastic photographs! Found my way here from the Toto Funds the Arts page, and I'm extremely glad to have done that.

Sushma said...


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