‘What you seek is seeking you’- The magnanimity of this short yet power packed quip never ceases to amaze me . Just like wine, they say, the older it gets, the better it becomes.
I often imagine Rumi just walking in the glorious Iranian bazaar , wondering and muttering to himself, randomly looking at the sky when this thought must have struck him like a bolt of lightening, I wonder if it made him look at his life in the rearview mirror or if he started connecting the dots in his life backwards, the famous Steve-Jobs style.
I have played that scenario of his enlightenment in my mind in a thousand different variations, never been able to zero down on one, but the realization itself has been nothing short of life – transforming for me.
It often gets me thinking for long periods of time, sometimes unknowingly having my gaze fixed on a stranger in a café, where a flurry of questions zigzagging through my head in random Brownian motion: What did I seek in the past? What am I seeking now? What am I going to be seeking in future? What am I seeking? And most importantly Why am I seeking what I am seeking? ( A little episode of brain fog ensues….)
And like a jigsaw puzzle , a variety of colors and shapes appear in front of my glazy eyes- only in the form of experiences making it feel like a little time machine experimentation. In this case, more often than not, my personal time machine seems to be eternally rigged to go looking for stuff in the past. I call it the Past Ninja. A deaf past-Ninja, A tunnel-vision-Deaf-Past-Ninja.
Anyway, So here am I-A kid, drooling for icecream all the time and that’s the single most important non-living object in my life and guess what a bunch of relatives make sure that those icecream companies are never out of business and my current frocks always seems one size short.
I was seeking icecream while latent obesity was seeking me. Fast forward to High school library, like every text book nerd, I am pouring over books in my one size short frocks (having realized over the years that ice-creams are faster than willpower) processing books as if from an assembly line, and shuddering at the sound of footsteps coming in my direction, lest those footsteps carry a mouth that doesn’t want to stop talking and even more so if they wanted to talk to me instead of the hottie next seat.As I sought books, they somehow swarmed to me even more, creating a seemingly protective wall around me, blocking out small talk and ‘strangers’ who were in the same class as me. I have a lot of friends, only that they are not physical people (they are only in my head). I am best friends with JK Rowling, Earnest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Somerset Maugham and Jerome K Jerome to name a few.While I was trying to avoid the physical noise of the footsteps approaching me, there was
something else that was seeking me, and those were the characters that were seeking me.Cut to the present me, working a corporate job with the same innate tendency to avoid small talk, judging myself for every smile I fake and expression-less greetings that I get from my ‘stranger’ colleagues. Every now and then , in one of those afternoon meetings, my mind can not keep off from wandering to the same sand as Rumi’s.What have I sought all my life – has actually sought me, not in the exact form I expected it to be , but in a slightly twisted yet interesting way, and I am thankful that it is that way. Otherwise, where’s the fun in life?(More on that some other day)All of that random musing to say, in my opinion, what we seek always seeks us- albeit sometimes exactly the way we see it and sometimes in the complete opposite way. Sometimes comprehensible and sometimes the London-city-jigsaw -puzzle way. But guess what?Dots do connect backwards and if you take the same rigged time machine as me for a journey to your past, you will hopefully discover some pattern in your own existence. Maybe your Rumi is a cool beefy guy roaming shirtless at a beach in Barcelona.
Oh wait, I started projecting again!