Monday, August 07, 2006



“Like a silkworm weaving her house with love from her marrow, and dying in her body’s threads winding tight, round and round, I burn desiring what the heart desires. Cut through, O lord, my heart’s greed, and show me your way out, O lord white as jasmine.”

Mahadeviyakka, 12th century Kannada poet-saint of south India.

There is the cry of yearning of the lover, as she sighs for her beloved.

There is the cry of man, as he seeks God.

And there is the anguished cry of Earth herself, at her cruel fate, exhausted, grieving,
seeking release and redemption from her all- and ever-nurturing role,
crying for the warmth of union in the divine family,
even as she unfailingly persists in looking after the well-being of all living beings.

This is the voice of Reshma.

Reshma’s voice is the voice of the soil of Punjab,
that providential land nourished by sunshine and rivers,
that has produced such giants of human upliftment as Nanak and Bulle Shah ...
A rich land, whose songs evoke an imagery of lonely parched earth thirsty for the rain of union.

Her voice is the voice of Sind, the land of our source, home of the revered Jhulelal, that has historically served as a bridge between Hindu and Muslim.

Reshma’s voice is the voice of the sand-dunes of Rajasthan, the desert,
that has produced valourous warriors and builders of magnificent forts and palaces, cities and kingdoms,
a land of wandering minstrels
whose songs about the incomprehensibility of this confounding world
verily drape the dunes,
where brave, strong, suffering women glazed by the harsh and beautiful desert
heave their sad sighs for release.

Reshma’s voice is the voice of Pakistan, ... of India,
of this cradle of human civilisation, sunk within a world mired in destructive madness.

Reshma’s voice is the voice of humanity, of the planet,
identifying and expressing its most primal cry:
a gasp for breath, a clutch at life, a stirring for survival, a plea for love.

Reshma’s song, her voice, is that of Mother Earth,
coming from deep, deep within the bowels of our consciousness,
echoing hauntingly through the cold, dark, empty void of the universe,
touching the core of our selves, invoking an awesome vision, of oneness, separation and reunion,
helping us identify ourselves as earth’s offspring, cosmic beings,
alive to both the devastating grief and the explosive joy that the human condition evokes.

Reshma calls for a cleansing and revitalising of humanity
in today’s nadir of devastation and inhumanity,
so that the new millennium is one of genuine advance
of the human spirit.

And so Earth sends Reshma, and her voice, her songs, her cry,
as an act of survival, and as a means for human renewal.

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