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Friday, 19 April 2013

Musical Musings

If  someone asks me to blog about music...well nobody would ask me to in the first place.. anyway music would be one of the best things to happen in my life. Though i know my knowledge of music is limited and in one of my sulking days would feel had my knowledge of classical music been sound...perhaps i,m missing out  on another world, world of raagas, thumris and tappas.. but so much to my lack of knowledge of sur and taal  couldn,t deter me from loving wholeheartedly the world of Hindi film music.

It began with Ma taking me to theatres to watch the latest Amitabh Bacchan or Rajesh Khanna flick in the small town of Assam we lived then, unable to make out anything then some bleak pictures of the songs reinforced sometimes by broadcasts in radio! And then the God of all Hindi songs programme ' Chitrahaar' on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 8 pm. I never knew love for Chitrahaar and so called contemporary hindi songs to keep up with peers would some day result in a genuine love for music. I remember the little radio my Baba had, and how the little magic box would be mine in his absence and my A, B, C, D of loving music.  Though my love for radio was to keep up with peers, the world of Kishore ,Lata, R.D was mesmerizing...and i remember Ma raising her head from her chores... ' This song .. i really love.. watched the movie' and we would listen to the song together... ' Actually we bunked college and went for this movie..' She would smile.... I would wonder how ' daring' she had been..

From all the Anand Milind, Nadeem Shravan songs i forayed into Kishore Lata duet.. and then with a little sense the poetry of Gulzar, dash of Urdu..then semi classical songs with Manna Dey , began to love the classical song programme which used to come on Mondays...My days were designed by programmes on radio,doing Math assignment or any sort of writing work.. Chhaya Geet , Aap ki Farmayish at night, Phone-in Kalpataru.. mix of Assamese and Hindi songs from Guwahati radio station. Though my mother would take part actively in rebuking in my mad obsession with the ' magic box' along with everyone else but that would not stop her from humming and remarking offhandedly ' I have heard that song "live" from Bhupen Hazarika'..

Somehow i got my first tape recorder in my class twelve..it was left over by aunt as she got a CD player...my happiness simply knew no bounds to be able to listen to the song i wished and not wait for the radio to play.. the first cassette i bought , ' Nikaah and Umrao Jaan' from HMV...the poetry was a discovery for me.. faza bhi hain  jawan jawan, beetein huye lamho, zindagi jab bhi teri bazm mein lati hain hume.. my entry into the word of poetry and ghazals. My next one was ' Khamoshi and Safar'..
Wo shyam, Humne dekhi hain un aankho ki.... i used to listen again and again...for the first time songs transcended into something more than film adaptations but something with a life of their own. My neighbour in my home town thought himself to be a bit of ' Bappi Lahiri' and as i felt later all Bengalis with a love of music have this urge to be a Kishore Kumar clone.. implicit explicit!! Nevertheless he loved music all the same and had a huge collection..i remember listening to Bhupender, Suresh Wadekar.. also from my aunt some Rabindra Sangeet.. i liked that genre too but somehow since exposure was less...my love for this genre did not bloom really as it should have and i have a feeling i missed out on it...

Anyway with time in this day of net and ' downloaded' music.. my first love still remains radio..guess i love the surprise element..FM Gold, Big FM... FM gold still has ghazal based show ( Andaze Bayan) , raag based show and Big 92.7 has this ' Yaadon ka idiot box' i hav begun to like recently.. songs are ordinary though but narrative captivating. In college days i had some short affair with MTV and some western music but short lived since Indian MTv soon moved to Hindi contemporary film music and i had to move on

So many genres unexplored...life  is too short.. i would like to hear more of Rabindra Sangeet, Shyamal Mitra, Hemanta Mukherjee, ghazals of Ghulam Ali , Hindustani Classica, Bhupen ....but am happy with Gulzar and his poetry..Kaifi Azmi.. and the timeless songs together they have woven with the music makers..the ' Bhatiali' ( music of the boatmen) genre of S. D. Burmaan, the timeless creations of Bhupen Hazarika the songs of my land..creators create and mundanes like me rejoice inthese ethereal creations..
Travelling and music i can widely connect.. roads and music...throws life into another realm, another reality, another heaven...

Written for the Musical experience with HP Connected Music India

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The 'New's in our life....

Dear Ninni

I don,t know if you are going to understand what i mean or may be if you ever do  you are going to like it.. Just like that some time will be in life where you will be absolutely clueless as to where life is heading.. and if you are really liking wherever it is heading to..

I attended your school orientation programme and was pleased to see the children performing , almost liked your principal,s speech.. and kept wondering would you grow up to be a ' confident' human being from the school as they promised..since i went after my night duty and was a bit drowsy and also my inherent absent mindedness..my thoughts drifted.. This world is very tough Ninni.. no one lets you an inch of space until you fight and get a centimeter of your own. Starting from the road where i am almost an eight month old driver now..where vehicles overtake me from left and right, fellow colleagues term me a ' slow driver' and what i realise no one's going to let you an inch.. on the road, at work and so true of life. Recently we have shifted to Gurgaon from the office quarters we had in Delhi and while i cross the toll gates to Delhi.. you know if one of the toll gates was dysfunctional and by luck  i would get stuck in the wrong queue.. nobody would let you a bit of space knowing very well without them giving way there is absolutely no place to go..So you look at the drivers in the right queue with a pleading helpless look and crawl inch by inch...

Talking of drivers...big car owners or rightly called SUV owners have arrogance recklessness embedded in their veins, similarly cab drivers show same mentality.. and i can classify bus and truck drivers in another head and yes the omnipresent auto drivers always appearing out of nowhere and taking a turn right in front of you.. But you know the ' road' ..the fun part of road is there is space just enough for everyone.. from the dead slow tempos, to the devilish giant buses, from the sleek SUV,s to bicycles and autos..all have their place in the road.. and as i watch the suave cars driving desperately behind bike in one side and auto in the other, honking impatiently breathing down their spine..making their way ahead.. and the funny part auto,bike even bicycle no one,s willing to give up!! Everyone,s in a dead hurry, honking, overtaking, driving zig zag ..and of course there are the ones like me confused , fumbling few but they do exist!!

Well i didn,t intend to write about ' road' and my new explorations..just that i have discovered this part of road a bit late in my life since i started driving only since last year. Coming back to what i intended to tell you, as i was watching your school orientation programme and switched off to a bit ' philosophical' mode .. despite all the promises and good words you all would grow up to be tough human beings tougher than the ones today and you would learn to hold on to your space all right and at the same time know not to give in.. not to give anybody a bit of space... Professionally also when i switch to my 'philosophical' mode i simply wonder about the fierce selfishness clouding the workplace, we work together but stay almost friendless, willing to go any length to get the best deal and all these in a public sector environment!! Personally i find myself  having you and your father as family, parents back there in home town and yet i wonder how come i have become so friendless in life.. where have all the friends vanished to.. The hosts of ' friends' from schools and colleges and sometimes friends at work place.. once the time is over.. you are left with memories.. and then the curtain falls gradually and memories fade..
You know my junior colleague with whom i used to spend hours in Barapani last year..i do remember the times with her often and i believe she does to , but the phone calls become shorter with one year coming to close..and memories get far away. The present i guess is all powerful and soaks in past bit by bit...Now we are here in a new locality ( Gurgaon) and you beginning a proper school and soon your father would be away for weeks. I do recall my evenings in Barapani  from my twelfth floor apartment...

After a long wait, we shifted to what we can call our ' own' house, with a bit of ' space' inside unlike the house you spent your beginning years in Delhi. The society has a ' children park' along with lots of urbane suave moms i hesitate to strike up conversations with, a basement parking where i struggled the first month to park my car delicately between the pillars leaving just the right amount of space for the next door car. The twelfth floor balcony gives you insight to many of the apartments, sometimes a close view of sky..But guess can do nothing about the friendless thing...Anyway we are happy your new school has taken off and i see a new you emerging slowly.. new friends, new dreams and may be a dream we would live again  through you..our school and college days.

Just scribbled some lines trying to assemble my thoughts...

Lots of love
Yours Ma