“What a joy, to travel the way of the heart.”
On a flight from Boston to Istanbul, I try to update my playlist on the Apple Music app. I am going through my music library to keep the deeper music and shed the temporary hits. I have already worked my way through Junoon’s ‘Sayonee,” Rabbi Shergill’s “Bulla ki Jana,” Hadiqa’s “Kamli,” Ali Sethi’s “Khabar- E-Tahayyur,” and a whole lot more, when all of sudden my scroll pauses at Reshma. The beat of the song “we main chori chori” begins to sync with the beats of my heart. The Boeing 777 might be flying at the speed of 860 kilometers per hour, but this folk music grows wings on me like an angel. Music takes us to distant lands yet opens us up to memories near and dear to us. It takes me back decades to the “Baisakhi” festival, at the banks of the canal where the Haji Murad Trust Eye Hospital now stands. That’s where I heard this song for the very first time. Ooh, what a trip it is. I can’t discern whether time is flying or I am flying back in time, but the stewardess’ announcement soon reminds me of my actual whereabouts.
The sincerity of Reshma’s delivery of lyrics in perfect Punjabi accent, the purity of Manzoor Jahlla’s poetry, and the rhythm of a conventional composition of an everlasting music absolutely refrains any contamination of foreign music. Pardon my limited knowledge that I don’t know the composer’s name. Just the music itself conjures up the smell of the Punjabi soil here & now. It sheds all coatings off me, peeling out a true villager. I don’t have the exact words to fully convey what I’m feeling. Music truly is the language of the soul, transcending the explanations of this material world.
Although I am capsuled in a plane above the Atlantic Ocean, Reshma’s tone still has the power to bring me back to my parental home. I can feel the sweet scent of the flowers flow into me like a meadow hugging me. I feel like I’m strolling alongf the banks of the Upper Chenab Canal in my village, Theri Sansi. The water that flows through this canal originates from the river Chenab. It’s known as the river of the lovers because of Sohni Mahiwal. There is dust flying around my feet, and mist floating over the water, and I am lost in the mystic melody of this song. The loving souls of Sohni & Mahiwal may be laughing at me by now. I can assure them that whether they can see it or not, my soul — or some part of it — is definitely there. It is drumming alongside my heartbeat, giving it the companion it always needed.
I am mesmerized by how music can open strange chapters of our mind. And the omnipresent nature of the soul amazes me even more. It can be anywhere it likes just in the flip of an eye, without ever leaving where it is. Wow, this is a flight within a flight. This is a journey within a journey, and an existence within an existence.
“Only when your experience of life moves beyond sense perception, it becomes absolute, not relative.”
The dual nature of this trip invites me to ponder upon many things. The relationship between my body and soul. I wonder how far I can travel physically, or in my thoughts, and how much further my soul can take me. Is traveling by soul a way to go beyond myself, beyond universes, beyond destiny, beyond life? Although I am heading to Istanbul, is that the only trip I am making? Yes, I may not have wings, but do I need wings to fly? Was I there near my village? Is it a mirage of a mind in a flight or is it a flight of a mind? Maybe our soul lives beyond the past, present, and future — it may be what links us all together beyond the intricacies of time.
“Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?”
Whatever it is, I like it. It gives me a sense of freedom. It enhances my faculties. I think I should go to sleep just like the rest of my flight mates. Maybe there’s another trip waiting for me in my dreams. Good night.
Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer, Rebel.
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