Each morning the first thing I have almost always done has been- turn on the music. Sometimes even turn it off. I’ve realized how the gift of music is a constant in almost everyone’s life. I love how romantic human beings are, specially my generation, and how we need a soundtrack to go along with it. I’ve seen the sheer love for music change so many lives, its amazing.
My high school buddy who moonlights as a lounge performer three nights a week, the professor who could never leave his college band, despite his own circumstances, he never could cut the cord.. And we still see him performing every now and then with his buddies who went ahead and built careers in the music industry.
What I want to talk about, is not about the ones whose affection for music is married to their love for the stage. I want to talk about you. People like you and me who are always plugged in, no matter where you are and who you’re with. Who have everything from Led Zeppelin to Bruno Mars on their playlists. Who break into a sweat when they see the batteries of the iPods dying and no chargers around. Those of you who grew up looking at their dad’s listening to Dire Straits and Deep Purple and mum’s listening to ABBA and Judy Garland. Whose downloads are always on and queued. Piracy be damned.
These are the people who have music running through their veins and holding up their bones. They have it when they’re at work, when they’re at play, when they’re asleep and while they’re awake. What is it about this religion that never dies? That the prayers never stop. That the dedication never waivers… The pilgrimages don’t end. At the mere rumor that Metallica is coming to India, the excitement was palpable, and when the tickets were announced, the rush was unimaginable. Akon in the country sent people nuts. He was warned to not jump into these crowds… They treat artists like gods here. Statutory warning Rock out at your own risk.
I know this guy who knows every last classic rock song ever known to mankind. I’m as addicted to rock as the next guy, but this one managed to exasperate me once. When I commented, he came back with, “Give me music, and I shall bliss out”. I never questioned him again. When something becomes one’s go to remedy for almost any occasion, happy or sad, you know it’s their brand of meditation. And what answers wont come wearing long robes in a green garden with your eyes closed, will probably come lying in bed with the voice of Adele serenading you. Sometimes music reverberates in your soul and transcends time and space to take you to an alternate plane of sheer numb bliss. Its been sung about and celebrated often enough…
I have a song for every mood, every situation, every day, and everyone. I’ve recently discovered my dependency and its chronic nature. So while writing this post, I asked a few of my friends, “What does music do for you that nothing else does?”. After the usual presumptuous shots at spirituality and karmic connections, some honesty came my way. Its simple. Music is a part of nature. It’s as natural is breathing. It’s as natural as love. And while its beauty is interpreted differently by everyone, the simplicity and complexity of music can mirror that of love. I feel giddy listening to Adele, excited when I hear the Black Eyed Peas come on, weightless with Pink Floyd and Deep Purple. I still remember how Dad used to play the Eagles for us at home. My introduction to Hotel California went a little like this, “Sweetheart, you might not get this now,but just give it a shot. I promise that this song will be your favorite at 14.” He was right. He was right about this when I turned 14, and he was right my little brother turned 14 as well. When I heard Sweet Child of Mine for the first time, I remember thinking it was a whole lot of screaming and fuss over nothing. But since we were a guitar playing, rock quoting generation, at the age where the older the song the better, I had to hear it at every birthday, sleep over, dance, everywhere, until the time it was on my playlist and made its way to my ring tones. Rock literally fought its way back into my life over and over again. I am grateful as can be to the Gods of Rock.
Music helped me navigate through some pretty rough waters. I owe the fact that I managed to paint a brave picture most times because I had something to turn to. Music is the moderator to my moods and a channeling force for my emotions. Keeps them streamlined and healthy. You might call it a work out for the stressed out mind. As a fellow writer very eloquently put it,” Music takes me away. It paints a picture with the lyrics and the melody, and I’m just engulfed in the landscape.” I couldn’t agree more. I love how the paint and the strokes belong to the listener, but its the artist’s canvas. He sets the limits, gives you the space, to build memories, capture moments, write a story.
Someone hears Floyd’s Coming Back to Life at a dark pub, sitting with their date, and trust you me, next time he’s at a boy’s night out on a Saturday, all the guy will remember is the girl. And exactly how he felt with her that evening, the conversation, the place, all crystal clear. This is what music does. It sets the tone to your life and you don’t even realize it. The girl who got serenaded by her first love, will always have a tear for the song, even after the boy is long gone. And there will always be that one song, that will pierce through you after many years, for the very reasons it filled you with love before. Books wont do it, movies won’t do it. Music will.
This is my tribute to everyone on this side of the stage. The one’s holding up the marsh pits and the lighters. You who’s always thumping with the beats, and walking in tune to the song in your head. I think it’s high time we got a shout out too.. For the sheer love of the art, the dedication to follow its evolution, and the utter dependency we have on it to document our lives. Till the next song… be seeing you.