Saturday, 15 June 2013

When Music and Lyrics Found me Once More

In the house of lovers, the music never stops, the walls are made of songs and the floor dances.
~ Rumi

If music be the food of love, play on;

Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!
~ Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

All the poets, mystics and bards cannot be wrong. Music relaxes, soothes and rejuvenates. Right? Yesssss... but only if it is healing and not hurting you. I have been now trying for months to write this piece but, did not know what to say. I know now that I was staring at it from the wrong end. So, I'll write here about not only how I was lost to music and lyrics for years together but also the joy and gratitude when I was found.

There were these close to ten years of my life when I hated music - something I had loved from the time I was a kid - but it did happen - all because it seemed to be a thing my tormentor (seemed to) love and enjoy. It was a reflex that I failed to either understand or acknowledge. I acted delusional, thinking I had outgrown music and poetry. I know. Foolish woman! Right? I agree. But, you have to understand that I was trying too hard.

And then, freedom happened. It took them (music and lyrics) no time at all to return to their rightful places - in my ears, heart and mind.

Those few years when music of any kind gave me headaches and made me want to shout out aloud were strange. I label them weird because it was not music's fault but mine for trying too hard to fit like a square peg in a round hole. It was also the fault of other people in my life for mocking and laughing at my sensibilities and shocking me with their attitude not to mention their 'affected and bad taste' in music or let me be sweet and say 'different,' that was thrust on my face day in and day out. Hammering at my senses, eroding my taste till I thought  all music was noise and poetry was stupid too. Blasphemy? Agreed. But, the raw truth.
Music and lyrics, my dear friend for ages, my companions through adolescence and early adulthood, had not deserted me then even though I had closed my ears and eyes to them and packed them off on an unknown journey. I heard snatches in my mind while travelling or working and more than snatches when cooking and even when reading a good book. But, for years I turned off music and lyrics only listening by mistake an odd Bollywood release quickly turning it off before it got too loud for my senses to bear. Not even Sufi music would sooth me. I sometimes heard music just to blend in. Not really listening but, nursing a headache behind a polite smile. It was a strange phase. It will remain in my mind the phase when I tried to conform. 

Music, I have realized, goes with freedom. If you are free to be happy, free to be sad, free to think your own thoughts, it will become your constant companion but, if someone was laughing at your choices, mocking your valor and I call it valor because it takes guts to try, anything and everything, music flees from the region around your ears. It also flees when trying too hard to be someone else just to make people around happy. They also become alien when you know you cannot love nor are being loved. When life becomes a pyramid of making the 'right choices' to survive - music and lyrics stop making any sense in that world.

But, I don't want to dwell on the time when music had fled my world. No. I want to celebrate the fact that now, we are back together once more and it's been a good two years! Time to clink crystal and say, "Cheers!" to two years of freedom.
Just one word of caution to whoever is reading this: Please take it as a very serious sign when you turn your back to music and start thinking it is noise because it is perhaps the first alarm set off together by your head and heart that things are wrong. Very wrong. Just run from the situation and back to music and lyrics because therein lies your salvation.

Be happy always and dance when you are cooking or walking on a lonely road because you are never alone with music and lyrics playing in your head. 

With my heartfelt thanks to Tagore who put me to sleep with his wonderful music every night throughout my crazy and difficult adolescent years.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading the post and commenting. Please come back for more.