“ The King of Arabia heard of the story of Majnun’s love for Laila and called him to his court. “What have you seen in her that makes you so distracted that you always cut your hand when you peel an orange?” “Many have asked that, but if only you could see her…” The King searched and brought Laila forward; She was thin and dark, less appealing than the least of his harem girls. “Ah,” said Majnun, “you must see her through the wicket of my eyes. There is a great difference between holding a little salt in your hand,
…and putting it on a wound. ”
Undeniably, there are different ways in which the passage above can be perceived. The lens through which we analyse, assess, and acknowledge- is often constructed through whims more arbitrary then we care to admit.
Even the likes of Freud, who rejects the idea of free will, and postures that human behaviour is predetermined by unconscious motives that are shaped by biological triggers and early childhood experiences- does not renounce the uniqueness or ideography of human perception.
With that in mind, perhaps it’s the unrelenting romancer in me who understands the passage above as so;
In accomplishing empathy with another’s emotions (which in this scenario seem to be synonymous to a wound), we must not only possess or fall witness to the cut itself, but also comprehend its depth. And how better to test the sting of a wound, then to sprinkle over it some salt? And if you possess not the wound, but only the salt- you’re numb to the thorns of Majnun’s love.
Just as if you’ve lived, but only thus breathed- you’ve not really lived at all. And if you’ve loved, but not suffered the hours of separation- perhaps you’ve not yet loved at all. And if you’ve built sandcastles, but not witnessed the inevitable waves of destruction- perhaps, you’ve not yet acquainted with the sea. In vein similar to the king, if one bares little but the salt, the depth of a wound will land stale on his heart, which is a dogma oft repeated by those carrying wounds of hope, love and divine transcendence to others who stare at us puzzlingly…whilst clutching some salt in their hand.
Or perhaps, as my old (perverted) friend Freud might suggest, it’s simply a genetic and cultural disposition of being South-Asian, where love for sodium-laden food is rife, which makes me fond of all this salt related talk.
Salaam, love, keep safe, and keep smiling.