Letter ::

I was really upset when I started watching this BBC series A Suitable Boy. When it began I went along with that feeling of sadness and swayed with it in moments. I loved Lata and Saeda Bai. When Saeda Bai entered with, “लुत्फ वो इश्क़ में पाएं हैं कि दिल जानता है”, she transported me into some other world. She asked herself, when in love “दिल – ए – नादान तुझे हुआ क्या है” and when she lost her love she uttered, “प्यार के तराने ख़त्म हुए”.
Lata’s leaving her love behind and Saeda Bai’s last song,” महफ़िल बर्खास्त हुई, पतंगे रुखसत शमों से हो रहे हैं”, has put my heart to peace. It was so soothing, that I could feel the “patience which comes at last even in separation”. It made me happy, in a way that is inexplicable. I am writing a letter to Saeda from Lata’s side.

— Shristi

Dear Saeda Bai,

I am a student of literature and wish to explore everything that has hidden poetry inside itself. I find you so poetic, right from the time I saw you performing at Maan’s house. We haven’t met ever but you intrigue me to know you, the same way I wish to understand the mysteries of life. Maan says you love him and he loves you like an idiot. How vague the concept of love appears when people like you are in it. I too loved a boy but later he turned out to be a Muslim. Sadly I also have to remain in a boundary, which stops me from going near him and you too are inside so many boundaries. They say people like you don’t know love but I feel that no one can know love better than you. Your eyes, when you sing those Ghazals, appear like a vast ocean that knows every feeling that melancholia can take hold of. You walk like a charisma. Maan says you sing the Ghazal and become all those lines one by one. How baffling, exciting, charismatic, frantic, and restless this feeling of love is. But it’s soothing too. I have recently realized that it’s easy to love someone when he/she isn’t around. It gives you the freedom to love him in ways no one knows. You can love him through words, you write, read, or sing.
I loved Kabir dearly but married Haresh. It made my mother happy and I am happy too. I know someone who can give me the love I desire. It’s really odd to be with someone whom you just admire but not love and yet being happy with him. I think that’s all because love is uncertain. It can walk out even through pores. It’s tiny yet so huge. Yet, when it comes to loving someone, I don’t know how to do it.
Saeda Bai, I have huge respect for your being on this earth. You invented some other kind of love that is poetic, incomplete, and yet so soothing. There is a French movie The Portrait of the Lady on Fire, in which the lover says, “Do all lovers feel that they are inventing something”. I don’t know if you feel that way, yet you have invented something which is not comparable yet you reminded me of Umraojaan when she sings,
“जुस्तजू जिसकी थी उस को तो न पाया हमने
इस बहाने से मगर देख ली दुनिया हमने”।

Your admirer,


Srishti is a young poet and an avid reader. She can be contacted at shristithakur7@gmail.com
The featured images were selected by the writer from the internet.

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