I love music. After my boys, it's my second most favourite thing in the world. I can sit at a musical conference/concert all day and night and not notice the call of nature, feel the pull of a stiff back or feel the need for a good cup of elaichi chai. I studied to the soulful tunes and notes of classical music at night during my ICSE and ISC. Yes, I was a night owl. And during those stressful times, Pandits Ravi Shankar, Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan would ease the tensions away. The musical ghosts of Verdi and Tchaikovsky were constant companions too.
When I moved to Delhi for my BA and subsequent MA, one article that I insisted on taking along with me was my parents' first-ever two-in-one. It had FM radio and a cassette player. What more did I need? It was my faithful friend and fixture. It shifted rooms with me, cooed me to sleep, coaxed me out of my slumber, kept me company during term papers and dissertation, sang me love songs during the first rush and blush of a crush, and sobbed with me during many a heartbreak.
Music is my soul food. And I have an eclectic taste in music, if I do say so myself. It all depends on my mood. So sometimes I jazz it up with Diana Krall, feel all lazy and bluesy with Norah Jones, let my heart ballet with Mozart or pretend it's an apsara for Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, rock it with Scorpions, melt to Josh Groban, lend my voice and soul to Rabindrasangeet, blast it with Bollywood...pretty much let my soul do whatever it's feeling like at that very moment. Yes, I'm very indulgent when it comes to feeding my soul with music. (Yes! Yes! I'm indulgent to my hips, waist and thighs too with chocolate, so my body can't complain that I love my soul more!!)
Often though, I forget about the power music has over me. It's soothing, healing and restorative powers. It can cure almost everything, I'm sure. There's a great deal to be said about music therapy...
So, in all the madness of daily life, project deadlines and two sniffly boys and one middle-aged type fighting for this Mamma's attention, my soul's cravings had taken a backseat. Oh the chocolates were still coming fast and furious because when the body wants, it gets. The body's hunger cannot be shushed or shut up. But the very essence of a soul is it's patience. It waits silently and sufferingly. Dangerous, yes, because there's a pressure cooker effect building up slowly and surely, but for the most part, it is quiet and patient.
This morning, the MIM put on some of my ABBA favourites from the movie 'Mamma Mia!' at eardrum shattering levels. And I sang. No, no, that's wrong. I belted it out. From my gut, from my very insides. From my very soul. I sang loud and proud, at the top of my voice, matching the decibel level of the iPod. I could feel all the black and blue clouds swirling over my head parting to make way for starlight, moonshine and fairy dust. My spine immediately straightened itself and I felt so tall, I could probably catch a floating cloud.
And I felt the unmistakable sting of tears rick my eyes. Not because I sang well. Good God, no! But because I just realised, again, how happy music and singing makes me. I felt so bloody happy! And it was a kind of no-strings attached happiness. The happiness just existed and radiated like the sun. No need for meaning or thought or deep philosophy or dissection. It was happiness. Plain and simple.
And the song that was playing? Very appropriately, 'Thank You For the Music."
Seriously. And happily. Thank you indeed.