Have you ever met someone who has a special aura? Its something instantly upon their face. I call this nur (light). As though a light is twinkling from their eyes giving you a glimpse into their soul. It’s more than being a good person. It’s more than being kind. Its deeper, it’s stronger. It’s hard to put it into words. Kamal the owner of our favorite Turkish establishment who smiles telling the most absurd stories, yet you can see the nur dancing in his eyes. Lucia from college who could make me forget my worries or at least see them in a different light. They make you feel comfortable as though you’ve known them all your life though they perhaps only entered your life just a moment earlier. I’ve never asked, but I wonder, do they know?
This week it was a full house. With exams around the corner, papers creeping up to say “boo!” and the normal apprehension that comes from being a host for almost a week to a houseful, I felt stressed. As I stood in the kitchen heating haleem, simmering chicken korma and checking on the naan, feeling absolutely overwhelmed, Kashif’s mamu arrived, and I saw it again. He had only just walked in the kitchen, smiled and shook his head saying the obligatory “you shouldn’t have” and then I saw it: The sincere smile, the way he made everyone laugh despite themselves, the twinkle in the eye. The infectious way it spread to everyone. Nur.
I’ve always tried to quantify the qualities that bring about Nur. Is it the manner in which they interact? The way they talk? The things they say? I want to know so I can emulate it. I want the Nur. I want it to shine from my soul through my eyes touching those I encounter just as those with Nur do mine. But perhaps Nur cannot be acquired. Perhaps it is only bestowed. If you’re fortunate enough to meet someone like that you should be thankful, and savor the joy they leave behind lingering like fragrant jasmine.