A Sufi Celebration of Life, Inspired By Urdu
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Hai Abad Mere Tasavvur Ki Duniya
Hasin Aa Rahe Hain Hasin Ja Rahe Hain
— Jaleel Manikpuri
The world of my imagination is flourishing and thriving
Populated by handsome and charming aplenty
Ahh! The beautiful, gorgeous, charming world of Tasavvur — where pigs fly and penguins play golf; where time and space continuum is a plot device that opens door for time travelling heroes and backstabbing villains; where Mars is populated by little green people with antennae; where flowers talk and stars turn into fairy godmothers and godfathers; where wished made upon falling stars turn true; where Unicorns shoot rainbows out of their ass and where we fight demons and save kingdoms.
Tasvuur is the place where everything is possible. It is the place where there are no truths, no lies, no facts. There are only dreams and stories.
Tasavvur is where every writer would like to spend the rest of their life, if only this pesky little inconvenience called real life would stop interfering.
Tasvvur is the only heaven that exists. For artists and writers anyway.
Literally translated, it means imagination. It is also the one thing without which a writer cannot survive. You want to kill a writer, or for that matter any artist, excruciatingly? Put them in a world that insists on cold, hard facts and despises Tasavvur.
If someone wants to understand the power of Tasavvur or imagination, there is nothing better than this masterful exchange between Alice and the White Queen from Through the Looking Glass.
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
The wonder of Lewis Carroll’s effortless, seemingly non-sensical prose establishes what most philosophers and thinkers struggle to explore and explain. The importance of believing in the impossible, the importance of nurturing your Tasavvur.
Because Tasavvur is where the magic happens. Tasavvur is where miracles are born. Tasavvur is why we hope for the best even in the middle of a crapfest. Tasavvur is why we dream, why we try to reach for the stars, and why we believe in abstract ideas like God and Universe.
Mohabbat Me Dil Me Aaj Ghabra Raha Hai
Tasavvur Haqeeqat Hua Ja Raha Hai
Yun Toh Yaha Se Hai Koson Madina
Par Yahan Se Madina Nazar Aa Raha Hai
My heart is scared in the path of love
My imagination is turning into reality
Although Madina (Sacred Muslim Shrine) is miles from here
But suddenly Madina is visible from here
As kids, tasavvur is our playpen, our sandbox where we weave our games and stories around fairies and monsters and boogeyman and imaginary friends who are often way better than any real ones can ever hope to be. As kids, tasavvur is where we are most comfortable; where we are the happiest.
But as we grow up, our tasavvur recedes, trumped by artificial ideas of what ‘adulting’ is, and that terrible belief about day-dreaming being counter-productive to any kind of so called successful, meaningful existence.
In the ‘mature’ world of adults, day-dreamers get a bad rap and writers and artists are often asked to get a ‘real job’, because of course there is but one way of leading a productive existence, and ultimately it all boils down to money, honey.
And because there is seemingly no money to be made of tasavvur (which is not even entirely true. Just ask J.K Rowling. Or M.F Hussain), it is relegated to the things that are best left behind, only to be remembered woefully in bouts of fond but ineffective nostalgia.
Ironically, if there is one thing that is repeated over and over again, across all self help literature and good life gyaan, is that you should keep the child in you alive.
Of course you should. A child has about 594% better chance of leading a happier life than any adult in the history of adults. And the easiest way to let that child within you flourish is by letting your tasavvur flourish.
Tasavvur isn’t even demanding. All it needs to prosper are the simple things, gentle reminders of the small, often forgotten joys of life. Like finding fairy shapes in the clouds, or making a wish on that shooting star, or just doing what White Queen asked Alice to do — believe in the impossible, whether as dreams or hope or simply keeping the idea of magic in some form alive.
Tasavvur is not merely the domain of a child, or a dreamy artist. A healthy tasavvur is a must for a healthy emotional life for pretty much everyone. Because Tasvvur is the place where one can seek solace when life gets too crazy — whether it is by getting lost in a book, or by weaving your own tales. Tasavvur is a readymade green room for anyone who wants to rest their world-weary, tired soul. Tasvvur is escapism yes, but it can also be your happy place where you can rejuvenate and gear up for the next fight. Tasavvur can be the locker room where you stash your romance; and it can be the trunk where you keep your courage to chase that one dream that everyone said was impossible.
Tasavvur is believing in the impossible. But sometimes, Tasavvur can also be your greatest asset in achieving the impossible.
So unleash your Tasvvur and see where your flight of fantasy lands you. Afterall, your impossible may just be a flight away.
Hain Tasavvur Main Uske Ankhein Band
Log Janein Hain Khwab Karta Hoon
— Meer Mohammadi Bedar
My eyes are closed as I am lost in their imagination
And people think I am lost in dreams
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