Playing with Pain

The saddest songs are the sweetest ones. Lily quotes Charlie Chaplin and says that the ability to play with pain is rare. In pain, we cry. In a sense of pain, we sing. The author tells us about the beauty of transcending pain. She ends with an enchanting Giddha song, in this winsome piece for Different Truths.

“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!” Only a gentleman like Charlie Chaplin, could have said it. How strange it is, that a thin line separates, tragedy and comedy, humour and hurt.

If one has the capacity to scoff at one’s misfortunes, and keep the candle of hope, flickering eternally, the frowns melt into smiles of acceptance. A militant attitude, with the good lord, somehow seems like a sheer waste of time! The same brutal, vengeful, energy, can be meandered into a creative burst.

It’s definitely, more than words that change, when you enunciate ‘loneliness’ and ‘solitude’. One implies, boredom and yearning, while the other is a blissful, meditative, ‘house on the hill’, kind of emotion. Words like, affliction, desperation, agony, torture, are the banes of one’s life, all created by our own language. We allow ourselves, to be traumatised, by the thorns in our flesh.

We forget “rafiqon se raqeeb achhe, jo jal kar naam lete hain, gulon se khaar behtar hain, jo daaman thhaam lete hain” (Enemies are better than friends because they at least take our names even though with heartburn or envy, just as thorns are better than roses because they hold on to our skirts and never let go). Prickles, stings and twinges of distress are merely the prods and pushes, for the giant leaps to the finish line. “Girte hain sheh-sawaar hi maidaan e jung mein” (Only the brave cavaliers fall in the battle field).

I think, I would have loved to meet Chaplin and played ‘pain- pain’ with him! Much more fun than ‘house – house’, or ‘doctor-doctor’, no?

I am reminded of a Punjabi boli (lyric) from the folk dance Giddha that girls perform at weddings, “Kite sona, kite chandi, kite pittal bhari paraat ve, dharti nu kali karaade, nachoongi saari raat ve” (A dish full of gold, another full of silver and one full of brass, Have the floor polished for me and then watch me dance the night away).

©Lily Swarn

Pix from Net.

Lily Swarn

Lily Swarn

Lily has published English poems in three anthologies. She was awarded Reuel international prize for poetry 2016. A postgraduate in English from Punjab University, she was awarded a gold medal for best all-round student and academics. She edited her college magazine and wrote middles for newspapers. Poetry blossomed after her young son's sudden demise. She writes in Hindi and English. Hailing from a defence family, she is settled in Chandigarh.
Lily Swarn