Ten Short Stories. Ten Lives. All bound by the fluttering of the human heart. Across lives, cities, and continents, melancholy and its tentacles inhabit spaces that are often left uncharted. Through ten stories and ten main protagonists, this literary work paints a portrait of the universal emotion that strikes the deepest and lingers the longest—sorrow.
A nuanced narrative of the eternal human existence, this collection further embraces light, laughter, hope, and that silently pulsating craving called love, delivering a communal meditation on mortal failings and human persistence.
The stories traverse the length and breadth of the world, picking up a train of melody from the forgotten streets of Isfahan, to a crowded urban riddle in Tokyo; from two lovers grappling with desire in Bombay, to one man’s spiritual awakening in a small Lebanese village; from the sonorous sound of the Bosphorus, to the resounding refrain of the Qawwali.
These aren’t particularly sad stories. At least, they weren’t meant to be. It’s just that sadness, the perpetual show-off, marks itself out, like a pure flush of red in an otherwise clear liquid. You could have happiness, you you could have silence, you could have ecstasy, but somehow it’s the sadness that lingers the longest.
Each story, flailing for breath in the madness of the soul, mired by the undercurrent of simple occurrences and profound epiphanies, hopelessly lost in the wilderness of the heart, also forms an unwitting part of a Sufi’s journey as he navigates the world in his mystic inquiry of sorrow and its inherent sacredness.