Friday, February 22, 2008

Mahabbatin ke naam

A few months ago, I'd come across a piece of writing that was not just well put together, but also encompassed a very interesting thought: the concept of love, eternity and grammar in Arabic.

"At the heart of all things is the germ of their overthrow", it says, quoting from Adhaf Soueif's The Map of Love. But the author was, at the same time, talking about language. About the word 'enquilab' which means 'overthrow' (or revolution, as we interpret it) which is derived from the word 'qalb', which means 'heart' or the core.

Isn't that fascinating? That, buried within a revolution is a heart, and that the heart of anything contains the seed for the overthrow of that thing. Or all things.

The essay goes on to talk about words of love, what they really means, the fine shades of difference between them, and what god might have enjoined upon those who believe in god.

Do read.


readerswords said...

Thanks for the link, I found the range of words and the nuances between them fascinating. English seems to be so woefully limited in its vocabulary here.

That at the heart of anything lies its opposite is long recognized in dialectical philosophy, above all in the most well formulated of them all- Hegelian dialectics. Still, the co- relation between qalb and inqilab is interesting, though I wonder if it is incidental. Of course I do not know anything about Arabic, but this leads me to believe that enqilab is derived from the verb form of qalb (qalaba), which means 'to turn' or 'to change' and this leads to enquilab or inqilab in Urdu.

Even if the correlation between qalb and inquilab is incidental, it is all the more poetic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Annie. It's beautiful.

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