Sunday, September 4, 2011

Part Of A Whole

It was just another Sunday.I woke up late.Looked out of my window.It had rained.The bricks were wet.The little white flowers were rain kissed.The guava tree had never looked so green.It seemed I had woken up this morning to "dust my blues".

I sat down with the daunting task of making sense of econometrics and all unexplained insanity that comes with it.My eyes kept going to the window and the little box of rain He had sent from above that transformed the view from my window.

Then it started happening.Rains make me horribly nostalgic.I miss my city more than ever.I miss my room with a view there,although this view too had somewhat started becoming my own.But rains leave me with a void.

I started listening to Hemanta Mukhopadhyay's "Ei Meghla Din e Akla"(Lonely on a cloudy day).Wrong choice.My melancholia had been awakened.I moved on to Nick Drake.I thought a move away from my mother tongue would help me get over it.Didn't seem to work.I hoped it would be "Bryter Layter",but Drake left me feeling restless.He doesn't do that to me generally.I generally listen to Drake,connect at some unseen,intangible level of intimacy and feel settled.But today was different.

I did what I hadn't done for ages.Partly unintentionally,but partly to avoid the outcome which intimidated me.I started listening to this recital of Shudh Kalyan by Pandit Bhimshen Joshi that had been buried in my laptop for ages.And it seemed that a dam had been broken.Indeed,Pandit Bhimshen Joshi always gives me the chills,but today it was different.I had heard this bandish several times before,Shudh Kalyan being one of my favourite raagas.But today,it was all about realization.It was the realization of what I had been trying very hard to keep myself away from : that somewhere within me,my music might have died.

I remember how I used to grumble everyday I had to do an extended riyaaz with the tabla.I remember cribbing to my guru about how difficult it was getting to hold it all together with studies and so much of every other thing to do.She'd just smile and ask me to stretch it only till the point I kept enjoying it.I cribbed to Ma,had huge fights with her,threatened to quit music,stopped listening to classical music in front of her(although my headphones were dedicated to it) and head banged to metal!But I never quit.At least voluntarily.

Since I left home,I haven't had a chance to sit for an extended riyaaz that would leave me drained but immensely radiant in spirits like before.And as Ustad Rashid Khan mesmerised me with his Thumri on one of my favourite raagas,Pahadi somewhere "Baaton baaton mein",I sobbed.

Not because I felt sad.Not because I felt glad.But because I connected to something I had been in love with for so very long.I had always tried to avoid the pain which I had actually felt in not being in touch with that very integral part of myself for what felt like eternity and today.As I write,I find it difficult to articulate what I felt.My hands shook as I tried rather hard to stifle my sobs.Miyan ki Malhar started playing next.I tried to collect myself.And thankfully managed to do so.

I spent the rest of the day listening to one raaga after the other.It seemed that I found a part of myself I had been looking for at the wrong places for all along.It had been with me.Only I had been to stubborn in refusing to see it.Somewhere,in my tryst with classical music,it had become my music.

It was not something I had been JUST learning for a good 14 years,but somewhere down the line,I started living it.Living together causes problems.We fight to give each other space.We take each other for granted.But pull us apart,and it is like a part of you is ripped off you and you cannot cry out,for you forgot your language.It scared me today.What if I had lost a part of myself with my music?Would I ever forgive myself?Would I ever be the same?

Again,this has been the only post I had felt a need to write but have found it rather difficult to articulate how I felt.But I believe,everyone of us has that little corner within ourselves,where we resign ourselves,to create,to destroy,to vent,to celebrate,to love,to mourn,and to live through it.Imagine yourself coming close to losing it and retrieving it just in time.A part of you,you discarded in your blinded state of ignorance,a part that made you whole.

I went through that journey and returned,with the whole,today.The day,my music did not die.