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Of Love, Loss and Longing
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Of Love, Loss and Longing

Hard time teaches us brutal yet valuable lessons in life. It makes us strong, brave and whatnot but in the process, it snatches our innocence in a way we would never have imagined

Post by TUBAH SHAH on Friday, May 26, 2023

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Love is a force that makes us whole, keeping us intact till we have it, but breaks us into smithereens the moment we lose it. Even a slight decrease in its intensity leaves us shattered and changed forever, let alone the complete loss. No amount of adhesive can completely restore those scattered shards to their original form. Though we may fill the cracks and gaps with gold, the scars remain eternally visible. Given the ephemeral nature of this world, we are destined to part with all we hold dear.When we love intensely, we inevitably lose a piece of ourselves, and once it's gone, it can never be retrieved. Losing a piece makes us permanently impaired and we have to live with it no matter what. We can never be whole again, for no one can ever replace the one we have lost. Life, a roller coaster ride, thus comes with an amalgamation of moments of joy and grief. As humans, we are often drawn towards the joyous part of life least expecting it to show us the dark side of it. However, when the reality of this dark aspect of existence strikes us, we are thrown into a state of immense grief and despair.Life presents us with struggles of different flavours, offering us a taste of them in one way or the other throughout our journey, whether we embrace them or not. Nonetheless, jeenaissikanaamhai (this is what living is all about).

"When you lose someone or even something you love, you never feel complete again. Time tends to help the moments between the pain last longer—but when it returns, if even for a second, it pricks at your heart with the same stabs and pangs." These lines from the novel ‘A Land of Permanent Goodbyes’ resonate within me as I approach another year since I badegoodbye to my dearest human, the anchor of my life, my beloved father.His departure on this day three years ago turned my world entirely grey andtodayas Itread through the garden of our memories where the fragrance speaks of his love and each petal of every flower tells a tale of the bygone days, grief smashes the shores of my soul like anunremittingwave and emotions whirl like turbulentgusts.The ache of his absence reverberates through my being and intensifies as I am reminded of how time’s scythe snatched him from us. “Ikteri diid chin gyi mujhse/ Warna duniya main kya nahin baaki”.

It is a common saying that time heals all wounds;however, the wound that his loss left on my soul will remain eternally fresh. The abysmal void he left behind has become my constant companion which no soul on earth can filland at times threatens to devour me. Also,it has been said that the most difficult part of losing someone is not having to bid farewell to them, but rather learning to live without them and that’s what we call healing. Healing does not entail forgetting or attempting to fill the chasm but it is about learning to live with the loss.

“Guzar tou jaaye gi tere bagair bhi lekin/ Bohat udaas bohat beqaraar guzregi”


However, as time attempts to heal the wounds left by hisdemise,memories flood my mind; the presence of his absence resurfaces if only for a split-second, wrapping me in a cloak of blues, reigniting the quiescent agony within me and I am yet again made to confront the bitter truth of my loss. My heart feels freshlypierced, as if the wounds of hisparting were inflicted just yesterday, making me relive everything I yearn to escape from.I cannot resist craving his words, voice, laughter, fragrance, touch, warmth and most of all his presence, especially at this stage of my life when I need him the most.“Tumhari yaad k jab zakhm bharne lagte hai/ Kisi bahane tumhe yaad krnelagte hai”.

Hard time teaches us brutal yet valuable lessons in life. It makes us strong, brave and whatnot but in the process, it snatches our innocence in a way we would never have imagined. I never knew life is harsh and tough in my dads’ presence because he made it quite easy for us. I never felt what 'struggle' actually meant because he always stood like a rock braving all odds making life look like a bed of roses for us. I wish it remained the same without him as well. Maybe he was taken away just to make us feel and see what life actually is.There are moments when this absence feels unbearable and becomes overwhelming because we want to share and celebrate our little moments of happiness and achievements with our loved ones, and when we don’t find them near, it rips us apart, and we start finding our success and joy meaningless. There are times when our words need a home, and when they don’t get it, they remain stuck in the throat unspoken forever. In all such circumstances, we can't help but cry our hearts out.It is the backbone that makes us stand erect and firm. Once we lose it, we see our whole edifice crumbling down; even if we are being provided with so many external supports, we still feel crippled. This is exactly how life feels when we lose the most important person of our life, our spine. This is exactly how I feel without my father. 

The father-daughter bond is a sacred relationship that transcends time and space. It is a seamless connection which remains unscathed despite the physical distance. Although his touch has faded with his absence, his spirit remains alive within the recesses of my being through the memories we created together, etched deep inside my heart,evoking an array of emotions. I firmlycling to those cherished treasures like his comforting embrace knowing they are priceless and irreplaceable. Through the changing seasons and passing years, in occasions of celebration or despair, these memoirsand the conviction that he is watching over me from above provide me solace and fortitude. As my pen bleeds amid this deep anguish, the tears that stream down my face are not only tears of woe but also tears of pride and gratitude for the blessing of being his daughter.His unconditional love,constant nurturing, invaluable guidance, teachingsand words of wisdom, coupled with his unwavering trust in my potential continue toact like a compass providing direction to my life and molding me into the person I am today.

However, despite the storm of emotions that engulfs me, remaining steadfast in my faith that Allah's wisdom surpasses ours grants me the courage to endure this pain of separation.Through every tear that cascades down my cheeks, I remind myself that there is a divine plan at play even when we struggle to understand; and that valedictions are merely transient, leading to a heavenly reunion in the eternal realm.Above all, I find comfort in the belief that he residesin a better place, delivered of his sufferings, protected under the watchful gaze of Allah.Although, sometimesI marvel at my resilience (that I never knew existed), amazed at how I have endured this storm and emerged stronger like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Then the realization dawns on me that it is only the healing touch of Allah that could help me to be strong in the face of adversity and gives me the courage to move on. While the days do not fade away and the nights seem endless, the thought of each passing day bringing me closer to the eventual reunion with my beloved makes me happy. With every throb of my heart, my soul yearns for the moment when we shall embrace each other once more, and revel in the eternal bliss that awaits us.

To my Beloved:

Can you see the holes that your departure has left in my heart?

Who will stitch these holes?

Will you ever come to sew them-

In a dream or a vision or for real by some miracle

even if just for a little while?

I have already passed the thread through the needle.

I keep waiting for you to hold it in your hand

and darn my shredded heart.

My heart is bleeding profusely and only your

silky warm touch could plug it and help it heal.

My soul is in shambles. Even a little glimpse of you

would be enough to bring some peace.


“Mujhe padhte hain kayi loug magar/ Main mukhaatib sirf tum se hun”

Papa, I Miss You till we meet again!




(Author is a Post Graduate in English Literrature and can be reached at: tubahshah07@gmail.com)

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