I first met Hanna & Saif on a dive boat in Muscat, Oman, when their love was just blooming and they looked so happy I couldn’t stop smiling at them. Just as our journey started over water, I looked at them and said “You both make a very beautiful couple. I am a wedding videographer and if you ever decide to get married, please find me.” And they did! 4 years later, they hunted me down and dropped into my studio in Mumbai and poured their hearts out to me and explained why they are getting married to each other.
Unlike most love stories we hear, Hanna & Saif didn’t have it easy from the start. Cultural differences and adversities were constantly put in their way, only to see if what they wanted was worth fighting for. She said to me, “Obstacles do not block our paths Vishal. They are the path. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful!” And just like the river they got married in front of, their love went on and on to reach this day.
River, by Leon Bridges is an unconventional song to use in a documentary about two people and their love. It talks about rebirth and regret but like everything in life, it’s what you take from what is given to you. It’s about which angle you see it from, and which part of your soul you allow the lyrics to touch. Shift your perspective and you will see that even the ugliest lie can hide a beautiful truth. Perhaps we could all try and find beauty and love even through sadness and pain to make the life we live easier.
We have all done things in life we aren’t proud of, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get a chance to be happy or make the people we love joyful again. In Christianity, baptism is about cleansing your soul and the act of dipping into a river that flows represents your rebirth (not that I am religious), but flowing water, or still, has the power to cleanse. Me being a water baby would know. That they had their Nikaah in Saif’s seafront home and said their vows in front of The Mapsa River only helped my cause.
It wasn’t a big budget wedding, but I knew it had soul. In the world we live in now, there is so much intolerance but a love like this can inspire us to know there is acceptance in different beliefs. I am currently reading 40 Rules of Love, a gift from another bride who means the world to me. I quickly learnt that there are many depths to the Quran & Bible. The outer level that most scholars and religious readers are content with knowing, and the Inner circle of meaning which Sufis and Light workers understand. And then there is the innermost depth which is so beautiful it is indescribable to those who aren’t in love.
Don’t judge the way other people connect to God. To each his own way and his own prayer. God does not take us at our word but looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.
One more similarity I can see between where I am in life, the book I am reading and Hanna & Saif is how we separate intellect from love.
“Intellect and love are made of two different materials. Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, “Beware! Too much ecstasy,” whereas Love says, “Oh never mind. Take the plunge!” Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden amongst ruins.
Like my friend said to me recently… “It’s funny how books find you at a time when you need them most.”
Watch the video on YouTube