strings to my heart

kiski ki muskurahaton pe ho nisar

kisi ka dard mil sake toh le udhaar

kisi ke vaaste ho tere dil mein pyaar

jeena isi ka naam hai………………..

Ah what melody! Such meaningful lyrics and soulful tunes. It’s true…they don’t make such songs anymore! Isn’t that a pity? Our kids (“Our kids”??? Where did that even come from ?! It’s a good thing my mum doesn’t read this blog else this post would have led to many, many, many phone conversations 😉 )..anyways I digress!

Our kids & the entire generation ahead of us might never understand the importance of old hindi film songs in our lives. These vintage songs leave you mesmerized and take you back in days full of laughter, love & joy.  Nostalgia kicks in and with each song a sweet memory comes to life. My earliest recollections are of walking home from school during warm, balmy winters to find my mum busy at her sewing machine, probably stitching up something either for me or my sister, & the old radio in the kitchen tuned to the day’s slot of Binaca Geetmala crooning old melodies. I would plonk myself somewhere close by only to be admonished to wash up first and then be served a plate full of home-made snacks. Munching on the goodies & subconsciously picking up on the tunes, I would update her on my activities in school for the day & then head out to play with my friends. This is my earliest & most favorite memory of those “growing-up” days. Days full of Md.Rafi, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar. Simple days, simpler times. 😀

To my good fortune I grew up in a household that resonated with music. Classical, Instrumental, Devotional etc. To say the least our “cassette player” paid itself off – quite literally, it was rarely off. Cassettes, later substituted by CD’s, were often swapped between homes, friends & families and I was constantly introduced to new genres of music. My maternal uncle, a connoisseur of ghazals, used to hand out mix-tapes full of golden melodies to all the kids in the household as birthday gifts : I treasured mine for a long time. And it is through him that Ghulam Ali found a niche in my heart.

I shudder when I think of the filmi songs that we call as our own these days – the lyrics have no real meaning  & consist mainly of inordinate, arbitrary things (Lungi! Fevicol! Saree!), the tunes are mostly copy-cats & “borrowed” from popular regional hits & hailed as original scores : Is this what the next generation will claim as their equivalent of old songs? I cringe at the very thought. It might only reflect that we all had extremely bad taste in music. 😕

And this might just be the reason why I would urge everyone to introduce their children to “good” music – just as our parents did. And just as we should. I would think this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche sums it up quite well

Without music, life would be a mistake.”



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