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Tag: Nature

Music: a journey of the man to the unknown

When words leave off, music begins. ~ Heinrich Heine

Prem Joshua

Every time my consciousness gets the hold of my ears, one of the five senses of mine, I hear a rhythm that fills my heart and soul with a random rainbow of sounds and silences. The rhythm is never recited by my consciousness, rather whenever my consciousness wakes up and the senses start working in a synchronized way, every wave entering into circumference of my existence becomes a song and music to my heart to propel it with much more acceleration and sync. I feel the beauty even more beautifully when the world around me appears to be synced with my inner being with a whatsoever sound. I hereby reckon that if there is only one way by which the human connects itself to the nature and the god, it is the music. The waves of music seem to work as the most efficient neuron systems that which exist into the universe. Music, in every form, is the connecting link, be in the form of strings, wind, beats, voice, monotonous, multi-dimensioned, mixed, solo, or even the silence. Music is a source of life and the way to celebrate the life. As Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche had once quoted about music that ‘without music life would be a mistake’, each element of the universe seems to understanding the importance of it and celebrating life without any mistake. I have never experienced any single moment so far when I didn’t dance and sing. And the music I hear using my ears just intensifies the passion of living with the most romantic and lively way.

Ever since the existence of the mankind has been historically registered, the music has been the life for the man. This is the prime medium of communication between the entities where the communication was supposed to be non-existent. Man used music to communicate with existent and non-existent entities both, man communicated the belief in the form of music. It, thus, can be said that if the man has ever be able to communicate with the God (if he ever existed), it was the music which functioned as the messenger, as the Baba Bulleh Shah dances to express his love with the god by singing ‘tere ishq ne nachaya’ or the Yaksha in Kaildasa’s Meghdootam sends the message to his beloved waiting for him at the other side of the country. And the supreme power seems to be appreciating this because the music has came out to us with better rhythms by the help of the several voices of the universe, like the thunderstorm, rivers, trees, wind blows, raindrops, mountains, waterfalls, seashores, and so on. Even the other living children of the world, like birds and animals, have entertained our senses with more beauty and diverse multifaceted sounds. The music has even been able to catch the voices and silence of the days, nights, and space. Thomas Carlyle says – “All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrap pages and hulls!” And this beauty lies everywhere, one only needs to listen and synchronize with all the beings. What other blessings a man could have received from the supreme? Indeed, music is what feelings sound like.

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears:
Their earth is but an echo of the spheres.

~ Lord Byron

Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan

I recognized it pretty late that the most joyous moments of my life were spent with the companion of music when I intended to connect to the music and sound in an utterly lone silence. Whenever I felt that I am tired and frustrated from the chaos formed within the outside world, I didn’t go to meditation or recreation. I didn’t even feel any need of someone to get hold of this. Nor ignore, surpass, suppress or medicate it. I, however, felt a strong urge to feel it, by letting it get the hold of itself, just like watching oneself carefully and attentively. Watching me has always been a very beautiful experience and in those moments, I could really connect with everything that existed within me and that exists with me. So many strange and unknown things happened. The dullness and restlessness both merged into each other, the invisible elements seemed to be working in a synchronized way, the inside me appeared with the most peaceful, joyous, and romantic mood, and I could listen to only one thing that which was a music and a song which I could never recognize. That sound was something unknown, inexperienced, and unrecognized till the time I listened to that, and it happened every time I heard it. The process of reaching there was always the same but the music always seemed new and fresh to me. It was never the same, never. Outside that world, things appeared monotonous to me most of the times. Sometimes even I appeared the same, nothing new. But the soundtrack of my life was always playing a different track inside me. Or maybe, it has always been the same, but I have been unable to recognize this because the spectrum of the sound was changing the wavelength all the time or perhaps it was so magical that I forgot to examine its attributes. I got lost with it and it got lost with me. Just like an intense orgasm. And after that experience, I was not the same and the moments were so different that I always felt a new system inside me and a new world outside me. The outside world started tickling my senses in more rhythmic way such that everything sounded like music, a much organized and synchronized sound. Everything was music, a pretty and soothing one. I danced on the sound of fans, cycles, parrots, taps, horns, cool winds, leaves, rain, and whistles. I felt elated until I didn’t get tired with the world again. Then, again the same process and music was a cure all the time.

Music was the fellow traveler which traveled along with me, all the way, all the time. This is the case for not only my inner being, but also for my outer joy that which bridges the breezes from the both sides. Music, whatever it is, knows no boundaries. Music is beautiful, be it from any genre, language (or even absence of it), generator, raga, or cord. Whatever mood you carry with yourself, there is a song to intensify it. There is always a song which you can murmur or mumble in any kind of feeling and mood, be it sadness, happiness, silence, tired, celebration, freedom, speak out, speak in or even foot-trapping. I am a listener of the music from most of genres. I listen to each type of genres, generations, voices, instruments, and vocal cords. I love music without any voice and also music with the voices in the languages not understandable to me. Listening to various types of music is basically a journey to me, during which I got a chance to explore them individually. So, every time I listened to a new artist or genre, it was a new experience for me. I enjoyed most of them. It is not that I got hold of one particular genre or artist but yes, some of them got hold of me and kept pleasing my ears. The best experiences are mostly related with the moments I connected directly with them, with full of my emotions and inner self. It was when the chaos formed by my emotions and feelings needed to be synced. It was also when my inner joy and music received a companionship from a rhythm created by the other generators of joy from outside world. Some of the most beautiful experiences came to me also when I attended live concerts of some of the artists I mostly like and those moments were the time of innumerous orgasms. There are too many instances, when there existed only two things – the music and me. Nothing else! Everything else was unknown or non-existent to me. In those moments, I could become conscious to the music only. And when I was elated with the highest ecstasy, I wasn’t aware of anything, neither music nor me. It was one and I can’t really describe that how exactly those moments were. I am very helpless to define that experience, just like that I can’t tell you that how was I feeling like when I wrote any of my poems. I am afraid that I would ever be able to recite my poems in the most exact way. The situation is similar with the moments when I entered into the world of music. Those were the moments of the highest ecstasies.

This is the beauty of music. This is the power of music. And this is how it becomes when you enter into the unknown. Music takes you at the gate of the heaven and the land of the supreme. Music makes you feel that the most beautiful things reside within your self. It is the carrier for all your feelings and emotions that traverse through your senses. And I am glad that this carrier chooses to come to me and help me walk inside and outside me. It makes me dance, sing, run, feel, and understand. It makes me a poet and a warrior both. It makes me evaporate into myself. It makes me ejaculate most of me. It helps me find out that how something feels like. It is a dawn on me with which I can understand the unknown, real, and most importantly, the known. I don’t know that whether the god exists or not, but if there is a god and if there is a way by which the god and his people communicate, it certainly is the music. And it is not just a coincidence that the Siddhartha started traveling on the path of becoming Buddha after he got to know that how the music comes from the strings of Sitar. When you merge with the music, whether it sounds or it is a silence, you feel like that you can’t even be skeptic. You don’t just know that about what you need to be skeptic, logical, or analytical. Music says that whatever the man can manage to invent or explore, the music will always be there to be explored completely. Music will always be left fully unexplored by the mankind. As the world is full of entropy, the world is also full of music. Either we can go through it or we can only recite the part of it that is known to us. The greatest beauty of the music is that its unknown horizons don’t create boundaries for a man which could make a man feel like being in prison. All concepts can only confute themselves; they can never co-exist with the music. Music makes one fly, fly to anywhere, fly beyond all limitations. The poetry and sound and the music always flow with complete freedom, within our mind and heart and soul. This is a sky which sets us free. This is a prison which gives us hope. This is how it should be.

And just like Nietzsche, in music my passions enjoy themselves.

Image Credits: Prem Joshua: www.premjoshua.com & Shafqat Ali Khan - Google Images

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Saawan rut aayo rey..

India has an implicitly embedded affection for the season of monsoon and the cultural heritage conveys this beautiful tradition very affectionately. The rain has always been a messenger of celebration for the inhabitants of India. Though this celebration has an obvious reason, that is, the importance of rain for the agriculture, the primary way to earn a living in villages. India and the sense and heritage of India have been arisen from the rural India and for that matter, India is almost synonymous to the rural India. Besides, few decades ago, the economy of India was primarily based on the agriculture and hence, tradition and culture of most of the celebrations are very much related with the agriculture. The season of monsoon gives the birth to the celebration every year. So, if the rain is the cause of celebration for rural India, rain also plays the most vital part for India and its traditions. Precisely, rain gives the life to Indians every year. Every year, the monsoon is not only the initiator of the working season, but also of the celebration, love, relationship, art, music, and the colors of nature; as in the preface of “Meghdoot“, Kalidasa writes:

At the end of the summer, after having languished for months away from his Love and losing much weight, he(Yaksha) saw a large cloud nuzzling a mountain peak in the sky. That sight reminded him how he wanted to hold her close to his heart. Her. Who was not there. He held his tears back and stood there quietly. The monsoons were approaching. “May be the cloud can take my message to her”, he thought and he decided to suck up to the cloud. How a cloud, which is nothing but water vapor, can carry a message? But when you are heartbroken and sick with desire, you will try anything.

“Great Cloud. Please help me. I am away from my beloved and miss her very much. Please go to the city called Alaka where my beloved lives in our moonlit house. Lonely women brush their hair away from their eyes and look up to greet you. Because you bring cool rain. And with the rains return their loved ones. Who wouldn’t rather be with their Loves in this romantic season except the unfortunate ones like me who just cannot be there?..”

Since the history of India and its cultural heritage, clouds have been bringing the message of love, life, prosperity, color, and celebration to the people and lands of the country. After a long duration of hot summer, dull and lifeless earth, dry rivers and ponds, yellow leaves, grass-less mountains, and burning sun-rays; the clouds and the rains appear as the greatest blessings for the people and the nature from the heaven. Every cell of the creatures of the earth waits for the rain to appear, like the bird “chakor” waits with thirst and endless passion. Before the rains fall on the earth, everyone talks of and waits for the clouds. Every inch of soil desperately waits to get a new life and celebrate the blessings. A true India can be seen at the time monsoon appears and as long as it stays. Each cell and object of the earth gets a passion to celebrate its reason of existence. And why shouldn’t they? They exist for the celebration! Rivers and ponds poured with water, green grasses and leaves, singing birds and running calves, happy men and women, and much more than that. Men and women usually put one feet at home and another at their farms throughout the farming season, busy with giving life to the lands who further give them life in return. Everybody gets busy in the month of “Asaadh“, the first month of the monsoon season. For the next whole month, people work as never before and the earth decorates herself as the most beautiful peasant of the universe. The sense of life encompasses all the living and even, non-living children of the mother called earth.

If aasaadh is the month of rehabilitation, the next month “Saawan” is the month of true celebration. The job of life-care ends here, and the moments of festivals start. Saawan is a word which brings a feeling of freshness and life to the Indians just by murmuring the name itself. Today’s world refers India as a nation of democracy and spiritualism. I don’t know whether we really excel in democracy and spiritualism or not, but one has to come to India to realize that nobody and no culture on this earth have ever celebrated the life and the love with nature as the Indians have been doing it from the centuries. In the season of rains and the month of Saawan, the nature itself engages herself attentively and generously with each form of celebration of the people. Perhaps only Indians know the importance of singing “Kajri” after singing “Birhaa” for 4 continuous months. Perhaps only they can tell you the importance of music. In a country of sizzling hot summers – the black monsoon clouds bring with them relief and great joy – with a need to sing out and call for the love. As the folklore says, there was woman called Kajli whose husband was in a distant land. Monsoon arrived and the separation became unbearable and she started crying at the feet of the Kajmal Goddess. These cries took the form of the popular Kajri songs.

Only Indians know the relevance of festivals, when in “Teej“, a brother goes to the house of her sister and when in “Rakshaabandhan“, a sister goes to the brother’s house. And the relations, when a brother brings sweets, clothes, and other stuffs for a married sister in her “sasuraal” and gives a message every year that her family in her father’s place have always been with her and every stages of her life. The relation when a sister goes to a brother with Rakhi and the brother promises every year that he’ll protect her for his entire life-span.

In the month of Saawan, every form of celebration can be seen in India. Women and girls go to the gardens and sing and dance together. Jhoolas can be encountered in every part of the rural India. People relive all the relationship and families enjoy all kind of Indian cuisines. Saawan in rural India says it every year that everybody has a reason to live, love, and celebrate.

I basically hail from a village and, however, the urbanization etc are slowly vanishing the original cultural heritage of the India that appears in villages, I have encountered several such moments. There are 12 months in an Indian year and Saawan is the only month that is worshipped in villages. In almost each village, people offer prayers to the nature, god, and their ancestors. It usually takes form of a festival. We call it “Saawani Pujaai” and we usually performs it at the end of the Saawan, with a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. The day of this pooja can differ in villages and locations. People living out of the village visit the place to perform the pooja. The heritage of celebration and tradition gets inherited in each generation and it takes its place quite deeply in people’s heart. For most of the occasions of the gatherings, pooja, festivals, and celebrations; it doesn’t matter whether families are living in villages or have left the villages to earn their living. Families come to villages in Saawan Pooja, youth studying outside come in Rakhsabandhan, and Teej is still important for the newly married girls and her father’s family. Even those living in foreign countries and distant locations still receive parcels containing rakhis every year. The vanishing traditions can be seen in the acts and the methods, but it is almost impossible to eradicate this heritage from people’s heart, mind, and reasons. The reminiscence relives and refreshes the feeling and respect for our culture, traditions, existence, and the vital relation between the nature and the human lives.

India is truly a place of all rational behaviors that exist and there are indisputable reasons behind everything that Indians do, be it music, dance, festivals, tradition, culture, relations, prayers, or cuisines. The culture and tradition of India defends its existence itself. Though Saawan is the ultimate of all, Indians get a feeling of life and a reason of existence throughout the year from their cultural heritage and traditions, in the form of festivals, celebrations, music, gatherings, and all kind of appearances of the nature. It is the cultural heritage of India which proves that everything exists for a reason, though silently and by taking several forms. It is India which truly tells the world the importance of the humanity, peace, art, love, and life. And why not? Indian celebrate every relationship joyously and selflessly in the form of festivals every year. Indians sing, dance, laugh, love, enjoy the sweets, celebrate its heritage, relive the feeling that they exist for a reason and with the same passion, they still celebrate the importance of life and love in the world that is full of inhumanity, fanaticism, selfishness, killings, and depressions. Indians know that why the humans need to celebrate. Indians know the importance of being a human and existence of life.

The Saawan ends today with the celebration finale of the season of rains in the country where the rains fall on the earth with a message of love, life, and tender. It is Rakshabandhan today, the last festival of Saawan, when almost every brother and sister relive their relationships that they shared in their childhood & youth and will share with equal passion, love, and liveliness in their entire lives. Saawan ends today by giving a message of hope that Indian will celebrate it next year again and the farewell song can easily be heard in a distant village, somewhere in UP (perhaps Mirzapur district) where a beautiful young woman is singing this song, popularly known as Kajri :

Bhaiyya more aaye amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi
Bhaiyya more aaya amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi
Na jaibo nanadi, na jaibo nanadi, saawanwaa mein na jaibo
Bhaiyya more aaye amwaiwaa sawanwaa mein na jaibo nanadi

Jhanajhare ke dubawaa gangaajal paani,
chaahe bhaiyya piyen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Sonawaa ke thaari me jewanaa parosen ho,
chaahe bhaiyya jewen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Lawangaa ilaaichi ka bidwaa lagayo,
chaahe bhaiyya poojen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Chun chun kaliyaan main sej bichhaayo,
chaahe bhaiyya soyen chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

Naa jaibo nanadi, naa jaibo nanadi,
saawanwaa mein naa jaibo;
chaahe bhaiyya aawein chaahe jaayen ho,
sawanwaa mein naa jaibo nanadi.

(listen to its beautiful rendition by Pt.Channulal Mishra)

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