I just finished performing in the play “Shiva Calling.” It is a piece that merges all the worlds, the galaxies, the star systems.  It merges past lives and folds time into itself. The Universe lives and breathes continuously, destroying itself and reforming in every moment. You believe what you perceive to be real.

Amar is going to be executed tomorrow morning. He sits alone in his prison cell at night. Or is he alone? He faces the task of believing that the path to freedom begins by looking inside. Will he believe? Or will he simply die? You know, they say you die twice. Once when you die and once when the last person that loved you dies. So I’m already dead. 

The show occurred in the backyard of a majestic historical site. The Qutub Minar. As we prepared feverishly, doing warm-ups, breathing through our nervousness, peering into the auditorium to see how many seats were still vacant, bantered backstage, the Minar and its surrounding ruins stood in silence. Witness to a time gone by. A million births and deaths. People must have gathered in the courtyard at night, just like us, to sing to the moon. To celebrate. To rejoice. To prepare for war. Belief clashing against belief, ideology against ideology.


Time and again, they have come to me. Shiva! Shiva! To tell you the truth, I am just a simple ascetic who would like nothing more than to be left alone on his lonely mountain. Losing himself to meditation. 

Nothing is forever. Only impermanence. But we must keep playing the drama. On and on it goes. We have no choice. But, in that trap, we are free.


Qaid-e-hayat-o-band-e-gham asl mein dono ek hain

Maut se pehle aadmi gham se nijaat paaye kyun?

— Mirza Ghalib


The prison of life and the grief of man are the same

Why should man be free of grief before death takes him?


Amar, The Eternal

Is khwaabgaah ke andhere mein main azaad hoon

Gahre neele aasmaan mein abaad hoon

(In the darkness of this dream chamber, I am free

in the deep inky blackness of sky, I thrive)


Tod saka hai kaun mere jism ko zanjeer se

Khoon ka rishta hai rooh ka taqdeer se

(who can break my body with chains,

the spirit is married to destiny through the blood in my veins)


Chala jaaoonga ek din doosre jahaan mein

Ummeed-e-kaamiyaabi rakhta hoon imtihaan mein

(one day, I will be gone to the next world,

I fancy my chances still in the test of life)


Roshni dar-o-deewar se gum hui to kya

Taron bhari raat se aati hai ik sard hawa

(the walls and corridors are blank, so what?

the breeze comes to me from the starlit night)


Sannata bahlaye hai mujhe har raat ko

Parakh chukha hoon beet gayee har baat ko

(the darkness whispers sweet nothings to me all night,

I’ve considered my past many many times)


Kaun kahe ke kyun kya hota hai

Kyun insaan guzre waqt ko rota hai?

(who will say why things happen that do,

why does man cry over things gone by?)