My love started when I was around 11 or 12. It started out with English hits. I still remember sitting alone in my father’s car and listening to Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Rolling Stone and others. I did not have much time then, so my time listening to such songs on the car radio was limited . You could ask why was I doing that? The reason being that my father was old fashioned and was a very strict man. Music was not a part of his life. But my mother was the opposite of him. I will have to write about that another day. For him it was only about studies and instilling good behavior in his children.
Then I remember taking part in a music competition in my school with my friends when I was 15. We won and received the 2nd prize which made us ecstatic at that time. As we grew a little older, my sister and I used to get hooked onto the hit Hindi numbers of the 70s. That was a craze then. We danced to all those songs. Songs like Dum mero Dum, Kabhi Kabhi, songs from the movies Andaz, Kati Patang and others. We had a limited number of records and kept listening to them again and again, dancing away when my father was not home. Then one day my father walked in while we were dancing, removed the record from the record player we used to listen to and threw it away. It fell across to the house on the opposite side of my house. That completely took us by shock and music and dance was a taboo in our house from then onwards…..
When I turned 19 , with the inspiration from my mother, I went to do Music and joined Kalakshetra in Chennai. It is a college solely dedicated to the Indian arts. It was music, music, music and music there. But of a completely different genre – Indian Classical music. The funny part is that the situation was the same there… Only here we were allowed to listen to only classical music, but not any light music. One night after dinner, I was laying on my bed on the veranda of the hostel and before sleep overtook me, I was listening to some Indian film music on the small transistor I had with me. My warden who was also one of the teachers there, walked over to my bed and confiscated my transistor.
With a regretful heart I had to apologize the next day and collect it with the promise that I will not listen to light music anymore. That day put a hold to listening to film music in my life. Light music was out of the scenario after that. For years and years after that, I never felt the need to listen to light/film music anymore. I missed out on Ilayaraja the maestro’s music then. I did not even switch on the radio like many people. It was classical music or nothing else. I forgot how to enjoy any other genre of music in my life. I did not miss anything though. For me there was only one kind of music. It was Carnatic or Hindustani classical music and I was fulfilled and satisfied with that.
Then my children came along. As they were 90s kids, their love of Rahman and his music started to seep into me too. As they were growing up, they introduced me to his music, and I started to fall in love with Rahman, Ilayaraja,, Deva, Harris Jayaraj and many others Tamil music directors compositions and I too grew to enjoy with them, those songs. They had a wider range of music that they used to listen to. They used to explain to me all the nuances in the songs and the music of the 90s and I joined them in my journey of falling in love with music once again.
Now I guess, I am around their age in my heart, as I listen to all these wonderful musicians come up with such incredible sounds, creating so much of beauty in this world and definitely in my life. It is a balance for me now. I listen to whatever genres of music I like. Instrumental and vocal both are equally enchanting to me. I am truly blessed with a husband who gives me total freedom in what I do and what I listen to. Where will we be without music in our lives. Music is the joy that each one of us needs to experience. Life would be quite empty without music! 🧡