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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_R_Rahman

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 🙂

Credits:

Featured Image – Naresh Ramadurai (http://dreamlenz.com/) ; Photo Subject: Kishore

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Unforgettable Tour – Simla: The Queen of hills


Simla: The Queen of hills

Simla, the city of hills and the Capital city of Himachal Pradesh always has a special mention in the Indian History of tourism. The splendid hills, the chilling weather, the scenic variety… One can’t describe the beauty of it.

The Great Simla welcomed us with a cold breeze even in the mid summer. I woke up lazily. The bus is moving slowly and it is now reaching the hotel. I could see the deep valley and the floating clouds which are very much parallel to us now through the window. I wondered how high above the sea level we are. I could see small houses deep in the valley. There are boards here and there indicating the danger points. It’s now 8’O clock in the morning. I felt a little bit shivering inside me.

‘Its a bit cold here’ I thought. Some people forget themselves while they were sleeping. Kavya comes under the same category. She was sleeping happily occupying half of my seat and leaning over my arm. I thought of waking her up. But the guide in our bus took that duty. He started announcing that we have reached Simla and will be reaching the hotel very shortly.

She got up and saw herself leaning on my arm. She immediately took her head off.

“I am sorry” She said. “I was in a deep sleep and did not notice it…”
“Its OK” I said without looking at her. I was enjoying the scenic beauty of Simla. It’s really very beautiful out there. The valleys covered with greenery are making a feast to my eyes.

The bus reached the hotel. The guide gave us three hours time to get ready ourselves. The ‘Southern Travels’ – It is the one which has arranged the tourist package. They have a procedure. They gave a single room with a double bed for every two persons in the family. And if a family has odd number of people, the room would be shared with another person from another family with odd number of people. As we are three of us in the family my parents got a separate room. Now I need to share the room with someone. Fortunately the total number of people on the tour was odd. I am the last person to get allotted to a room and I got a room all for myself as there was no one left to share the room with me. I went into the room. I have got three hours time. I thought of sleeping for a while.

I don’t know how long I slept. Someone was knocking my door. I opened the door. Mom was standing there. She told me to get ready soon as they were going for breakfast and were waiting for me. I asked them to carry on and told them that I will meet them at the bus. I tried to sleep again but again there was someone knocking the door. I got up and opened the door. It was Kavya. I don’t know how she managed to find my room.

“Hi… Are you sleeping???”
“Yup…”
“Oh! Sorry… I’ll come later” She said.
“It’s OK” I said.
She has already disturbed my sleep. There is no point in coming back and disturbing once again.
“Just come in” I said “By the way what are you doing here?”
“Just feeling bored…”
“What about your classical novel” I said winking at her.
“No… It’s getting bored. The beginning was interesting but eventually it’s getting bored”
“I know… I know… All these classical novels are of the same type” I said. My observation has been always correct in this regard.
“Shut up…’ she said.
“Go… Get ready… I am feeling hungry. Let’s go for a breakfast” She ordered.

It took half an hour for me to get ready. Later we came out of the hotel. The great view of Simla took off my early laziness. From the point where the hotel is situated the scenic view of Simla city is fabulous. There are hills covered with greenery all over.

We have still some time to get into the bus. So we thought of seeing the nearby areas around our hotel. Its 10:30 but still it looks like early morning.

We talked about lot of things from movies to music, Cricket to Caroms all along the way enjoying the beautiful and marvelous nature around us. We reached just in time before the bus started.

It’s an hour ride from Simla to the place where we were going. The place was so beautiful that I could not wait any longer to take as many pictures as I can with my camera. The beautiful valleys, the long trees that covered the valleys, the rope way, the special chat that I ate at the shop nearby, everything is so great that even now I can remember each moment I had spent there.

It was 7:00 in the evening by the time we returned back to Simla. I was too tired to go for dinner. I went to the room and took rest for the rest of the day.