Music would be one of the best things to happen in 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, it 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 Fridays 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. The little radio my Baba had, and how the little magic box would be mine in his absence and my first lessons on 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 . I began to love the classical song programme which used to come on Mondays...My days activities were scheduled by programmes on radio,doing Math assignment or any sort of writing work listening to radio in the tiny room i had .. Chhaya Geet , Aap ki Farmayish at night, Phone-in Kalpataru.. mix of Assamese and Hindi songs from Guwahati radio station weekly. 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 soul 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 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' and online 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 have 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 so short.. i would like to hear more of Rabindra Sangeet, Shyamal Mitra, Hemanta Mukherjee, ghazals of Ghulam Ali , Hindustani Classical, Bhupen Hazarika ....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... Music the food for soul... though at times i do feel and as my brother ridicules me i could not move on, my taste almost same it was years ago, i am caught in that era of old mellifluous music and somehow the new era of music could not captivate me rather not able to pull me out of the old world where i am stuck with the songs i have listened for the umpteenth time.
Time to move on... really!!!