I read a quote seven- eight years ago.

By association, I remember when I read it. I used it at one of my most intense training sessions held- in the peak of summer- at a summer camp organized by a school. The five hour session was held in a room which had no fans. They handsomely gave us (Johnny and I) a beautiful plaque each in appreciation of our fortitude that revoltingly hot summer day. However, I have no idea where I read it. Nor did I know then, who wrote it. But I remember being absolutely arrested by it.

You think because you understand ‘one’ you must also understand ‘two’, because one and one make two. But you must also understand ‘and’.


I read it many times. The more I dwelt upon it, the more meanings and interpretations it seemed to have- each more intriguing, deeper, than the other. I remember having interpreted this quote in three different ways. The interpretations have remained stuck in my mind, like the quote.

One and one don’t necessarily make two. The and could be a secret magic ingredient. It could be the thing that brings synergy into the mix. Synergy, which makes the sum greater than the parts. Synergy, that triggers the exponent and makes things unstoppable- and limitless. Not literally limitless though. But limitless in the sense of it always being many steps ahead of your imagination. So that you never feel as if you can every grasp it all, know it all, possess it all. Like mad, crazy love. As life giving, as limitless as the range of your beloved’s vision. Perhaps, that’s what Rumi meant.

Or maybe he meant that the addition of and starts a chain reaction. For once you’ve tasted the potential of it; once you have experienced the power of that simple word, there is no stopping you. You may use it once… or a hundred… or a million times. And the more you use it, the wider, deeper and higher you could go. Gravity defying is child’s play once the and is understood… and surrendered to.

Or perhaps he meant it in the sense of a child of a man and a woman. Just because you understand one (the man) and the second one (the woman), doesn’t mean you can understand (or predict, or define) the fruit of their union (the and). The child may have the characteristics of the man and woman. But he is also himself… beyond the definitions- or limits- of his parents. He is is independent of them both in his inner structure, his proclivities and his potential. What makes you think you know the result of this one and one?

Or any other, for that matter?



32 thoughts on “And”

    1. Thank God of masters like him Kalpana! How ordinary our lives would’ve been but for them… who take us out of ourselves.

      So good to see you here!

  1. I am loving the interpretation you have placed on that quote. Who doesn’t love Rumi? My eight-year-old has a Sufi storybook, based on Rumi’s words and each time she sits down with it, she comes up with a different dimension to the stories. That is the power of a great thinker- when he can make YOU think. Such a lovely post, Dagny <3

    1. Thank you very much Shailaja. You are so right when you say that the greatest masters make us think. They make us look at same things in a new way. That is their mastery!

      Sufi story book for your daughter seems a wonderful idea! I wish I’d thought of that when my kids were little. Still, there’s the grandkids someday. πŸ˜€

      Thank you for coming by! <3

  2. For some reason I find myself starting many sentences with ‘and’. I know it is not proper English and all that but there is something about the way this word ‘and’ seems to carry on a particular thought or feeling that it just feels cruel to remove that sense of continuity and deepening and widening. Your post makes me see this about my writing. And hence about me too. So thank you for this very thoughtful post. And for making me see the power of ‘and’ , the power of uniting (which is not same as the power of unity).

    1. I’ve noticed that about your writing. The thing is, your perception is so wide and flowing that things naturally seem boundaryless. I get that feeling when I am reading you. You start somewhere and gently take the reader seamlessly to where you wanted. One looks back and one is amazed.

      The power of uniting, of synergistic coming together… what a force!

  3. There is no age to start learning or keep learning, which is what I am trying to do now before it is too late! This is one blog that offers the chance to do just that.Let me tell you what this post reminded me of. Long ago, when I had first gone to live in Delhi, I used to find it highly irritating when people began their greeting with, ‘Aur?’ I used to feel that they are trying to end a conversation even before beginning it, because we normally talk about everything before coming to the vital ‘aur’, right? It took me several years before comprehension dawned on me that when they say that word, they are rapidly recollecting our last meeting and the conversation we had then and they want to continue from that point! I guess it took some years to my life and some experiences to teach me that important lesson. They were actually being more interested in me than I thought, not in an intrusive way but in an inclusive way. To me this is what ‘and’ signifies. It gives one the freedom to add to what one already knows and wants to expand on it or branch off from it. Do I make sense?

    When I had originally subscribed to your blog, I had merely followed the blog. This meant that I had to open the WP reader, which I rarely did. So when the last time I came here from Beloo’s post, and found the option, I clicked it and now the posts land up in my inbox, which is what I access the most πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    1. I wish you could see my grin right now.

      Make sense? You not only made sense but you’ve taught me something which (until a few moments ago) annoyed me about people too. As of this moment on, I will remember your words when someone says ‘aur’ and thank you- and them- for enriching my life.

      I am thrilled you are able to access my blog from your inbox. Personally, I find that very convenient too. I also want to enable commenting right from the mail so that my subscribers don’t need to login to share their thoughts with me. Let me see if I can do it right now!

      You visit and comment have thrilled me. And I mean it!

      Hugs <3


      1. Thank you so much for appreciating my comment, Dagny πŸ™‚ It feels good when we can learn from our friends, doesn’t it? Sometimes I feel that time is running out and there is so much more left to learn in this world.

        1. But Zephyr what you learn in this life is perhaps all you were meant to learn. The rest must be tackled in the next life… no? πŸ™‚

          1. That makes sense. A lot of sense πŸ™‚ Maybe I will now stop working myself into knots worrying about the sands of time running out!

  4. Ah, not only did I love the post but the comments too. Just like Beloo, I begin so many of my sentences with and. Just like Zephyr said, I also have the habit of saying, “Aur?” What a beautiful dimension you showed us of the quote, Dags. The power of writing is in the conversations it generates. I believe that. One of the best attributes of blogging for me.

    1. Truly Rachna, for me too the best best part of blogging is the conversation it generates… and the people one meets as a result. People who multiply us many-fold. My day has been rich today because of the thoughts readers like you, Beloo and Zephyr share! <3

  5. We all understand ‘one’ from our own perspective. Given that our perspectives are an outcome of our upbringing, circumstances, experiences……Profound thoughts about interpreting a simple quote. As Rachna says, loved going though the comments too.

    1. True Alka. We understand ‘one’ from our own perspective… or as I like to say… we see one through our own spectacles which has been colored uniquely by our circumstances, upbringing acting upon our inherent inner structure.

      Thank you!

  6. Wow post! And agree with all the comments. Your 3rd interpretation is what I interpreted too. It is only when you scratch the surface will you find what is hidden underneath and it can just blow your mind. Keep digging because I love what you find and share it with us. πŸ™‚

  7. First of all have I told you I changed my blog design to resemble yours and like it so much that way? Now about this post.

    I have seen so many “Quotes” by Rumi go viral on net that now I’m not even sure if Rumi indeed did say something like that. But what I loved is how well you have interpreted this quote, delved deep into its depths and come up with your simple, startling yet powerful interpretations. What a start to the day. Love you woman <3

    And holds "Infinite" possibilities. Isn't it?

    "And" I really loved the comments too. They really added a new dimension to my thinking.

    1. I noticed your blog layout Sri! I follow your blog assiduously, didn’t you know that? <3

      'And' does hold immense possibilities! Once you've experienced the power of its use, there is no limit!

      The comments add value to a post. And when you have wise people like Zephyr, Beloo, Rachna Alka and you- each a(n)d-ding their own perspectives, is it any wonder that the post multiplies many-fold? Here's the power of 'and' in action!

      Isn't this thrilling? <3

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