MUSIC: MY FIRST LOVE
My first favorite singer was Kishore Kumar. When I was old enough to appreciate music, I knew that this singer will be my favorite for a long long time. I do not remember which song of his I loved the most. Maybe all, as I was a die-hard fan of his voice. I do not think that any other Indian singer had the ability to sing songs so flawlessly.
Among the female singers, I always preferred Asha Bhonsle. There were many other singers who became my favorite as time passed, but she was my first. I grew up hearing their songs and many other singers as well. Being from a small city, I didn’t get the exposure to hear international songs. At the most, I would have heard Michael Jackson’s songs but that too a little late… probably when I was in my late teens. It took me some time to develop a liking for MJ’s songs. His only song which I had heard early, when I was seven or eight years was ‘We are the world’. That song still strikes a chord with me.
As I passed school and started my college-life my exposure to international songs increased. I realized that most of the songs which I loved to listen were from the 60s and 70s. I firmly believe the era of the 70s was a ‘Golden Era’ for music all over the world. The music of that decade is just incomparable whether it was Bollywood or International. I tried listening to songs of my time but couldn’t make much of a connection with them; probably because I was an old soul 😉
My college-life was quite lonely compared to my fun-filled school-life and that is how I ended up having music as my sole companion. I found solace in Music. Many more Indian as well as International singers joined the list of ‘My Favourites’. I started maintaining notes and lists of the songs which I heard. With the money I earned while doing part-time jobs during my college years, I started building a collection of the songs which I loved. I also remember buying a brand new CD player from the money I saved.
As I started working as a teacher, my students started updating my music knowledge after knowing my inclination towards it. I remember that there was an inter-house competition for senior students in the school where I taught. The competition was ‘Battle of Bands’ where they had to play only music, no singing involved. Somehow, I ended up as the one who had to guide my house in the competition. I used to stay back in school, vigorously training those students to play famous pieces of music which even common audience could relate to. We won that event and I ended up with the responsibility of mentoring students for any future inter-school musical competitions. It was an irony – I just loved listening to the music but training someone else was a completely different scenario… and yet my principal wouldn’t hear anything.
But if I have to choose then I will say that my love towards music came out in full bloom after interacting with my friends whom I met after marriage. I loved music but I had nobody to share my views or delight with, before that. When I came in contact with my new found friends, it was then that I could talk freely and discuss at length, to my heart’s content, about the songs that I loved. Not only this, they made me familiar with many wonderful music bands whom I hadn’t heard before. Honestly, I used to feel a bit conscious about my ignorance and felt like a frog just out of the well. But, my friends were more than happy to tell me about the songs they loved. I came to realize that maybe like me they were also looking for a kindred spirit. ABBA, Beatles, Boyzone, Carpenters, Boney M were few of many music groups which I started hearing and I fell in love with their voices. Each song of theirs was like a gift. I couldn’t choose between them because all were my favorites. It felt like I had opened a treasure chest which I had been searching throughout my life and had found at last.
I have lost count of the numerous occasions when we used these songs as the background or concept of any activity held in the school. Be it a song competition or dance or some skit for Christmas, Teacher’s or Children’s day… music was always around me. We used to also use the lyrics of songs to put our point across when talking among ourselves. When the words failed us, the music spoke. Those five years being together with each other, with music in our lives, were blissful.
I raised my kids with the help of music. Both of my pregnancy phases were quite difficult. I don’t think I had ever been so ill in my life, as I became during my pregnancy. Music played a major role in helping me endure that rough phase. I think that would probably be the reason that my kids were born with an affinity towards music. My elder one used to sleep only if I sang songs for her. She never liked lullabies but proper songs. By the time my younger one was born, I had started working again. I used to get immensely tired by the time I came back from work. Music came to my rescue again. I used to play songs by Anne Murray. Her warm soothing melodious voice used to just make my baby sleep.
I am fortunate that amidst such a busy life, I am still able to make time to enjoy the music I love. My kids lovingly play my favorite songs when they find me caught up in too much of work. It soothes me immediately and helps me to organize my thoughts and order of work. For me- Music was, is and always will be ‘My First Love’.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘M’.