Music has been very close to my life. I started my tryst with music when i was very little. Ma enrolled me into a music school before I could even read and write….. Hindustani Classical and Rabindra Sangeet to be precise. I loved it. I was so little that I could not blow my own harmonium and pa had to sit with me everytime i sat to practice which was a lot. With my tiny fingers I used to play the harmonium like it was a piano. My first Raag was Bhupali…. and the first notes that I had to play were sa – SA…. that is the lower and the higher notes one after the other and I used to do it with the forefingers of both my hands. It really looked funny and pa my ever loving slave…..woke up everytime anytime I fancied practicing!!!…. to blow my harmonium.
Rabindra Sangeet was more fun. The first song that I learnt was “Amra shobai raja” My ma used to read it out and either get me to memorise the song or sis used to do it. Sis used to translate it into devnagari lipi. I had my whole family actually after me when I was learning music….. I was good and so they didnt mind the effort. I learnt hindi in school and then I started writing my own notes and playing them sitting on my knees. Dad bought me a smaller harmonium so that he didnt have to blow.
Somewhere in the middle of school……in my 4th grade or so I started detesting music. I was in a little advanced stage of music and it had got tricky and hell lot of calculations…. I had no idea that music and maths were related but they are and so I used to keep doing the tabla counts in the different ragas with the different taals. But the practice still made me unhappy. When my friends played and enjoyed their lives, I was practicing. Ma used to wake me up in the morning before school to practice….. I am not a morning person and I used to absolutely hate it. I wanted to play and enjoy with my friends but naah I had to sing. I wanted to eat ice creams and kulfis and all the cold stuff in the whole wide world but I had to restrict myself to the warm stuff and saline water gargles…… I hated gargles….. still do but I loved the attention that I got from family, my teacher and friends. I did well too. Too well!! Topped in the institute !!! Got hell lot of accolades!!!
Then we started with the performances and I had to juggle school work and performances and practice. There was money involved here and obviously politics which usually goes hand in hand….. who gets the better songs to sing and so forth. Importance, comparisons, favoritism, god father….. etc etc all the vices that I had hated in my life caught up eventually.
I revered music…. It was my passion….. my hobby…. the ugly face of the whole commercial aspect of music confronted me when I was in my ninth standard. I hated it…. I hated music. I realised that the dirty business of the whole charade was not for me!!! I was average in studies but realised that I had to do better than that in my academics else I would not have a career and “bhoke pet music nahi hota” so I put music exclusively on my hobby list…… I sang in shows after that but my passion in singing was slowly ebbing…. My family was disillusioned. I was depressed but then I was determined to make a success in academics so I didnt really feel so bad but occasionally when I used to see my harmonium and tanpura I’d get nostalgic and miss Classical music!!!
Professional life saw the end to my singing even as a hobby…. I now only listen to music and on bleak rainy days when the whole world is so beautiful I sit with my harmonium and play some notes that I can remember (much to the chagrin of my beloved neighbours) and often when I hear a familiar tune I hum along…. usually in the bathroom or while cooking or doing housework and in the train…. I am not a die hard fan of any particular singer but Kishore is an all time favorite apart from that apart from himesh reshammiya I love all kinds of music. I have this music system in my brain which I can play anytime I want and I get the exact song with all the notes intact…. It is like a radio that play “Apki pasand” I dont need any music system but at times with the music playing in the background it does get me into the groove and believe me music is the antidote for everything in life….. everything…. it refreshes my mind and soul and renews me up for new challenges and trials…. when the going gets tough…. music paves the path for me…. for a sunny and brighter day!!!