Dilbar dil se pyaare
"Dilbar haan dilbar," I murmured.
"Not that song again," you groaned. "Yes, that song again," I teased, breathing the words against the column of your neck. I know that behind the mock exasperation there is a fondness. You like me singing that to you. It is our song. It's an unabashed declaration of being totally smitten. I am.
"Saari duniya haari hum se hum tujh pe dil haare," I sing at you. It is true too. I lost my heart to you strangely, all at once and nothing first. You said something and I was instantly in love. In all the time I have known you I never had cause to regret losing my heart to you.
"Gehri nainon waale," I sing at you. I could lose myself gazing into your eyes. Your glance scalds me, burns me and brands me sometimes and I blush. My own glances must mean something, since you flush too. Then you look at me so tenderly that my eyes brim with tears, I feel exultant and humble at the same time.
Like Aruna Irani in the film, I call you 'mere garam masale' once in a while. You laugh. "Which one," you asked once. I considered that. Spices are flavouring. They add additional notes to the song of a dish. What spice are you?
Not ginger or garlic, though you do bring pungency of desire. Not cardamom or cloves, though you add fragrance and fire. Not cinnamon though there is fragrance fire and pungency all there. Not cumin and coriander either, flavourful but too common.
Your smile brightens my days. Your voice gladdens me. Your presence is haven. Beside me or away from me, the idea of you brings joy. What spice are you? Spices enhance the flavour of food without masking the natural taste, but they aren't essential. Are you melange?
Then I thought that all these spices are seeds, pods, fruit, bark or resins, they grow out of earth. They enhance, yes, but they are not necessary, or vital. There is something else that is absolutely vital- of the earth, no the earth itself- salt.
Did you know that people die if deprived of salt? It is essential for life. Salt preserves food. It kick-started civilisation. It is vital for lives. It is not a spice, it maybe called a seasoning, or an additive, but it is a necessity.
You don't just enhance my life. You give it meaning. You are not a spice. You are a necessity. You rejuvenate me, you imbue joy into each minute of life. You are salt.
"Dilbar dil se pyaare," I murmured. Your mouth curved in a smile against my neck in silent acknowledgement.