There are countless female icons that have coloured our history and left a lasting impression on us with their talent, charisma and presence. Every week, Ammaar – known on Instagram as ammaavocado – will be sharing his letter of love and admiration to some of these inspiring women. This week it’s to the unparalleled folk singer of our nation, a woman who won a Sitara-e-Imtiaz for her remarkable singing voice – Reshma:
There’s always a calm in finding familiar pain within someone’s art. You feel heard even when you haven’t said or screamed anything to the sky. And no star has bled into its falling wishing you a love you have been yearning for.
That’s all we need sometimes, Reshma. To be heard. To be found lonely and broken, and be accepted. I feel that we are always our true selves when we are vulnerable. When we stretch our galloping mouths for God to spill whatever love would calm our hearts for this night.
And on most nights like these, God spills your music into the aching jaws of lovers sitting up in their beds waiting for an answer from someone who hasn’t heard the question yet.
Reshma, you were discovered from Baba Shahbaz Qalandar’s Mazaar (shrine) when you were singing punjabi folk at the top of your lungs. Spiritually connecting the people to whatever part of God they can afford. TV and Radio producer, Saleem Gillani recorded you singing ‘Laal Meri’ which then made the entire country sway in the syrupy leaks of your voice and faith.
Till today, there is not a day when this is not sung at the shrine, not a day when people are fully swallowed by their faith and love for God, and sink into gratitude and seek forgiveness in return.
It’s an interesting correlation. Seeking forgiveness in gratitude. But that’s what sufism teaches me, to find closure in what you have and not seek what you may want. It teaches me to keep calm, and let my desire speak in front of God.
Reshma, a couple of weeks back, I was in this dilemma, not engaged with God, but engaged with a girl who I truly admired. And she told me that she could be with me because I wasn’t brave enough to predict our future. And in our parting, Reshma, we were like this. Seeking forgiveness and mercy in the same night. Neither of us begged the other to stay. We begged each other to find a better love than we had to offer. A better life than we could afford for ourselves. We sought forgiveness for the ways we fell short and were grateful that we both stayed for as long as our hearts were done with they’re desires.
In this way, Reshma. I want to thank you. Thank you for giving me the closure in sin, thank you for reminding me that love exists even beyond this lifetime. Thank you for reminding me that God is best known for his mercy and least known for his anger.
I am sorry that I still question the love of God in times when I am left loveless and aching. I am sorry that I fall short in every way when it is about faith. I am sorry that love is still something I am frightened of and that which I yearn for as well. I am sorry that we couldn’t take what you wanted to give. I’m sorry we couldn’t take your love.