Is there anything or anyone that may be actually indispensable for any human? Without which or whom he/she cannot survive. Without which or whom, he/she will stop smiling, being happy, and rather be in perpetual saudade. Is there really a feeling as strong as saudade? Is it possible for someone to feel incompleteness forever because something or someone was lost in the rigmaroles of existence? When I look at the past and when I look at the present, I find that the people who came in my sphere, especially those who could touch me and breach my heart’s walls and went past it and made tall claims, big promises, and deep commitments, are all able to live a rather happier and peaceful life without me. I have been forgotten and not remembered anymore. The slight pain of separation, if any, that they might have borne has been soothed by newer people, newer relations and newer claims/promises/commitments. There may be two reason to this – Either I am easily forgettable, or the other people and their tall claims/commitments/promises are all frivolous.

I can recollect a few examples of saudade from my memory and both of them are part of history. One that I recall is that of Radha, beloved or lover of Lord Krishna, a Hindu God. Radha and Krishna could never marry. Krishna had 16000 consorts and 8 queens, but he never married Radha. Radha also got married to a local guy of her village. However, depiction of Radha has always been that of someone in saudade, someone in perpetual state of incompleteness, someone in perpetual state of longingness. She did not feel complete without Krishna. She never could. Her feeling for Krishna remained same as or rather grew stronger than those she had for Krishna before their marriages. Krishna too yearned to meet him. Krishna, at many places, has remarked about his incompleteness without Radha. Krishna had promised Radha that he will not die before meeting her at least once. The other example that I recollect is that of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, who went into a state of mourning for a decade or so upon death of her husband Albert. Even after discarding her seclusion for suppressing the “republican sentiments”, she could never fully ‘recover’, she had saudade for her husband throughout her life until her death.

The above two examples are extraordinary. And they are of extraordinary people, capable of extraordinary feats, had extraordinary achievements to their credit and, perhaps therefore had extraordinary relationships. In my experience, I have felt that saudade is experienced but by only a small minority. No wonder that the word has not been explained ‘rightly’ yet. I have read many people describing it differently. And only those could describe it who are going through it. Let me explain saudade to my readers.

Saudade is a very deep and sincere feeling for something or someone lost in the life’s churns. It makes you want to go back, and relive the past. It makes you want to correct some silly mistakes that led to giant repercussions. It makes you think of such overarching, over-ambitious and perhaps ludicrous inventions such as time machine or time travel. It challenges your current happiness. It challenges your current laughter. It challenges your current “completeness”. It makes them all appear fake, or at best a facade put up to chase away the world. It is a deep feeling of longing. A longing earth might have on the day she doesn’t see the sun. A longing flowers might have for the season of spring. A longing that is probably ineffable, but it can be seen by some acute observants in the eyes of the one in saudade, in his voice or his regular walk towards home, and mostly in his empty laughters and vacants stares. Saudade is not love that remains. Saudade is a part of you, which you were while you were with that thing or the person, that remains. Saudade is your history that you live every day, every moment or perhaps with every breath or thought. Saudade is your living history, living inside you, through you. Saudade is your living past. Saudade doesn’t give birth to suicidal instincts, rather it leads to inspiration to excel and achieve. When new, it may give some withdrawal symptoms, and also the two examples I cited are those of achievers or influencers of world history.

A rare minority goes through this feeling, and this feeling itself is never past. It is perpetual. Most humans barring that rare minority are frivolous and lack perseverance to love and stay around, or to rediscover the thing or someone that they lost. They lack perseverance to stay true to their tall claims, big promises and giant commitments. Saudade is perhaps the proof of perseverance in a particular human. It perhaps reflect on honesty and sincerity of their commitments, promises, attachment and feelings. It is certain that this sincerity of commitment, promises, attachment and feelings is all for to see in other spheres of their life too. Just like the numbers of perseverant people are limited, the numbers of people in saudade are also limited. World is, after all, full of frivolous people making frivolous claims carrying frivolous relationships with frivolous heart with frivolous motives, changing them from one to another, from another to another, while at the same time blaming those who are perseverant and making a victim out of themselves. Well, minority is mostly under threat in modern human society!


About Rahul

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3 Responses to Saudade

  1. Otrazhenie says:

    Very good point regarding frivolous people. So true :-(

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