10 June 2016

Ordinary Voice



One category of people that infuriate me, beyond words can adequately express, are the Singers: those blessed with a good voice. Ask them to sing a line or two for you & they will come up with a 100 excuses why they CAN’T do it. Which song? Where’s the music? Do you have songs of so & so? Oh Hindi songs – naah, do you have something in English? I forgot the lines! I’ve sore throat! No, not here! Or they just plain beseech you, “Please some other day”.

Then these very same people don’t hesitate to criticize others. They correct the unfortunate ones like me, born without a velvet voice or worse, a hoarse voice, at the very first opportunity they get. This memsahib I mentioned in “Love to hate you” is a trained singer; her forte – devotional songs. No, I’ve never had the great fortune of listening to her renditions. She has never sung in front of me. I came to know she sings “wonderfully” from her husband who proudly proclaimed one day that during a family gathering she enthralled everyone. And as some devotional singers go, they tend to be a vain lot. In Kannada, we say, “yane devara thundaa?” Translated it means, “Do you think you are God’s single piece creation?”

I’ve an ordinary voice. Okay that was a hyperbole. The truth is I’ve a HORRIBLE voice. I’ve actually heard my own voice played back to me & asked, “Shit! Whose atrocious voice is this?” Yup, it’s that bad! But in my defense, I always say I respond to music, any music, as one ideally should – to its ‘bhaav’ or emotion & merrily sing along or shed a silent tear, as the case may be. Whether it’s the stereo in the car or the music system in the house or the FM on a mobile handset, I sway to the beats of a song I love. And yes, open my croaky throat & sing along quite loudly, oblivious to the surroundings or rather in spite of it. It’s all in the moment. I’m so completely caught up in the melody, the mood the song has evoked that it doesn’t matter who I’m with or where. The song & what it means is all that matters. Connoisseur of art: the one truly capable of surrendering to the pulsating effect music has on my heart, enjoying it unabashedly.

I am unaware of the genres/ragas/taalas/musical notes & other technicalities of a song. But I shed copious tears after listening to some songs at certain occasions in some places simply because it has touched my very soul. There have been times when I’ve been driving to some place & while listening to certain music have caught myself with tears streaming down my eyes. Just like that! I’ve smiled to some & danced to some. I’ve relived experiences of pain, separation, loneliness, loss, love, joy, fulfillment, & longing. Some songs take you with them & I believe you must let them. Music is felt & experienced & understood by those that have lived their lives, those that have won some, lost some.

So when my singer friends ridicule me or stop me saying, “Hey, that was a wrong note. It should be in high pitch in the second line” or “No, that line is not like that. You missed the third word in the fifth line” – it saddens me first, because they broke my spell & angers me next because they know not music is divine & divinity is not to be constrained.

30 comments:

  1. Hmmmm.....interesting thought. My hubby does that. Na khyd gayega.. na gaane dega..!!!!!

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    1. Hehe I have two samples back home :) who don't let me sing :)

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  2. Sathya...you are not alone on this lovely planet and have great company on the voice front and at the same time loving all genres of music and karaoking with the melodious and mellifluous voices unabashedly;)
    Ours is no ordinary voice indeed..
    Loved this post as always.

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    1. That's a sweet reassurance :) thank you

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  3. I love that expression I've now learnt from you - yanne devara thundaa - God's gift to mankind! hahahahah

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  4. I can totally identify with your feelings..For me soaking into the feeling is more important than voice or sur..and I have seen that voice is not v important, yes its good if one has a good one but otherwise also I have seen many people who sing well and others enjoy.

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  5. Loved reading this ! Synchronzing with a beloved tune is fulfilling indeed.

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  6. The penultimate para of this post summarizes my view of music.It cannot be bettered.Music is food for the soul and the cravings of each soul is different.What moves one,need not the other.The joy from music is very personal.

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  7. I would love to sing like Mahalia Jackson. But...sigh...there can only be one. I like to think we have the right voice to sing our own particular song. I bet yours is beautiful.

    I went to your photoblog too. Astonishing pictures...I never knew India was so beautiful. Absolutely lovely! It's like another planet from where I live (eastern US).



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    1. Oh India sure is breathtakingly beautiful Sandi :)

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  8. Hi Sujatha...good to see you back in blogosphere! Cheers!

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  9. I was going to say maybe they're afraid they won't be able to perform like that, but it sounds like they have no problem ridiculing others. I'm a writer, but I don't ridicule other people for their grammar. A plumber shouldn't ridicule someone for not being able to fix a toilet. That's why WE do the things we do...because other people need us!

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  10. Hi

    Good to see you back after self imposed hiatus of nearly 4 years :-) You must be having a real good reason to stay away from your passion of blogging.

    Vinod Vyas

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    1. thanks Vinod :)
      yeah its been too long :(

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  11. It's really a surprise for me seeing you in blogging after a few years. Hope you will be here for a long time ahead. All the best.

    I liked this post. It is interesting!

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    1. Yeah four years is pretty long!

      Thanks :)

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  12. Very true. Divinity is not to be constrained, and some has this nagging habit of correcting others.

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  13. Interesting
    http://shilpachandrasekheran.blogspot.ae/?m=1

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  14. You indeed are a true audiophile! You live music and let it live through you! Go for it!! As they say - Sing like no one is listening!!

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    1. audiophile...i like that :) big word for my horrible voice... haha

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  15. ROFL! This is so true! There is a friend of mine, who as soon as I open my mouth says "Wrong Shruthi, dude!" Feeling like punching him in the gut! lel

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