India: Lockdown – Day 4 (day 9 for me)

I am writing this to sharpen my observation, to pass the time. It’s frivolous. But when I look past my locked door, it really looks like a culling. The Earth, culling its tormentors, starting as usual with the old and sick. Then various governments, culling their inconvenient poor. Refugee crises, starvation. How many people are dying, and how long can they bear it? Then war? It looks like William Gibson’s Jackpot is coming sooner than we are pleased to believe.

I woke up at 5:30 with tears sliding down my face, no energy behind them, just self-pity I suppose, something about R, my husband. I managed to go back to sleep and woke up again at 6:30. I was still feeling gloomy, and I thought, okay, today I won’t get up early, as if I were expressing some defiance against someone who would care.

I got up and went to the roof. I looked down at the road and saw that a few walkers had ventured out, widely spaced and hurting no one, already tired of huddling inside. My roof- neighbor also emerged, with his phone, but soon put it away and began jogging. The crow-drum had gone, but there was a long white dribble of its contents, which the crows had not been able to scrape up with their cruel beaks.

I was listening to Sufi music. My favorite song, by Kabir: Naiharwa, sung by Kailash kher, was playing. ‘Sai’, the beloved, is god, or the Guru, or Ram; someone divine.


Whenever I hear this song I see in my mind, for no good reason except the cold ‘ping’ that opens it,  an image of a snow-globe, with delicate snow falling.

I went inside and made child’s food, snow-globe food: a mug of hot chocolate. And in the afternoon, for lunch, I used up the stale sourdough bread from Pumpkin Tales, and the last of the maple syrup, by making French toast. In short, I ate my way out of self-pity.

When my maid went home before the lockdown, this was one of the things she left behind. It looks like things a bird would collect.  Just in case – what?

Naiharwa lyrics

Naiharwa humkaa ne bhave

Humkaaaaaa ne bhave

Naiharwa aaaaaaaa

Naiharwa naiharwa aaaa

Naiharwa humkaa ne bhave

Humkaaaaaa ne bhave

Naiharwa aaaaaaaa

Naiharwa naiharwa aaaa

Sai ki nagariiiiii

Sai ki nagare param athi sundara

Athi sundara

Jaha koi aawe na jaawie

Heyyyehiyey

Jaha koi aawe na jaawie

Chand suraj jaha

Chand suraj jaha

Pavan na paani

Pavan na paani

Ko sandesh pahuchawie

Heyyyehiyey

Ko sandesh pahuchawie

Dard yeha

Dard yeha

Dard yeha

Sai kooo sunave

Naiharwa aaaaaaaa

Naiharwa naiharwa aaa

Bin satha guru apno nahi koi

Apno nahi koi

Ko yeh raah batawie

Heyyyehiyey

Ko yeh raah batawie

Kahat kabir

Suno bhaii sadho

Suno bhaii sadho

Sapne me pritam aawaai

Heyyyehiyey

Sapne me pritam aawaai

Sapana yaha diya hi bhujava

Naiharwa aaaaaaaa

Naiharwa naiharwa aaa

——-

Naiharwa translation (from boloji.com)

I Don’t Find any Interest in My Parent’s House

My Beloved’s Town is Most Beautiful

However, Nobody Goes or Comes from There

There is no Moon, Sun, Wind or Water There

Then Who Will Take My Message There?

Then Who Will Tell My Pain to My Beloved?

There is No Visible Path to Move Forward

And You Blame the Past for It

How Should the Bride go to the House of the Beloved?

Powerful Pangs of Separation are Burning from Inside

Dual Reality is Fashioning a Dance to Its Tune

There is None Other Than the Guru Who is Mine Who Can Tell the Way

Says Kabir Listen oh Aspirant

Your Beloved Will Come in a Dream-like State

That Alone Will Quench the Thirst of your Heart

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