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When I get time, I read or listen to music. If any is left, I blog!

Monday, 21 September 2020

Above And Beyond Words...

Five years of silence! The world around me kept shouting, shrieking and screaming.  In the mad race to be heard, decency and dignity gracefully withdrew; I too.  If you find me back, thank the 15,000 odd visitors who viewed my blog, even when I wasn't updating it.

During this period (COVID-19 included), I never felt fed up, forlorn or forsaken.  Keeping me confident and cheerful was music.  Every genre, irrespective of its land or language, engaged me.  There was much to explore; much more to learn and experience.

An incident of over 25 years, comes to mind.  I was at a trade show in Delhi.  Hearing a Ghazal on the public address system, I asked the hostess in my company’s stall about that album.  She turned to her friend and quipped: ''Hey look.... Who's talking about Ghazals?''

The sarcasm was evident, but not surprising.  India being incredibly diverse, such perceptions based on ignorance do exist.  Few people know, fewer even bother to know that as early as 600 AD, dance-song forms like Ghazal and Maappila paattu (Qawwali), Oppana (Afna in Arabic) and Kolkkali, inspired by Sufi poetry and music had begun to emerge in Kerala.

Musicians like H Mahmoob, M S Baburaj (Mohammad Sabir Baburaj) and Umbayee (P A Ibrahim) contributed to the popularity of this musical stream.  No doubt, Hindi films with its wider reach, were at the forefront, but Malayalam films were not far behind.  In those early days of songs like Teri mehfil main kismat (Mughal-E-Azam), Na to karvan ki talash (Barsaat Ki Raat) and Sharma ke agar yun pardanashi (Chaudhvin Ka Chand), M S Baburaj composed a Qawwali for a Malayalam film, a trendsetter by any standard.


Aren't we fortunate to be living in this world of soothing rhythm, melody and harmony?

"Music was my refuge. 
 I could crawl into the space between the notes, and curl back to loneliness."
Mary Angelou - 

28 comments:

  1. Welcome. Love your writing style. It keeps the person glued to the story.

    Keep writing.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Best regards
    Shashi

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    1. Thanks Shashi. Hope to see you here again.

      Delete
  2. Thanks a lot to enlighten our ignorance about the usage of ghazal, qawali & Sufi music in Malayalam films in the earlier eras also.
    Please keep enlightening us regularly with your writings & incites.

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    1. Yes, Mr Deb. If I could do that, I mean break the barriers and enjoy music in all its magnificance, everyone else too can. Thanks

      Delete
  3. I was never very fond of Ghazals... but now a days maybe coz i have started looking for the lyrics instead of the tune i have started a liking towards Gazals too...

    "Music was my refuge.
    I could crawl into the space between the notes, and curl back to loneliness."
    So very true.

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    Replies
    1. We all have our likes and dislikes. As Paul Simon, Grammy award winner whom the Time magazine called 'one of the 100 people who shaped the world' said: ''Music grows and matures with you, following you right on up until you die''. Thanks

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  4. I am Ashok's wife Brinda.I must say that I am impressed by your writing style Sir.
    HaveIf Music kept you confident and cheerful during this lockdown,it kept Ashok sane too. He hated to be confined to the house with restrictions on his freedom. He couldn't go for his evening walk, something that he usually looked forward to. At that time , he too spent his evenings listening to and watching the video clips of the old Hindi film songs. I feel it kept him going.
    Thank you for sharing the gyaan about the contribution of Malayalam film songs to the world of music.

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    1. Thanks a lot, madam. Mary Angelou's quote is so very true for most of us. If there is one refuge where we could find peace and happiness, it is indeed music. Cheers to you and family.

      Delete
  5. Nice to see you after long five years of silence!
    Are you going to be regular from now onwards?

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    Replies
    1. I hope to be regular, Joe. Thanks for that gentle nudge.

      Delete
  6. Music is the food of thought,I always feel that music has the power to energise and enliven. It can be our refuge at all time,no doubt its power is boundless!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely true.
      Thanks for dropping by.

      Delete
  7. Sruthi6:03 am

    Hope you will keep writing and updating regularly. It is a pleasure to read your posts. They are short and crisp, and easy to understand. Keep it up please

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    1. Encouraging words, Sruthi.
      Thanks. Please visit again.

      Delete
  8. Bhasi6:18 am

    Interesting observations particularly "perceptions based on ignorance". How readily we display it.
    May music remove that habit and bond us together into One India.
    Best wishes

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    Replies
    1. No doubt. If anything has the power to bring everyone together, it is music.

      Thanks Bhasi. Please check out my next post.

      Delete
  9. Madhu. S9:24 am

    I never knew you had a blog. To know that I had to wait till your 100th post. A fast well broken with a 100 course serving!

    Just like you, music is my weakness too. I an sure you will find enough and more to write about music. Look forward to them.

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    1. Self-promotion was never an idea. But 300,000+ visitors, and encouraging feedback from a few, made me confident to try it out. And here I am!

      Thanks Madhu

      Delete
  10. Nice that you have started to write again. Your style is unique and I love it. Keep on writing.Best wishes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your encouraging words.
      I hope to post regularly as well as see you again.
      Thanks

      Delete
  11. Vishal Manjapra10:37 am

    Liked your post.

    But I have a question. Would not your regular readers get bored if you write only about music and Malayalam songs? Because your posts have dealt with topics of general interest. Think about it rajuda.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Vishal.

      No, I wouldn't be limiting myself to any one topic; at the same time I would be consciously avoiding controversial ones.

      Check out my next post please. Let me have your feedback.

      Delete
  12. Well said Raj. Hope this soothing rhythm, melody and harmony helps the world to restore the lost peace during this pandemic.

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    1. From what I saw at http://ragabindu.com/ we do have something in common - music. Join you in hoping, music soon brings back normalcy.
      Thanks

      Delete
  13. Bhatta3:22 pm

    Good post.

    Though not a Malayalee, I understood the central message you conveyed, and I agree totally. Each one of us live in our own wells refusing to look beyond our mothertongue and culture. That has to change. For me Malayalam is as rich as my own language, and I respect it equally.

    Thanks for sending across this unifying message.

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    1. Thanks Bhatta.
      We all need to feel and act so.
      Explore, discover and learn - that is my objective.
      Hope you would drop by again.

      Delete
  14. Rajan Sir,
    Something more about homeopathy
    Music to Ease the Blues
    Homeopathy is more than little bottles of pills and liquids, as many things apparently produce a homeopathic “like treats like” effect – even music.

    So, if you’re feeling a little depressed, try listening to some music – but not the happy, bouncy kind, as this will either irritate or only give a short-lived improvement. Instead, choose some moody, brooding music.

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    1. I agree with you.

      In the upcoming posts, I wish to touch upon the power of music, its soothing effect, as well as its amazing potential to heal.

      Please come back to share your thoughts once again.

      Thanks

      Delete