Today this song from the old film The Great Gambler was playing on the radio on my way home from work:
Do lavson ki yeh dil ki kahaani / Ya hai mohobbat, ya hai jawani
(The story of this heart has only two words / Either it’s [romantic] love or it’s [lusty] youth)
I love this song, and I couldn’t help humming along with Asha Bhonsle despite the hubby chatting away on the phone with a colleague and the driver probably laughing silently at me.
But songwriter Anand Bakshi was wrong. The story of this heart isn’t made up of just love and youth.
It’s also made up of hope, of watching dreams blow gently up like soap balloons from baby mouths, floating about with a tint of rainbow colour, lighting up all the faces around them.
It’s also made up of heartbreak, of watching those bubbles burst with a ping in your ear and a bang in your being.
It’s made up of tenderness, of recognising your newborn’s eyes when you hold her for the first time, of being amazed at how suddenly she stops crying the moment she recognises you back.
It’s made up of agony, of the sore, raw wound of your dignity and identity being ground into the earth.
It’s made up of joy, of rosy sunsets and promising sunrises, of the sound of birds and the unexpected word of praise.
It’s made up of both regret and enthusiasm, of looking back with ‘what ifs’ said with a sigh and looking forward with the same, said with a smile.
It’s made up of pain, of hurting someone you love and finding that it leaves an even bigger hole in you.
It’s made up of hate, of moments of venom and vengefulness, and then understanding that hate is not the absence of love but the rejection of it.
It’s also made up of growing older, and realising that you wouldn’t go back to jawani for anything, for time is the most benevolent healer, giver and teacher of them all.
It’s made up of little moments — the early-morning coffee, the late-night walk, the cuddle with a teenage angel, the meaningful look that silences all squables — that make every day a story, that make every story a song, that make every song immortal.
The story of this heart isn’t made of two words; it’s made up of One.
And every song is an ode, every road leads to the same place, every space is full of God.