Taan - the pull

Taan - the pull. The word is simple, "taan," a Bangla word that describes an attraction that holds relationships together. Where attraction must not be understood only in its sexualized terms only. This is a relational magnet that draws entities together. Sometimes one of the entities could be inanimate. Where a strange attraction takes someone back to a place because one cannot overcome the desire to return there. Or the unspoken connection between two people that draws them together so tight and close that separation is unthinkable. Where the taan is so strong that one loses the ability to let go, even temporarily. It is the glue of life. The taan that tells a child that a parent is not well. The often-unexplainable irrational moments when one feels like picking up the phone urgently because something bothers us, and we must talk immediately - lest we never talk again - taan. It is what is impossible to break and even if forced to break circumstantially - through relational changes or things such as migration and movement - the taan brings us back. Re-centers us on the map of life and reminds us that there is a pull that overpowers all other circumstances, and we must connect. You feel it in the moment a bondhu leaves and you know you will not see the person for a while. At that moment the anguish of taan reminds us that there is indeed a connection that has made life worthwhile. When the taan disappears - a piece of life is taken away and memories fade and the old albums only collect dust. Never to be opened again. And taan develops over time, and with new people. People you would never imagine would become central in your life. But somewhere, somehow, you suddenly realize how much the taan is. How the silence on WhatsApp becomes excruciatingly painful, because of the strange attraction that draws you in and you want to stay connected. It is this attraction that brings us back to people and places, and when there is a mismatch in the mutual intensity of the attraction then pain sets in. And this is not about the traditional notion of love as glorified in our lives, but something much more deep-seated and wider in scope. When a parent sits on the front porch waiting haplessly for the child to return, someday perhaps, and the child feels no compulsion to return we see the mismatch. And at that moment, the parent knows it is over, the taan is no more. Between partners, no matter how distant in time and space, it is knowing that the taan exists, even when there is no communication, the very knowledge that the other is there, because of the attraction, that there is joy. To be told to be silent could be disturbing. Will message if something is important. That statement reassures that there is a taan. Because taan is trust. It is the attractant that not only promises pleasures unbound, but also promises that there is trust. There will not be any hurt when two people truly feel the taan. To know that everything is stable - that is the true outcome of this pull between people. And even entities and people. The taan that takes me back home is founded on the fact that as I turn the key and open the door I trust everything is the same. Taan transcends time and space. It is one true phenomenon that ensures stability and continuity. Once you lose the taan for people and places, you have lost a bit of yourself. And it will eventually hurt. And when you see the taan in those around you, and you choose to reject it, you will hurt those around you. You make the choices. In an indirect way, the Beatles got it in the song, "In My Life"


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