Thursday, June 23, 2011


The longest day of the year just went by and you could fill that extra time with a bit of music. I just discovered that June 21 is World Music Day. Folks are associated with music in many ways. For some, it is their life. For some others, it is their profession. For many others, it is a hobby. But for me and a whole lot of my friends, it is a trip. It is a wild trip and we have some wonderful memories, shared together on that trip sometime or the other. Tripping !!

My earliest memories of music was with the family listening to BoneyM and ABBA. Mary's Boy Child and Dancing Queen would waft through the house some evenings and transport you magically to a different place. My first bunch of cassettes that I can call my own was gifted to me by my Dad. Eagles, Smokie and Nazarath walked into my life. I was tripping on Hotel California much before it turned into this big craze with its acoustic version in the nineties. I was tripping on Living Next Door to Alice much before they introduced the "Who the beep is Alice" version. It was fun and I almost believed that I could become a musician. So, I made that slight deviation in my path from tripping on music to learning some music. The guitar was a disaster. Victor was my guitar instructor and I had classes most evenings. I learnt the chords, but it took me longer to realize that playing the guitar was more than C Major and F Seven. I made it to the school choir for the inter-school music festival. That felt like progress until I was dropped one day before the actual competition. It brought me back to doing what I did best. Playing the air guitar!! Tripping !!

My friends from my growing up years introduced me to a whole bunch of artistes and music. Our conversations were around Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, Blowing in the wind or Diamonds and Rust. Have you ever seen the rain asked CCR, while Floyd made you comfortably numb and the Dead were truckin'. Our trivia quizzes were about Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Patti Boyd. Our life philosophy was influenced by the poetry of Morrison and the attitude of Lennon. With or without a little outside help, we were tripping. Not a dull moment, the world never looked brighter!! Tripping !!

And then, as you grow up stuck in the seventies, the music takes you back in time. It is not just music anymore, it's more than that, it's a memory. It is a memory of friends and the bright old days. Until, someone shakes you up again. In my case, an old friend asked me to move on and experience the new sounds. Creed and Coldplay made their entry, and I was open again to new music. The Indian sounds made an oceanic impression with Ma Rewa and Kandisa. Kandisa is an Armenian prayer, and one explores spiritual connections in music. Having always heard Shakti and Maha Vishnu Band in the early days, one begins to realize now that there is something more to it. Shujaat Khan singing Kabir, Niladri Kumar with his Zitar, Rahul Sharma with his musical version on Buddha and you begin to discover more. Music takes you to a higher plane. Music awakens you. The world never looked brighter!! Tripping !!

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