Shuffle! on the sunday afternoon and the seemingly spirited shred of the violin streamed through the weekend workstation. Remnants from last night and I suddenly smiled. It was the same song, with the same guitar riff that lead into the same mellifluous voice reciting the same verse. 'Mysore se Ayee.' It was Raghu Dixit's playful barritone and I was ready to dance again, without ghungroos even.
If music be therapy and new age yoga have found its perfect guinea pig - then I offer my testimonial. I have healed. Twenty four hours, in the grasp of music and I am finally beginning to hear my heart skip a beat again. My skin is awash with tenacity and my mind has goosebumps. Muddled up senses - just perfect. Too many verses from too many moments and too many lines are coming together. My mind is writing disjointed poetry and my heart is watching them jump on a scale. I am writing again.
And it all happened with a morning meeting with a former popstar who is singing again. "If life be art," she said, "then I am living it." The settled gleam in her eyes and the certain smile made me believe. I smiled back and for a moment, hours later in the local back home post a plate of Reshmi kebabs and sweet lime gorged on on the side of the historical cricket pitch, the line held me in a pandemonic trance. A volte-face. Like I was somehow carrying the legacy of the heroes and heroes that will be. My mind had begun to hum a raw melody and my fingers instinctively formed chords. The afternoon humid flush on my cheeks made for an excellent cover-up.
In a city of cubbyholes, carcasses of plastic, colourful horadings and cultural cosmos crowding roads - to hold onto a muse is the toughest thing to do. Every corner inspires and every sound grabs attention. In this matrix of images, a lucid interval doesn't exist long enough to take it all in. But my melody in the tropical heat did find its harmony. And it happened at the Channel V Concert for Change. Three new bands will committ their original sins and four artists will hone their stage. And it began. First with a baul-grunge band from good ole' Kolkatta. Cassini's Division and their interpretation of fun. With Reverse Polarity who gave masquerade madness a whole new carnivale of meaning with their deep throated guttural angst and their incindiary-notice-my-anguish heavy metal squeals from the lead, the bass and the drums. And later with a humble fade out by simplistic genuity by Faridkot when they sang to you.
But the best dwindled between the many. The Raghu Dixit Project. The songs gave me my harmony. The sarangi, the guitar, the bass, the drums, the ghungroos and the voice - and I believed. The men smiled, wore their lungis and drove in a wave of emotion. They felt each note and sang into the sunset. The Helium globe dipped and Raghu sang folk, sufi, qawwali. There wasn't a face in the crowd that wasn't looking up, not an arm that didn't rise, not a voice that didn't sing along. He conducted. We perfromed.
For someone who visits concert halls, campus grounds, open-air-arenas and festivals with a raised eyebrow, through the worst and the best of all - I wouldn't call it the moment for it wasn't. It wasn't mind-numbing and it wasn't the brilliant sound that would hold you in a trance. Rather it was the familiar sound of an instinctual learning, a deja vu from within. Even though the thousands were only a few hundred, music had been made. Art had become life. My heart was ready to skip a beat.
... And it did.