Musafir Without a Manzil

31 05 2009

“Musafir” (Urdu: مسافر Hindi: मुसाफ़िर) means traveler, wayfarer, passenger, temporary sojourner or stranger. In the Muslim context a musafir can be a pilgrim (not necessarily to Mecca).  It’s got a masculine ring to it because, until recently, only men were allowed to travel alone. But me, I’m a girl.

“Manzil” (Urdu: منزل) means destination or goal, or to reach a destination or goal, to gain one’s desired object. I change my mind about these on a daily basis. Pretty much my aim in life is to find an aim.

I named my blog Musafir despite the male connotation because it’s a pretty accurate description of what I am right now. A musafir, not of places, but of life.  (Of course, the right thing to say is that one should always be a musafir of life.)The words came to me by way of “Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe,” the classic Mohammed Rafi song from the 1969 movie Kanyadaan. A part of the lyrics reads, “Musafir main, tu manzil hai/” which, from the lover to his beloved, means “I am the journeyman, and you are my destination.” Mind you, I’m not the romantic kind of musafir — not deliberately, anyway.

I’ve had a lifelong crush on Shashi Kapoor, and today’s ridiculing of Bollywood actresses dancing around trees notwithstanding, I can’t think of any better setting or choreography for the mood of this song. I suspect I’m filmier than is acceptable for a hardline feminist, but hardline feminism is just one of the manzils I abandoned soon after college. Enjoy:


This Time

30 05 2009

I will sustain my blog. I will be a grown-up about my committment.