For the love of music

In the bathroom.

Parked on a side street.

Hiding in the closet.

Morning, evening, night.

At every given opportunity, almost on the verge shirking familial responsibilities.

And pretty much every opportunity that I get with my phone, I am hiding away pursuing what seems to be a newfound, insatiable hunger. A certain addiction!

About a year ago, I chanced upon an app called Smule, a karaoke app. VIP members have access to songs from multiple languages and choose to sing and record a certain verse and leave the following verses of that song to another.  Anyone that searches that particular song, is welcome to join. Little did I know that this app would change my life forever.  Let me tell you, I am no singer.  The furthest I have gone with my base voice and singing, is my bathroom.  With no training in music and absolutely no understanding of beats or musical notes, I am what one calls an auditory learner.  This addiction has been consuming me for months.  However, I find this to be a good kind of addiction to have for multiple reasons.

  • This platform allows for otherwise shy singers, to truly sing to their heart’s content alongside strangers.
  • I have found wonderful people who encourage one another to sing.  Strangers leave comments with words and emoticons. It brings me back to my core belief – this is indeed a wonderful world to live in.
  • This app made me realize how latent memory, when triggered, can prove to be so deep.  There are many songs to which I never knew I had all the lyrics to.  These are songs I have heard when I was very young. Yet, when the music cues in, I had every word.
  • It is huge stress buster and a wonderful outlet.

And above all, it can be very entertaining to strangers too!

On a Thursday morning two weeks ago, I was parked on a side street where I park every morning at 8 am.  And I was browsing through my phone trying to find right song to bray to, as I noticed a cop car drive past me, peering into my tinted glasses.  I didn’t think too much of it, until a few seconds later I looked up at my rear view mirror to find him parked right behind me.  My first thought was, “I am parked. I wonder why he’s coming up to me?” So brought my window down and greeted him with a pleasant smile.

“Good morning, officer.”

“Good morning, ma’am.  May I ask what you are doing here?”

“Singing”, I said, with the biggest grin on my face.

“Pardon me?”, he said in complete bewilderment.

“Singing”, I repeated, as I picked up my phone to show him the app and began explaining all about the app.  It was in that very moment the two of us burst into hysterical bouts of laughter.

He quickly gained composure and added, “Ma’am, neighbours on this street have seen your vehicle parked here every morning.  They never see anyone get off the vehicle and the vehicle drives away after a few minutes.  They suspected nefarious activity and called it in.”

At that point, I began laughing so hard that tears were trickling down my cheeks and he turned around to take leave.  Through my hysterics, I managed to tell him that he totally made my day.

Moral of the story : Whether you sing or you bray to entertain yourself, there is always more than one benefit to it!!

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Discussing the undiscussable

Yeah, I know… Gramatically “undiscussable” is incorrect.  Just couldn’t come up with the right term for it.  Plus it just sounds exactly what it is supposed to mean.  For all I know, it will find its way into the dictionary in a few years from now.

I have toiled with the concept of death for a while. Hailing from the east, I have read and pretended to comprehend the concept of body and soul – body dies, soul is eternal.  Conceptually this sounded fine, but I just couldn’t come to terms when some unexpected passing happened within the family.  It got me thinking a few years ago when I listened to a living eulogy on the radio.  The concept fascinated me.  This is no living eulogy.  But, this thought process began from that moment.  This blog has more to do with genuine affection for people that will live to see my death.  You may not remember me for long, however, when you do remember me, this is what I would like you to remember of me.  (It is also my way of saying, here is a list of things to do and not do, in order not to be haunted by me :D)

Flowers : If you have known me long enough, you will know that I believe flowers are meant to embellish the plant/shrub, not die decorating the corners of a funeral home.  Please do not bring  flowers, for there will be no viewing.  Should my family want, they will have a memorial service and you are welcome to come by and offer words of comfort.

Education : The money you would put towards a bouquet of flowers could go towards education projects either in your own neighbourhood or in a neighbourhood that needs the money.  Support education.  Education empowers children.  Children are the future of this world and that is the best thing you can do in my memory. Donate wisely – not to some large organization.  If you have known me I believe in supporting people at grassroot level.  Every penny you donate needs to count.  That will only happen if you reach people directly, not through an organization. You will also see the impact you make on them and that joy will multiply in your own lives.

Colours : If you do choose to come for my memorial service, please dress in vibrant colours of yellow, pink, red, burgundy, blue, purple and the like.  Do not dress in black and white.  My memorial service has to be one where you remember me joyfully and the times we have giggled and been up to nonsense. Black and white are serious colours.  They don’t go with me or our memory together.

Dance party : As you walk into the memorial service, you are likely to meet some familiar faces.  Please organize a bollywood themed dance party or a zumba party on my name and dance it off. Dance off the grief.  The first person to host the event with the loudest music ever, will be least haunted by me.  😀

Random act of kindness : If you cannot make it to the memorial service, because you have got a life, and the fact is everyone does, don’t feel bad about it.  However close we have been, your life is the most important thing at any point in time.  Just think of me and perform a random act of kindness.  You would be honouring my life much more by such acts, than having to cancel something important to show up at my memorial service.

Last, but not the least, Food : People, food! Really good food!!  Go eat at a favourite restaurant of yours or order take out from a really good joint.  Put your feet up, watch Netflix and eat away guilt free, while you reminisce.  Bring food to the people that have outlived me and make sure its spicy and fresh and home-cooked.

And for all those of you that are wondering why I am writing this now, the answer is – no apparent reason.  I am hale and healthy and happy and rambunctious and crazy as ever. All of the above, I shall be doing for myself while I am still living. I have no intentions of leaving this body anytime soon by my own will.  You shall all have the pleasure of my pain for years to come.