Music at my earstep:

I look around me and I dive into my daily routine of work and other chores. Move along in silence with my work surrounding me. The silence of my mind is no different either and I feel pure silence in all it’s melodious self. It has been many a time when this sojourn is interrupted with a brief melody. By melody I am paying more attention to the fact that I am exposed to music rather than the style of music. So the term ‘melody’ is superfluous here.
In these brief instances of exposure to vibrations there have been different kinds of ripples created in the lake of my mind. To start with, there are memories related to music. This is particularly the case when I listen to a piece of music that I have listened to previously. This might be sometime in the near past or probably in the distant past. The more distant they are in my memory, the greater is the magnitude of ripples created in my mind. This is probably because of the greater misfit between my present sate of affairs and the past. This in turn creates a great sense of nostalgia in my mind about the memory raked up by this piece of music. The examples that most commonly create this would be a Tamil song from an old film which I would have listened to maybe 15-20 years back. Add to this the fact that I have been travelling the most part of my life due to the nature of my father’s job and my job prospects. Interestingly one thing leads to another. The song reminds me of those years and those years remind me of a thousand different things. It is something like sitting in the middle of a pile of cinema reels and I randomly pick up a reel and all those reels are interconnected in myriad fashions. In short there is music which is nostalgic.
Then there is music which instigates unique emotions. Just to give an example, there is a very peculiar music which is played during ‘Jallikattu’, the bull-fight festival in the Indian State of Tamilnadu. This music has a very interesting nature of instigation and adds to the overall aggression of the bull which is further accentuated by other actions like spraying of chilli powder/ lemon juice into the animals eyes. Interestingly, the same music is played when people suffer from bouts of hysteria in Tamilnadu. To close your eyes and listen to the music intently will help one appreciate the effect of this piece of music. Emotions-so on and so forth.
If you look at it closely, memories are by themselves cobbled up emotions. Then You would be placing before me a fundamental question, why all this small-talk? I have a question for you my dear reader,…what purpose does this serve? Why do we keep thinking about the past so much and for so long?
I have a few answers, but they do not seem good enough.



3 Responses

  1. Music or sound, being a part of the senses, is the link between your feelings and the external world. Hence, festivals or great occasions have a song/tune to mark it and it is played over and over again so that our minds get used to it and whenever we hear the tune it evokes those feelings (whatever the festival or occasion entails) in unison. All these are social tools! Regarding thinking about past – I was a VICTIM to that and have suffered for so long … Now I cringe at the word ‘past’. I feel it’s for weaklings now and people dwelling on past are either averse to growth of mental faculty or they r very lazy … either way it is detrimental to personal growth … it’s a pity that most people fail to understand that they might not be born again as promised by our scriptures (sic) …. so they have to / can do a lot of things they can ever imagine … sadly people are closed ….

  2. intensity of nostalgia seems proportional to age. i can attributew two reasons to it:
    1. during unadvanced years, the set f memories is very small. further, there is a lot to discover, to gratify the curiosity, behavorial paradigms to be assimilated.

    2. with advancement in years, the set of memories is enhanced. nostalgia at this stage is a tribute to places and people which were a part of ones life,however brief. to add to this, the capacity to rebound after a fall reduces, thus pushing the person to take refuge in the past.

    since i said two reasons, i stop here, however, i realised,as i wrote, that there is a lot more to it then what i have written.

    ps: ah! nostalgia is not what it used to be.

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