As the gentle drizzle fell, I sought shelter in a hurry. I was caught off guard, and I realised that I was soaked. At that moment, it served as a poignant reminder that love is not always immediate or forceful. Love can be as subtle as the tantalising aroma from the kitchen, stirring up hunger and invoking a sense of anticipation. In these infinitesimal moments, I appreciate the profound power of love’s transformative nature and its inherent connection to rebellion.
A dear friend who fearlessly took to the stage, exposing her vulnerability as a Muslim and unwavering resolve to fight against the looming threat of fascism. Through her powerful play, Her courageous act is archiving her and her community’s vulnerability; in the theatre, I argue that love makes hope divisible and also additive.
A friend, a mathematician, for whom parenting is transformative in times of hate. Observing his interactions with his son, I witness the poignant beauty that arises when love takes root and blossoms. In these moments, love transcends mere sentimentality and becomes a tangible force intricately woven into the fabric of their relationship. His parenting is his rebellion, a gentle nudge to brush the hate aside.
Two friends, a Hanuman Bhakt, is married to the daughter of a Communist party worker. At home, love and logic take turns to make decisions about travel, food and politics; the dynamic between passion and reason weaves a rebellious tapestry within their home. It challenges societal norms and expectations, embracing a unique blend of spirituality and ideology. Their interactions are marked by a delicate balance of emotional connection and rational thinking, enabling them to navigate various aspects of life together. Their daughter becomes the embodiment of their hopes for a brighter future. Through their loving and logical upbringing, she grows up with a compassionate spirit and a strong sense of justice. Their household becomes a beacon of hope, demonstrating that embracing the heart and mind can challenge the status quo and inspire positive change. Not surprisingly, their daughter is called Meera.
A friend and her partner also take enormous pleasure in parenting. They are like a “zariwala“.A master zariwala is full of dexterity, skillfully working with stitches, boundaries, needles, and saree borders. The zariwala‘s nimble fingers dance across the surface, creating a harmonious blend of craftsmanship and artistry. This inter-religious couple stitch stories of hope and love into their parenting, like the detailing they give to the immaculate curation of their house. Their children embody a love that comes with rebellion.
Their world reminds me of a story by Basheer. The story is set in 1940s Kerala and revolves around Keshavan Nair, a Hindu bank employee, and Saramma, a Christian woman who lives in a house owned by Saramma’s father. Keshavan Nair and Saramma, fall in love.
Keshavan Nair and Saramma playfully decide on a name for their child by placing selected objects in a container, mixing them up, and drawing two chits without looking. The chits read “Sky” and “Toffee.” They combine the two names and ultimately decide to name their child “Skytoffee,” feeling excited about their choice. “Skytoffee” embodies a sense of wonder and delight. It symbolises the boundless expanse of the sky and the sweetness of life.
V and S had the task of naming the child; the name of the child has the burden to carry an entire “culture”; it is aspirational, it is identity, cultural, and it could reflect country, religion, social status and family values; yet when V and S decided that they would call their children Abeer and Meer, contrary to the family idea, there is a rebellion, the rebellion is born amid love, and love is not divisible here but expansive, Meer calls V Ammi. I do not know for sure if they will become Poets of Words, but I know they will be poets of thoughts; the rhythm of poetry cannot escape when you are born amid love and rebellion.
bavrese is jahan mein bawra ek saath ho
is saayani bheed mein bass haathon mein tera haath ho
bavrisi dhun ho koi bavra ek raag ho
bavrisi dhun ho koi bavra ek raag ho
bavrese pair chahe bawre tarano ke bavarese bol pe thirkana
bavra mann dekhne chala ek sapna
Parenting in the midst of hate is the biggest rebellion.
Bavra mann dekhne chala ek sapna (My wandering mind sets out to behold a dream,)
Poets like Kabir, Akka Mahadevi, and Basava defied conventions through their verses, advocating unity, equality, and spiritual awakening. Kabir’s poems transcend caste and religion, Akka Mahadevi’s songs emphasise inner love, and Basava’s verses call for social justice.
My colleague K has decided to marry M; she is breaking the caste barrier, like Akka Mahadevi and Basava; love is rebellion, and K and M’s rebels are who are building a paradise.
इंक़लाब, इश्क़ है,
इश्क़ इबादत है,
इबादत ही जन्नत है।
Revolution is love, Love is worship, Worship is paradise.
(Venkat Srinivasan is a financial professional with a master’s degree in economics. I am intensely interested in the arts, academia, and social issues related to development and human rights)