by Aditi Krishna
Sitting at the Nehru Park one morning, listening to my Ipod and looking around, I was thinking about what my life was as a child and how it has turned out to be. It was an interesting exercise; trust me, as I had never had the time to sit at a peaceful place with a right environment to think about all this. Though I love spending time all by myself very often, but never had I had an opportunity to sit alone, with free mind and no worries, to think about it afresh.
One of things that captured my thoughts, which I had never realised, was the love I had for music. It was not something that I can boast of having since I was a kid. I remember how boring I found my music classes when I was little. And I never knew how, with the course of time, I developed a keen interest in it and became a music freak later on.
My parents often tease me, even now, on my stupidity, or rather innocence, as a kid. I was often seen singing nursery rhythms and random movie songs as well those of weird T.V. shows, at all odd hours of the day. They still have those recordings of mine, singing all these nonsense songs, of which I am highly embarrassed now, and which THEY love. Well, my parents often tell me, such a brat I was as a kid, giving mom a hell lot of a torture. Never mind! I always had a readymade answer to that accusation (or whatever you may call it), that I just made their life a tad bit more interesting than before; and that I just made my mom’s life amazingly active (:P). Well, that answer may be least convincing and funny, but then it did manage to make my parents stop passing funny remarks and teasing me.
Anyway, not deviating from the actual topic, my love for music, when I think of it, was greatly due the importance it was given in my family. My grandmother is a beautiful singer, as well as writes amazingBhajans (Devotional songs). My mom herself is very fond of listening to classical music most of the times, which I have been exposed to since childhood. My maternal uncle was the one (again being a big fan of classical music), who encouraged me to sing and learn music.
Well, the first time of learning Hindustani Classical Music was big failure for me. I had turned Seven recently, in class two that my mother, as soon I got back from school, used to take me to a renowned teacher to learn music. It was a nightmare for me since I was dead tired after a hectic day at school and had no interest in compromising my sleep on something as boring as going to some weird place and sing. I vaguely remember getting drowsy and actually going off to sleep while my teacher and my mother sang; my mother giving a bad spank on my back whenever I dozed off. Seeing my huge disinterest in it, my mother had to discontinue the music classes after few months, despite the fact that SHE loved the classes.
My mother always wanted me to learn music, no matter what. Later on, when I gradually developed a keen interest in it, she always tried to convince dad to let me go for it. I, by that time, went crazy for it and actually dreamt of becoming a singer one day. But then, considering how academically oriented my family was, I had to just settle with the idea that I will learn music as a hobby and not let it affect my studies.
My next attempt to learn music was when I was fourteen years old. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but again I had to discontinue it for valid reasons. I had my class tenth board exams coming up, and I couldn’t have compromised on that. So, here I go again! Leaving something I loved doing so very much.
My next encounter with Hindustani classical music was in the second year of my graduation. It was then when I had the actual exposure to the real world of Hindustani classical music. I never knew that it was so mesmerising and ecstatic. Each music class that I attended in one of the famous music and dance institute of Delhi, I felt I was transported to some other world which was extremely beautiful and peaceful, where there was nobody else expect me and the soothing sounds of sitar, tabla and sarod, with me singing those beautiful tunes of RaagaKhamaj, RaagaBihag, RaagMalhar or RaagBhimapalasi. I learnt two years of music there, till the end of the third year of my graduation and had to leave it before joining my masters. I felt extremely horrible in doing so, in leaving that particular place which made me fall in love with music, opened the doors of a beautiful world that of classical music for me.
Even now, despite the fact that I have lost touch with what I had learnt in those two years, I still haven’t lost interest in singing and my love for the Hindustani classical music has not diminished at all. I still go mad when I hear good music, and still feel as if being transported to some distant world which is beautiful. Music is in my soul. It is the only companion I have, when I am lonely, only happiness when I am sad and only factor that gives me hope and optimism, when I have lost all.