For over a year I have sketched her out in clouds above me, outlined her on the pavement, seen her silhouette shrink down the horizon, smiled to the illusion of her calling me out, lived ‘the’ moments with her on my mind. One fine day in an open field where you witness the trees hindering the mating of the green grass and the azure sky; I stand still under the spotless blanket comprehending life and the present – a dozen reasons to clear off the slate yet I struggle to overcome ‘why not?’ I eventually realize she has become my Zahir.

Zahir‘ is an Arabic term which means, ‘visible, present, incapable of going unnoticed.’ Paulo Coelho in his book, ‘The Zahir‘ defines it to be ‘someone or something which once we have come in contact with gradually occupies our every thought until we can think of nothing else.’ He further adds that, ‘this can be considered either a state of holiness or madness.’

Zahir, to simply put it is the skeleton in your closet that haunts you, no matter what. It is an obsession that evolves into a habit without one realising it. Surely being someone’s Zahir or having one yourself can be quite adorable but when things go wrong, Zahir can literally steal away the sleep from your eyes and drain all the adrenaline from your skin.

You turn into river banks between which the same water flows and are apart. The water starts growing tougher and erodes off some sediments off both the sides; taking away a part of you. You wish to be the estuary that opens up into the sea or rather the shore to the sea that is free of the other’s presence even if hypothetically but life aint that easy. Somewhere down the lane, things are still tangled, the knots are still there.

The moment you start realizing the situation at its face value you begin the process of letting go. In the process you may end up realizing the self-respect you gave up, the time invested, how secure you still feel in even the hypothetical presence of it; how engaged you remain and so on… The more you begin realizing things the more clearer your intention becomes to you yourself.

Escaping is another situation which can abet you in your healthy endeavour but alas! this is a temporary solution. It is like the volini spray on your swelling that relieves you for the moment but the pain eventually traces back its steps. People I have known usually tend to practise this form of persuading themselves that they are “out of it” but somewhere within themselves they remain uncomfortable.

The most effective manner of letting it all go is not by encountering them, or a tet-e-tet, or calling them up in the middle of the night and pouring the mirth in your heart out; in case of something, throwing un hurting punches at it, smashing it to the ground but by accepting it. One really has to counsel oneself as if they were counselling their younger brother or sister who is still in his/ her adolescence and thinks all that he does is ‘cool’.

Precisely accept it, process it, and let the exhumation happen.

Having a zahir; ie. an obsession in life isn’t much of  a positive thing in life, after all we are all free humans and entitled to freedom – free from the spells of our ZAHIR(s)! 

© Rahul Mall 



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