Monday, September 2, 2013

About Music

Ud Bade ghulam Ali Khan

Our childhood passed in music.

 There was no satellite channel, no internet. no Coca Cola, no Levi's. We had Doordarshan, from 6:30 to 9:30, in the evening. There was no second "Metro" channel as yet. We had magazines, little magazines, radio (yes FM was there too, from 7 pm onwards), and music.

 Our days used to start with music on the radio - the radio center's signature tune . After Subhasitam, music would start. The whole day used to be tuned according to music. Rabindrasangeet to Bhatiyali to Gazal to filmy on Vividh Bharati. 

Music was us. We were created by it. Most of us took formal lessons in music since early childhood. The regular seasoning of short khayal, bhajan, Tarana and Bangla Tappa took us ahead. Many of us who never went to the enlightened side of the city, before the market opened, never came to know what was happening there.

 Most Bengali teenagers of the late 80s and early 90s never went to the CSM. Amyt Datta was not so ubiquitously popular in those days.

 On the other side, how many of us actually went to 72 Jatin Das Road, where the famous Dagar brothers,Moinuddin and Aminuddin - the two Ustads - stayed? Most of us sang the whole life with a falsetto and always landing on a wrong note each time. We never had the real vocal training.

 Music was the pleasure ground for us. It was not to be seriously taken in life. It was not life's purpose. I wrote I wanted to be a singer and a full-fledged musician, in an essay on class assignment, when I was nine. I could never fulfill my promise. I was never sufficiently trained. 

Once, like a spark, I saw, for a split second, where a proper training can take one. Just after six month's training in Dagar Sangeet Ashram, in a typical Dhrupad voice training, I suddenly discovered any note, in any succession, in any rapidity, came so easily to voice. What a twelve years Khayal training could not do, a proper voice training under a Dhrupad guru did miraculously in six months!

 But, we are impatient! We were always so. Music was a part of life. But, fleetingly so. We never had time for anything. Music, as they used to make, has to wait for us till another life! 

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