22nd October, 2020
Of every apology in all the languages around the world, I think the Korean mianhamnida (미안합니다) is the most beautiful word.
It doesn’t have that crassness of a sorry,
the curtness of a perdón or
the piteous of a mujhe maaf kardo.
It’s first part mian pronounced as bian breathes off your lips as if it’s coming straight from your heart; softly, gently, whisperingly.
Often one’s voice slightly breaks on the mid haam, as it tries to comes through the nose and
your tongue pleadingly lingers behind your teeth on the final midaaa.
I haven’t thought about you much in the past few weeks. I’ve been trying hard to navigate myself to a shore. Any shore. Just a shore.
You once said to me that we were weathered pieces of the same broke who don’t fit anymore; our edges too different. I remember how I childishly stamped my foot and said but we were made of the same thing! And you in the way only you know how to say things to me said “let’s see”. The creases around your eyes which have seen a thing or two more than me had tiredly ceased into a resigned smile. Yet still I was adamant. To keep trying to fit us.
I sometimes think that despite your cynicism and otherwise words that day, deep down you fiercely hoped that I would find a way to make us both fit again. That somehow that steely gleam in my eyes would save us both.
Sometime around 1991, Ravindra Jain composed this famous qawwali style song to which he also penned the lyrics to. Lately whenever I am lighting a candle for some reason, this 30-year old song keeps coming to my mind. Especially this one line “…Der Na Ho Jaaye Kahin Der Na…” (translation: may it not be too late).
Recently I read that sometimes because we’re holding onto things from our past, we don’t allow things we truly deserve to find their way to us. That sometimes the kindest thing we can do for the people we love is letting them go.
mianhamnida, Anand but I’m going to hold on to us for some time more.