Archive for October 2005

Mystical Music – An Eternal Quest

October 14, 2005

Music, for me has been a passion since time immemorial. May it be Indian Classical, Indipop, Bollywood masala, Folk, Rock/heavy metal, Ghazals, Thumrees, old melodies, Trance, Remixes…. the style doesn’t matter at all if the composition is unique and sounds good to my ears. I used to sing-a-long with anything & everything I heard. I was obviously not perfect, but always had an urge to get the notes right. One fine day this passion lead me to the doorsteps of a music maestro and have been his student ever since. Not intentionally did I choose to learn Hindustani Classical music out of the various styles but soon I started loving it. Initially like every art form, its difficult to catch pace with one’s teacher. But regular Riyaaz (Practice) can lead to perfection (if not, more so). Still I felt like something’s missing, was not truly satisfied with my music endeavour. I felt like any other student/artist who attends a clichéd music session and goes back home mugging the notes. Winning singing competitions in inter-collegiate events made sense but was not convincing enough. That’s when in one of the Baithaks (music sitting) with my Guru he told me that you must not just hum a tune but you must speak to music. You must be in constant conversation with it. Many artists in this world compose and ‘sing’ songs but very few of them ‘converse’ with the notes. “Har sur, har taal ki aawaz hoti hai, use pehchaano, usse baat karo.” These words of my Guru made me realize that there’s something more to Music than what the world sees, which makes it special, rather divine.
Music, I realized has a soul to it, rather a mystical/spiritual side. My quest for this soul began and am still not done with (not that I haven’t found any, but because its eternal). Not any more did I mug notes or repeat my Guru’s Alaaps (a line in Raga made of more than four notes). He taught me to speak to music, thus I started innovating my own Aalaps. I could gradually recognize ragas of songs ranging from Begum Farida Khanamji’s oldest Ghazal to Eminem’s latest rap. Mysticism lies in the notion of the soul’s exile & there’s nothing in this world that rich and divine music cannot conquest. I can go on & on for a million pages describing my quest for music in the true sense. The saving grace is due to the fact that I just do not want to go overboard.


As they glided thru’ the mighty hall, I felt as though heaven was near;
Hopping & skipping they rose to fall, each giving happiness chasing away fear.

“I will survive”, a damsel mused, as passing by,they took away some of her pain;
Blind to the world, mute & abused, they had given her so much,as much as she gained.

As they fluttered past this young man, images of his lost love flooded his mind;
But they soothed his heart & calmed his mind, peace was near,he began to unwind.

They healed the heart of the one ill-willed, inspired the over-worked that she would cope;
With each moment, the hall was filled, with sweetness & joy, love & hope.

They hold the power, to their tune we must dance, as one bounces by & the other that floats;
Each melody, each phrase makes our heart penance, Oh! the children of music – these Musical notes!