Tuesday, 10 April 2018

I is for Ishq #AtoZChallenge

Incense flower. 
It's used in Bhuddhist temples. It's fragrance is ethereal, temple like.
Clicked at 14000 ft, Roopkund trek, July 2016

The only word that kept showing up all of yesterday while I was keeping myself open for inspiration for I was Ishq.

Ishq means love.

If you google it (I did to find out the etymology of the word), you'll be told that in Arabic it carries derogatory connotations because Ishq means a passionate, sensual love which makes a person loose his senses....etc.etc. I was taken aback when I read this. Why, I thought, what other kind of love is there?

Sharing this poem that has birthed today, thanks to a definition that made me bristle a bit.
Ishq is Love
And Love is boundless
 It can not be contained in a definition.

We may try to
confess it
profess it
write about it 
in poetry
in verse
but it
those ties.

Try holding tight a fist full of sand 
who gets hurt?
your fingers?
the sand?

When the I shushes and becomes Quiet
Ishq happens.

Ask the grains of coffee
who long for the scalding water
to embrace them
how they dissolve
Who can say when you drink
where the particles went?
The water, now fragrant and virile
oozes aroma
that which was the essence of the grains
is now one with water
who won?
who lost?
Is this Ishq

I dissolves in the sea of infinite
Ishq smiles and kisses his beloved.
Sufi poetry is a staple for me and one of my favourite poets is 
Baba Bulle Shah (18th century Sufi poet)
whose poetry has been sung by many, 
but the rendition that gives me goosebumps (every time I hear it )
is this one: sung my the legendary Abida Parveen.

I chose this old video because it has English subtitles.
If you're short on time, listen to the first three minutes to get a flavour.
If you're blessed with enough time on hands, enjoy...
If you're new to Sufi poetry, here's a post from the 2016 challenge which may be helpful:

Be the Joy you seek in others:)
Join me here with J (Insh'Allah) tomorrow.


  1. I find it hard that anyone could define love or ishq as a negative thing! Thanks for sharing :-)

    1. I know but I've just read Yamini's comment below and I may have done the rookie thing of not knowing enough before making my conclusions. Thank you for visiting Iain.

  2. Senfing some (love) your way for the rest of the week :).

    1. Receiving your love with open arms, big smile and a grateful heart. thank you. xx

  3. Hari OM
    Ishq pertains to the wordly, 'lo' love - not the capital 'ell' variety of universality and spirit. There are eleven stages according to the Arabic, and Ishq is the fourth, the desire which preceeds the passion. ...I shall be addressing this in my P offering for the challenge!

    Am fond of Sufi poetry also and your words are wonderful... the portrayal of capital 'ell' Love as a physical expression equates to the nature of bhakti-bahaavana. YAM xx

    1. I have so much to learn and un-learn Yamini. All I can say is that I'm utterly grateful to this blogging challenge. It's opening up so many learning pathways for me.
      I had no idea about the eleven stages. I only know Ishq as love. Looking forward to reading, learning and absorbing.
      Thank you for the generosity of your time:)

  4. Love your soulful expression on Ishq, Arti.
    And thanks for sharing Abida Parveen's magical and mesmerizing rendition of this sufi song.

  5. Your poem is beautiful Arti thank you - I went back for a re-read, and the words at the very beginning where 'Love is boundless', makes me realise how true this is .. and it is not bound by definitions -
    Ishq is Love
    And Love is boundless
    It can not be contained in a definition.
    I listened to some of Abida Parveen's soulful singing and will listen agin in full later - thank you for this too! She has a passionate and powerful voice and I'm glad the English subtitles are there.

    1. Thank you Susan.
      Listening to Abida Parveen is a surreal experience. She connects. And even though I understand most of the words she sings, there's no need to. Music is not bound by words or language, right?

  6. HmmmSublime!
    Loved the poem. Thanks for the poem and for sharing the Sufi song.
    Wonderful post, Arti.
    Best wishes,

    1. I didn’t intend to put the hmmm before sublime. Wonder how these accidents happen.�� Sorry.

    2. Perhaps the hmmm was a humming hmmm:)
      A pleasant accident -- I feel Moon:)
      Thank you for dropping by.

  7. great I post, ishq is a lovely word for love.

    have a lovely day.

    my latest a-z is: introduce yourself

    1. Thank you Lissa.
      Wishing you beautiful day too:)

  8. The poem is simply beautiful, and your words thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Keith. It feels good when a poem finds a reader:)

  9. I am completely taken with, "your love has made me dance like mad"
    That is absolutely perfect.

    1. I know. Right? If you like this, you'll love a lot of Bulle Shah's poetry Jz.
      Cheers for stopping by:)

  10. The singing is very powerful, even though I don't understand the words.

    1. Thank you for visiting Kristin. Her singing is powerful indeed.

  11. What a stunningly beautiful flower! Thank you for sharing. Journal to improve your Life!

    1. I'm glad you like it Shirley. It has an extremely delicate and evocative fragrance too. Don't the petals remind you of angel's wings?

  12. Hai thauba-thauba aapke ‘I’ ne hume maar daala !!
    The verses flowed like paani and the essence of it all blew me away !
    And Abida was the icing on the cake !

    Shukriya mere dost ! 💜


I would love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts and comments here.