The Forty Rules of Love

Recently I came across a book The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. It is a love story within a love story. Love story of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz (Not sexual love, but true love between two human beings). I know about Rumi’s quotes because of twitter & also made fun of how quotes are attributed to Rumi. I had read about Shams first in a book by Paulo Coelho (possibly Aleph, not sure) That is the only thing I knew about both of them. The story has been a wonderful read. You know how sometimes you read something and never want it to end? This is that kind of a story. So beautiful that it gave me goosebumps. Made me want to read more about Rumi & Shams & read more of their work. Sigh! Anyway, the point of this post is not to review the book. The book states 40 rules of Love. I wish to share those with everyone & also to bookmark them for my reference. So here they go!

♥ How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings fear & blame,means there is too much fear and blame welled between us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we!

♥ The Path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs (soul) with your heart. Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God!

♥ Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Book on a different level in tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insights. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that majority of people are content with. Next is the inner level. Third is the inner of the inner level. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.

♥ You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a place of worship. But if you are still in need of knowing where exactly His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him: In the heart of a true lover.

♥ Intellect and Love are made of different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but Love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, “Beware of too much ecstasy,” whereas Love says, “Oh! never mind, take the plunge!” Intellect does not easily break down, whereas Love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures.

♥ Most of the problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of Love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which can not be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

♥ Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in other person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

♥ Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighbourhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for what he has been denied.

♥ Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end results of a process. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know what time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

♥ East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you travel the whole world and beyond!

♥ The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby can not be opened and mother can not give birth. Likewise, for a new self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to be strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

♥ The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who has searched for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you change within & without.

♥ There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the numbers of stars visible in the universe. Don’t confuse power driven, self centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the Light of God pass through them.

♥ Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

♥ God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.

♥ It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable is of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.

♥ Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify our heart.

 ♥ The whole universe is contained within a single human being – you. everything that you see around, including the things you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Shaitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you get to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness both your dark and bright sides, you will arrive as a supreme form of consciousness. When a person knows himself or herself, he or she knows God.
 
♥ If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It’s a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.
 
♥ Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.
 

♥ We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.

 
♥ When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine drinker goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that makes the difference, not our outer appearances. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed and instead opens a third eye – the eye that sees inner realm.
 
♥ Life is a temporary loan, and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy balance.
 
♥ The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it falls upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.
 
♥ Hell is here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. every time we hate, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.
 
♥ The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back – not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouth do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone happy.
 
♥ The world is like a snowy mountain that echoes your voice. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice thing about that person. Everything will be different at the end of forty days, because you will be different inside.
 
♥ The past in an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time as if it were a single line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.
 
♥ Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all-pervading and it is composed on forty different levels. Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.
 
♥ The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked, and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a single bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?
 
♥ If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as feather. Through an illness, accident, loss, or fright, one way or another, we are all forced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgemental, and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while others end up becoming even harsher than before. The only way to get closer to the Truth is to expand your heart so that it will encompass all humanity and still have room for more Love.
 
♥ Nothing should stand between yourself and God. Not imams, priests, rabbis, or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters, not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.
 
♥ While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and becomes someone, only to leave all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.
 
♥ Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission – a power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquility and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
 
♥ In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and everyone of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.
 
♥ This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. Fear not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. whatever God does, he does beautifully.
 
♥ God is a meticulous clock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.
 
♥ It is never too late to ask yourself, “Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?” Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one way to be born into a new life: to die before death.
 
♥ While the parts change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but nothing ever really changes.
 
♥ A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire. The universe turns differently when fire loves water.
 
These are the 40 rules of love. They make so much sense and are aligned to my beliefs. I am not there yet, but I will reach there one day!

A Perfect Date

Alan Rickman married a woman he was in a relationship with for almost 50 years. Newspapers reported it as Alan marries Rima after 50 years of dating. Hello! You don’t date someone for 50 years! Date is just an appointment with someone (usually romantic) In my opinion, dating could be only in the beginning of a relationship, rather when one is not sure if they want to be in a relationship. Post that you just do things together with mutual agreement. 😉

Dating is a very exciting concept (Indian men are yet to get a complete hang of it) You meet someone new, get to know them, get to know their likes and dislikes and all this is based on what you are doing on a date. It can be a basic movie and dinner date, a dessert date, an adventure trip, a picnic, a night of stargazing.

A perfect date could be very subjective though. It depends on if the activity chosen is liked by both and how much they are enjoying those moments.

A perfect date does not necessarily mean an expensive occasion. You can have fun walking around the city / sipping coffee doing nothing but talking. You can just share an ice cream together (it definitely brings out the child in you 😉 ) This is definitely what I prefer. Simple joys. 🙂

The purpose of a date is to get to know each other and see how comfortable you are in each other’s company. Small details matter more than showing off of money. Keep it simple but once in a while indulge in something luxurious. Always smell nice.

And girls, don’t let guys do all the efforts. Contribute equally 😀

A Perfect Date!

                     A Perfect Date!

A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Truth is stranger than fiction they say. And sometimes truth matches so much with fiction that it amazes you.

Manasi was 10 year old when her parents died in a car accident. She was an only child. Her father’s kins were not very keen to take her to their home. They asked her mother’s brother to take her responsibility in exchange of a fat sum.

Her life was not very different than Cinderella after that. She was treated as a maid, beaten & abused at the drop of a hat. Only solace was they had continued her schooling. She was timid by nature & the shock of her parent’s death had made her further drawn into a shell. This went on till she was 16 year old. After she finished her schooling, she thought she would join a college, get a job & be free of this life. But alas, it was not to be. Her maternal uncle & aunt didn’t allow her to join college. She was barred from further studies. She cried her heart out for couple of days but then accepted her fate.

Years passed. She was now 19, an adult, but her life had only worsened. Her once shining eyes had now turned blank. She had no hope, no dreams left. She was scared to run away. The thought of wolves outside her home, if she could call it her home, deterred her.

Today was probably the worst day of her life. She had mistakenly put a bit extra salt in the curry & her aunt had burnt her face with the hot pan. She ran into the back yard & started sobbing. Her tears did not go un witnessed though. Harsh, 14 year old son of their neighbours got a glimpse of her from their window. There was something about her sobbing which touched Harsh’s tender heart. He had heard stories about misfortunes of Manasi whenever his mom gossiped with other neighbours. Today he saw how bad it was. He looked again at the tender face of Manasi & took a pledge there & then.

It was 7 years after the incident. Harsh was 21, a hopeful engineering student. Manasi was 26, still being abused by her relatives. Harsh, meanwhile, had become her good friend. He used to share food with her, cheer her up when she was low & always tried to build her confidence. He used to get her good books to read as he knew Manasi was fond of reading. Harsh was the balm for her painful wounds.

Harsh had been selected for a top IT company during the campus interview. The day had come to fulfill his pledge. He rushed home. He wanted an opportunity to talk to Manasi. As usual she was waiting for him in the verandah. He jumped from the wall of his house to meet Manasi. Today was not the usual chit chatting day though. He took Manasi’s hand in his hand and told her that he was in love with her since the last 7 years. He wanted to share his life with her. He asked her if she would do the honour of becoming his life partner.

Manasi was shocked. She would have never dreamt about such a thing! She tried to resist him. But he was as determined as the day he had taken a pledge that he would rescue Manasi from the clutches of her evil relatives.

Harsh had not only to fight his parents but also Manasi’s own insecurities & her apprehensions about their differences. He fought singlehandedly & emerged a winner. They both were disowned by their own families in the process.

Today, they both have created their own family and they lead a happy life together. Manasi thinks she was lucky to have Harsh to rescue her from hell while Harsh thinks it was due to Manasi he got a purpose in life.

I am privileged to know both these beautiful people. Their story inspires a hope. A hope that, true love, conquers everything. And you can find a fairy tale in the midst of an ordinary life. ❤

happy

But..

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: My mom says no inter caste marriage

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: Marriage is not for me.

He: I love you..

She: But?

He: Mom says you are too old for me.

He: I am so much in love with you!

She: But?

He: But? You are so cynical! I love you unconditionally!

She: *rolls eyes* But?

He: We are not meant to be together

You see there is always a but when someone says I  love you to you.

But once in a lifetime you would get to hear I love you without any buts..

And the search continues..

You!

The mountains, the sea, the world passing by..

I want to live my life with you nearby..

I want to see your forehead crinkle when sun shines on your face..

I want to gaze in your eyes & smile the brightest smile..

I want to share all my happy moments with you..

I want you to take away all my sadness..

I know there is no you..

But there is an idea of you..

I just wanna live in the world where I can imagine YOU!

If I could..

If I could..

I would hug you tight & kiss away all your pains..

If I could..

I would give you the sweetest smile to calm your nerves..

If I could..

I would hold your hands & walk along wherever you go..

If I could..

I would tell you how amazing you are..

If I could..

I would tell you how much I adore you..

If I could..

I would tell you that your silence hurts me..

If I could..

I would tell you I wish it was me you were looking for..

If I could..

I would dance with you in the rains..

If I could..

I would tell you that you are my strength and you my weakness..

If I could..

I would tell you that I want to be good enough for you..

If I could..

I would find the right words to win your heart!

 

Maybe..

Maybe it was not supposed to end this way..

Maybe you were supposed to tell me that you are crazily in love with me..

Maybe you were supposed to tell me that your life is empty without me..

Maybe I was supposed to tell you I feel the same..

Maybe you are still waiting for me like I do..

Maybe you will realise this some day..

Maybe then we will be together forever!

Cherishing the gift of you!

There is something between us. Is it friendship or love? Maybe it is friendship, mixed with a little bit of love. I never cared for labels, I don’t care now.

I should not give it much thought coz this is just a passing phase of our lives. Tomorrow you will turn to a new road & I will keep walking on mine.

But I just want to stop right now & tell you something. Tell you how much everything of this means to me. How much happier I am. How much blessed I feel. It feels like I am living my dream one day at a time!

And even though I know this is not going to last forever, I am grateful for these little moments of joy. I am cherishing those & cherishing the gift of you in my life. Cherishing being nobody in your life.

you

 

Love Notes For You!

The most mushy day of the year was here. How could I, the eternal hopelessly romantic be untouched by it?

Writing Love Notes to the One I am yet to meet!

♥ I am crazy about you!

♥ My heart smiles when I think of you!

♥ My eyes want to see only you!

♥ Your good morning wish works like coffee for me!

♥ Your good night wish gives me sweet dreams!

♥ You are tattooed in my heart forever.

♥ I waited for you for so long..but every second was worth waiting for you!

 Your lips write poetry on my skin. I have no use of words!

♥ I was trapped in the desert of life.. your love has been an oasis to me!

♥ I will fight the world to be with you!

♥ In the song of my life you are the rhythm!

♥ My life glows with your presence!

♥ When it comes to you I am very selfish. I don’t want to share you with anyone!

♥ Stay with me forever. Grow old with me. Help me make my world a beautiful place to live in!

love notes

Secret Love

 

They said I can’t love you. They told me to forget it.

They don’t know Love is a free bird, you just can not cage it.

I will keep my love for you in the deep abyss of my heart.

Here we will be together. No one would dare to keep us apart.

Your love will make me smile. I will blame it on the children.

Your love will make me glow. I will blame it on the sunshine.

Your love will make me happy. I will blame it on the music.

Your love will be my secret. A secret no one will find.