There is always a light

There is always a light
Don't be afraid if you are alone or surrounded by darkness. In some part of the world, the day has just begun. There is a always a light waiting for you to find your way to touch its radiance.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music: What Feelings Sound Like

My Little Magazine

A few boys grew up in an Indian city where almost anything could sing. The tram would sing all day and in the evenings when the sun set quietly over the Vidyasagar setu, the microphone would sing a verse of Ajaan from a distant mosque. Then there would also be the street orchestra of Jingle bells on Saturdays, when the whole city would perform Shani Pujo. Even, the god who apparently was not easy to appease would melt by the sweet tinkle of the brass bells. Growing up in this city, the boys almost took singing for breathing, till they had to leave the city---to “grow up”.
It is not known, however, whether the boys “grew up” at all or not. But the music in them found a few friends and formed a band. In came a girl who had seen her dad play the drums as a child. They called in another boy, who had listened to what Pink Floyd had to say about getting an education and decided never to learn the piano, but just play it. Finally, they called in Paul, who could play any instrument just fine but decided to play the bass because the band needed it. From music lovers they became creators of their own passions.
They had to decide what to sing. The boys from Kolkata wrote in Bangla. Though Laura and Paul did not understand a word, they were the first to memorize. But then after a few days, the band realized that the basement walls were not a very reactive audience. The dumb audience merely absorbed the sound, never reciprocating with responses. So began the search for an audience that could be moved or at least swayed once in a while.
The audience that could move in the meantime was searching for movers and shakers. This band had never been on TV, had never been invited to any Banga Sammelan, did not have a name that started or ended with a Kumar. So it went back to the basement. In there, the band kept singing to itself. Not songs, but stories-- stories of Kolkata, stories of Boston and an occasional story of somewhere in between the continents that separated them geographically.
“One day someone from the audience joined (it was her story they were singing). The next day two more signed up. And so the wait continues. Maybe one day, the music will travel back to Kolkata, take a ride in the tram and teach the crows how to sing,” Prithwiraj Choudhury, a member of the Boston-based Apaar Bangla, says optimistically.

While My Little Magazine wishes him and his team members the very best, his story leaves us with lines from a very popular Bangla song...

“Mora sadha sidha maatir manush deshe deshe jayi, Moder nijer bhasha bhinno aar bhasha jana nai, ...shey je shurer e bhasha, chhonder e bhasha, anander e bhasha, bhasha emon kotha bole bojhe je shokole unchha nichha choto boro shobai....mora shei bhasha tei kori gaaan.....”

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