Pakeezah:Purity/ Impurity & The mind

(Pakeezah (Devanagari :पाक़ीज़ा, Persian/Urdu:پاکیزه] is a word from the Persian/Farsi language, which means pure). The word has come to Urdu from Persian, and has the same meaning there too).

The Bollywood classic  ‘ Pakeezah’ is a hugely favorite movie of the accidental sufi. Stellar performances by the both the  lead actors and the supporting cast, this is a  movie of great depth and stylized perfection.( Read about it here :http://www.rediff.com/movies/2002/apr/25dinesh.htm )

The movie fascinates me till date because it deals with the concepts of purity and impurity and the relation of the mind to it.

To the accidental sufi, the mind is of singular  importance.For it is the mind that is the connect between our  body/heart or physical being and our soul or  transcendental being. As long as we are alive, the mind, which is a formless continuum that functions to perceive and understand objects, and its energy remain paramount.This is what quantum physics also tells us. The startling truth  that all physical reality is made up of vibrations of energy.People who exist/live in the realms of the mind remain a little above the reach of those, mostly the majority, who don’t. Thus, they are normally categorized as ‘mad’, ‘insane’,’mutant’, dervish’ etc by all 🙂 The mad ones who do become ‘successful’ , naturally, are hastily declared as the ‘genius’ 🙂 The accidental sufi, fortunately & unfortunately is just mad and a mutant! There is a particular kind of pain, loneliness, and terror involved in this kind of madness.The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude. But, yes, there is an elation too 🙂 Because, it is such a  mind that will eventually transform into the omniscient mind of a Buddha.

A very recent encounter triggered off self questions and introspection about purity and impurity in/of love in my mind. I was reminded of  a central  dialogue of the film ‘Pakeezah”. When the family patriarch tells the hero, who dares to fall in love with a prostitute, “Doodh ka jala hua chhas bhi phook phook ke peeta hai [after burning your tongue with hot milk, you will drink buttermilk after blowing into it],” the hero retorts, “Afsos, log doodh se bhi jal jaate hai [Alas, people get burnt of milk too]. While accepting the situation in my mind, the accidental sufi was reminded of Primo Levi, who says ,”In order for the wheel to turn, for life to be lived, impurities are needed, and the impurities of impurities in the soil, too, as is known, if it is to be fertile. Dissension, diversity, the grain of salt and mustard are needed: But immaculate virtue does not exist either, or if it exists it is detestable”.( Primo Levi is someone I salute.174517.That was Levi’s Auschwitz concentration camp’s number. I have it engraved  on a Parker fountain pen my Dad gifted me when I was 13 years old.One of the few worldly possessions of mine that I guard jealously ).

So did the accidental sufi become impure? What happened to her mind? Did she allow someone to walk through her mind with their dirty feet ? Nietzsche, her dark companion, rushed to tell her “One must be a sea, to receive a polluted stream without becoming impure”. So she remained at sea and understood what her mind told her  “By oneself is evil done, by oneself is one made impure. By oneself is evil undone, by oneself is one made pure. Each one is responsible for purity and impurity. No one can cleanse another.(Thích Nhất Hạnh)

 The mind continues to remains fearless and supple. Following this clever and strategic dictum to keep it forever so:
“As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,lose it.
Leave it as a sign,
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection”( Wendell Berry).
I need to tell you all of a very critical  and fundamental  message from Primo Levi :”And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing blind, deaf stone alone, with nothing to help you but your own hands and your own head…”The accidental sufi has already faced this, the most ‘ancient of human conditions”. And the power of her mind resurrected/s her always.Like the proverbial phoenix bird.To whoever reads this, inscribe it in your mind 🙂
The mind of the accidental sufi quests for that mind which will ride alongside hers in unraveling mysteries of the deep  and the unknown 🙂  Following the inner moonlight, not hiding or being shamed by the madness 🙂 Being a rapture rider 🙂 Make the forests echo with laughter 🙂
Naturally, I shall sign off with this  🙂   http://youtu.be/9Q7Vr3yQYWQ
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