Music is Life

Music is always, will and must be part of everyone’s life. Everyone’s life revolves in those numerous sounds that we come across. Sounds and tone overlay our entire approach, look and feel of everything we see in our life. In short, music is everywhere and in everything. It’s there in every child’s cry to the slightest of sound escaping through your nostrils… Music makes everything. Music underlay the very tone of a person’s identity…

It’s sometimes not easy to express what we want. Not all of us are great poets or writers who could pepper us and our loved ones with the sheer joy of exotic descriptions but the music that we listen takes us to places where we would have never gone. There is too much of hatred in this world for supremacy in race, religion, language and cultures. But in all this nonsense and abhorrence, there is one thing that binds all of us without even a second thought… Love!

But how would you understand the concept of love for people whom you have never met or whom we have met and still unable to express ourselves? That’s where the byproduct of Love takes over… MUSIC

To shows us new doors to excitement and cultures, we don’t need to be a critic or someone who plays every instrument on this planet nor be a jack of all trades. All we need is to open ourselves to those small strings that make us nostalgic and take us down the memorable paths! Love shows us that life is not a monotonous journey but music with overlays and unending strings.

I am a music lover and a great fan of varied genres but you ask me to play an instrument, I just can’t. I don’t know what the keys are… I don’t know which instrument defines melody and which defines pathos but that never stopped me enjoying the nuances and clichés that music brings to me… If I am sad, I listen to The Beatles, Adele, Linkin Park and Eminem… If I am happy, I listen to MJ, Madonna, Rihanna, LMFAO, but then there is something more to the way you look at life…

My western sensibilities can be attributed to the way I was bought up in my youth or for the matter for my entire generation. Life is not about the choices we take; but it’s about how we make those choices work for us after we work for it seamlessly…

I was no different. I was bad in Hindi during my school days, my Telugu was bad during my college days and whenever I visited Chennai, my Tamil was just junk in the eyes of so many I know in Chennai… But did it stop my sensibilities or my love for the music across barriers? It actually never did…

There were great music directors from the North who gave some unforgettable and amazing numbers… Then I started to hear to the maestro – Illayaraaja who made sure that people still love South Indian Music… Music seemed to take a gentle approach and those 80’s and early 90’s were adorned with spells of music that was in general the feel of every Indian. Back then, my country was not open to the world. We were still struck in the socialist ideas of the erstwhile USSR. In general, we were happy with what we had…

Whenever my family, friends or cousins travelled to new worlds and were exposed to some amazing cultures, they would bring back those wonderful collections – songs and music which we hardly knew. We didn’t understand the lyrics, we didn’t know what was being conveyed in those songs, nor did we understand the music… Though the brilliant part was this… We still fell in love with it.

But then there were the traditional narcissists who hated the western flavor. And so began the generation cracks… Within few years, it turned into a generation gap.  In India, the educated rich, upper middle class masses were immersed in music of The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Elton John, Madonna, Queen, Pandit Ravi Shankar and so on… Then there was this middle and lower middle class people of my country who knew just MJ, Boney M and ABBA from the west, RD Burman, SD Burman, Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy, Laxmikanth Pyarelal, Jagjit Singh, Ghantashala, MS Subbalakshmi and many more… (There are many more legends but I just recognize this at the time of writing this article… Hence No Offence Meant (NOM))

India is a huge country with diverse religions, landscapes, numerous languages, cultures, races, festivals, states, districts and many more which are so different from one another that you just can’t connect everyone at one go… I guess the only exceptions were Mahatma Gandhi and Sachin Tendulkar! So when it comes to music, still there was this void in us…

We wanted someone who could appeal across all sections of the society…Someone who could penetrate into our living rooms, leave out our inhibitions, look straight to our friends and cousins settled in the west and around the world that we too have a guy who will not leave you for wanting more but will also make you think that here is a guy who could combine world music and create new genres that appeal not just the people who had tremendous musical sensibilities but also to the masses…The myth was finally shattered by a genius…

I was no more stuck to the usual songs of just Tamil in Tamil Nadu (South Indian state), Hindi (As it’s the national language and most in South India don’t accept it… Politics! You see…) with my friends, Telugu when in Hyderabad (Capital of the state Andhra Pradesh part of South-Central India).

I was listening to new sounds, new acoustics, new variations, theatrical grandeurs, new graphical representations, new horizons, new instruments, new sensibilities… In few years, the landscape of Indian music was changed…From movies that had led actors running around the trees making romance to revolution tones. Music was changing… It was moving in the right direction… We finally had a hero for us to stand up and understand our emotions and our need to be cool but at the same time Desi… We finally had a composer who would give you music that ranges from overlays of sad tones to dramatic emotions… I came to know what music can do to us. He made us cry…He made us dance…He created a veil of satisfaction…He showed us how even unconventional music can be butter to our breads…We finally had our musical storm…We finally had our Mozart of Madras…We had A R Rahman!

Here is what Wikipedia says about him… Some excerpts…

Allahrakka Rahman (born A. S. Dileep Kumar, 6 January 1967) is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician, multi-instrumentalist and philanthropist. Described as the world’s most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, his works are notable for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music sounds, world music genres and traditional orchestral arrangements.

He has won two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe, four National Film Awards, fifteen Filmfare Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards – South in addition to numerous other awards and nominations. His extensive body of work for film and the stage earned him the nickname “the Mozart of Madras” and several Tamil commentators and fans have coined him the nickname Isai Puyal (English: Musical Storm).

In 2009, Time placed Rahman in its list of World’s Most Influential People. The UK-based World Music magazine ‘Song lines’ named him one of ‘Tomorrow’s World Music Icons’ in August 2011.

More on Wikipedia:

So in a way, Music is a journey and it chooses different people to elevate it to the next level which A R Rahman did it with sheer brilliance 🙂


Featured Image – Naresh Ramadurai ( ; Photo Subject: Kishore

Moral Journalism

One of the most common and bizarre issues faced by today’s middle class as well as celebrities in the country has been the moral policing carried out by various organizations and groups inclusive of media… Today’s moral grounds cover from everything and anything that’s been a dogma for the people of India for a very long time. Be it girls going out to pubs during late nights or live in relationships of a couple… Let me iterate a couple of examples where this “cultural, moral brigade” comes suddenly alive when it is dead and battered down in the dungeon within the bedrooms of our Indian households.

Today’s moral brigade has issues with Valentine’s Day celebrations, pub culture, public display of affections, gays and anything that were never a part of India suddenly were inculcated and added to the long list of culturally demoralizing and sensitive issues of this country. Though the country’s media had helped people get closer and get a quick view of any formal or informal situation this country has faced, they have failed at large when it comes to uniting or taking a neutral stand when it comes to politics, sports or Indian cinema and urban culture. The so called moral policing are condemned by the media when some religion motivated crazy fanatic groups trying to target girls who go to pubs and this same media questions a person’s affiliation of whether he is taking a stand on either side of the wall and confuse him with all the unnecessary facts which are actually immaterial (Example: Comments made my Amitabh Bachchan on Narendra Modi).

Today’s journalism fails to give any factual information and stresses more on sensationalism. They have succeeded in things which are unprecedented in nature. One such example is, when a player fails to perform in few innings, they relate his personal and other side of the life for his downfall which is actually unnecessary to discuss when the main issue of form or temperament isn’t discussed. Why this shoddy journalism when they could actually interpret what the exact factual information is?

The other thing that has created quite a phenomenon with the media is the sensationalism of the frontline news… If there is a bomb explosion in a city and when the actual figures are still unavailable, they come out with news headlines of “10 injured and more than 30 killed” and when you turn on the next news channel, you would get another new figure for the number of people killed or injured. And to add to this confusion, the next day’s paper carries a different number altogether which is enough to confuse a common man like me or any one.

Today’s news channels are no more the liberal channels of yesteryears… Today’s news channels are owned, operated or run by media houses which either have a backing of a political party or a religious fanatic group.

Let’s consider two scenarios:

  1. The fact what happened when Rahul Gandhi committed a fatal error in his remarks that it was his family which was capable of creating Bangladesh which was actually condemned by several political parties, bureaucrats and even by Bangladesh.
  2. Similarly Varun Gandhi committed a blunder by mentioning his dim-witted views on Muslims during the Indian general elections in 2009.

Now when it comes to the media, the moment the news of Varun Gandhi spreads, they only remember about his remarks than what exactly he is contemplating or why he is currently in the news where as when Rahul comes in the media limelight, he is speculated and he is celebrated. Accusing Varun was never a mistake or hailing Rahul was never precise but the fact that comes to our notice is the pathetic moral policing and the cheap journalism ethics of the media where they share the piece of information which is actually necessary for their TRP ratings and could create communal tensions.

And then comes some of the most pathetic news channels who fail to give credible information for most part of the year but end up boosting or raising their shirt collars for things which never require such hype and hoopla… They just don’t understand the simple point. They are here to spread the news with their dedicated and truthful journalism and not to fall short of their ethics. Some news channels consider themselves so high in esteem that they slap court notices on bloggers who try to share their awful worry about the journalism and the pathetic state of the news media in public.

More than 30 news channels (still counting on an average of 10 added every year) are telecasted and run in India 24*7. What they fail to realize is that they just don’t have it in them to share what is necessary and what is not. Why is a news channel interested in where Rakhi Sawant goes and sweeps the roads or why moral policing of the journalists stops this country and its people to have access to adult content through secured networks? Why are few channels banned for their content and what is the exact definition of the government when it says no obscenity?

Last week a news channel was packaging news, “Who Ranbir Kapoor is kissing on the sets… Stay tuned for more?” And this is on primetime news. If Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan are seen kissing in a movie they are slapped with court notices and what do you call this news content of this news channel?

I absolutely feel weird when it comes to Indian journalism or Indian press and its news contents. The media assumes roles that are actually never part of their resume and end up heightening into new avenues where they are never supposed or even thought to be. To some this might come as a new success to increase their TRPs but for others like me, they are no more than a group of clowns who are entertaining us even when Sachin hits 200 or sensationalizing the news with new mark of pity when there is a bomb blast…

There is no surprise, if this article ends up conveying a wrong message to what Moral Journalism is all about…