Monday, January 05, 2015

A Musical January

In my last post, I had mentioned The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. The more I read on, the more I wonder how I could identify quite so much with the writer. And then it strikes me - so many of the challenges and experiences that we face are common to all of us. As are our aspirations - to be a better mom, a better wife, a better daughter, a better person - All this can only be accomplished by looking inwards and working towards being a happier person :). Yes, I truly believe it. The author says in her book:

It's true that "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," and it's also true that "if Daddy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" and that "you're only as happy as your least happy child."

All families know how true this is :). It's simple facts like this which keep me glued to the book. The author has taken up one area of her life every month, and strives to be "happier" by making small changes in that space. It is also important to accept that all I can work on is my own happiness and hope that it will then have an exponential effect on those around me :). While I haven't yet decided which specific areas to work on, I am definitely making one change in January - listen to more music than in the last few years.

Why? Music makes me happy :). It makes everything better - from going for a walk to spending time in the kitchen. Why have I not made this effort until now? I have no clue!

Some history about my relationship with music - I have learnt Carnatic(didn't we all?) and Hindustani Classical when younger but don't consider myself anything close to an expert who understands all the nuances. All I need to feel is a connect and an urge to hum along :). I also used to sing Indian light film music on stage when in college, so it is in the later part of the 1990s that my active listening/learning of songs and lyrics ended.

After work and family and life took over, I became lazy in figuring out what to listen to. I just did not prioritize music any more. Other than listening to something by chance, such as in a movie or played on the radio or by my spouse, my main connection to music was my habit of loudly breaking out into song now and again and scaring the rest of the family ;). I lost my connect with hearing a song, liking it and learning at least some of it to hum again later.

I also realize that I'm "stuck" in the music of the past. The lyrics, the melodies, the rhythms - everything speaks to me. By past, I start with the 1960s (the '60s to oldies like me ;)), and move up until the '80s and some of the '90s. I know there are probably many gems in current day music, but a lot of it so tough for me to relate to, that I refuse to wade through it :P.

So in January 2015 I pledge to listen to more music. This means that when I come across a song that I like I promise to note it down and NOT forget the name and get too lazy to check later ;). A friend kindly shared her playlist which also gave me some great options. And that is what started the idea for this post.

If you read until this, do leave a comment here or on FB with your recommendation of one song from the last 4 years that you think I should not miss listening to - pretty please! Melodies, foot tapping numbers, anything would do - my only conditions:

  • The lyrics need to make some sense (exceptions may be made if the music somehow makes up for this :P). 
  • It should be a song that you wouldn't mind listening to on a loop. 
  • Language no bar but hopefully one that I understand - which would be Tamil, Hindi, English.
Am I asking for too much? Let's see how it goes.


Song for today:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EJ_lk8_7Ss

23 comments:

  1. I love this resolve of yours. I actually started doing this more consciously after my mom remarked to me last year, 'Why aren't you humming anymore? You always hum and that makes you happy.' I just remembered that I did! And yes, my playlist is one I can listen to on infinite loop <3 I will come up with more recommendations for you. Happy, musical 2015, dear Aparna :)

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    1. Thanks so much Shailaja, your playlist made a great start to the idea :).

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  2. Hey Aparna, enjoy your musical resolve! I had shared some time back on FB about the Reeti Gowla ragam used in a couple of film songs and how pleasant it is to hear...Chinna Kannan alzhaikiran, raadhaii,poonkodhaii - sung by Dr. Balamurali Krishna starring Sridevi & Sivakumar from movie Kavikkuyil https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_bwY89DXrQ
    More recently, from the movie Subramniapuram , the song kangal irandal set also to the same raagam -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8e22ha3P_8

    DO listen to both, I am sure you will like it immensely.

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    1. That sounds super interesting Sudha, will definitely check them out soon! Thanks so much for reading and commenting :)

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  3. Aparna, I can relate to your post in many ways. Music has played a major role in my life and a beautiful song has always put a smile on my face when I am low.
    Beautiful post.
    Swetha

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    1. Thanks so much Swetha, sweet of you to drop in and comment :).

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  4. What a great idea! Music definitely makes me happy as well - and I just got a new piano, so I plan to be playing a lot of music of my own in the new year. Happy 2015! :)

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    1. Ah that sounds like a lovely plan Laurel! My daughter has been learning the piano for a few years now, though we haven't invested in one yet and make do with a keyboard :). A very musical and happy 2015 to you too!

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  5. This is a resolution that I need to take up too. The songs these days don't make much sense no? ;) But I love the oldie melodies and need to create my own playlist. Here's to a musical 2015!

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    1. Thanks so much Aditi :), and yes I have found a few lovely gems in the present but my heart is still in the songs of the past!

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  6. This is so important , isn't it? Loved what you shared here... Music , reading, writing are some of mine...and I consciously try to do these more and more

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    1. So true Nabanita, how much ever we love an activity it can slip to the back of our minds if we don't consciously make time for it! Thanks for dropping in :).

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  7. Loved your happiness resolution... Music... not so gifted myself.. but have inadvertently been listening to a lot of radio in the car, (which I'd recommend) and therefore find myself up to date with current stuff (which helps when my kids realise I'm not a dinosaur at least).

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    1. Thanks Jandy :). I do listen to FM at times, but don't have the patience for all the talking mostly :P.

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  8. Music - That's a nice resolution to take up. Just like books, music too has that power to 'lift' your senses, doesn't it? Good luck with your resolution, Aparna.

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    1. Absolutely Sid, music can be so uplifting :). Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

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  9. Music makes me happy too. But I don’t sing. That's exactly why my marriage has survived 12 years. ;-) One song recommendation for you would be: Abhi mujh mein kahin baaki thodi si hai zindagi from Agneepath. I hope you'll like it.

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    1. LOL Rekha, that's a good one ;). Will definitely check out that recommendation! Thanks so much for dropping in!

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  10. Singing, humming, chanting, and listening to music can indeed make one happy so I love that you intend to do more of this. I have two recommendations that my choir-to-be (one of two that I plan to join) will be singing and are two of my favourite songs. I think you will appreciate and enjoy these two posts that feature them: Happy by Pharrell Wiliams (in my post at http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/09/world-gratitude-day-part-2.html) and Ode to Joy (http://xpressyouressence.blogspot.ca/2014/12/ode-to-joy.html). ;) Enjoy! <3

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in and for the recommendations Elle! I will definitely listen to them soon, and will also look forward to hearing a rendition from your choir sometime soon :)!

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  11. hey aparna, Rekha Dhyani awesome ya! wanted to recco the same song.. i have not watched the new agneepath.. but the song as a whole touched me to the core just exactly how ilayaraja's moonraampirai ,kanne kalaimaane..touched years ago.. felt the same rush and emotion.. but here its a brotherly love , hrithik is just too brilliant..his eyes , his body language his face.. oozes brotherly love in the entire song... hrithik, his sister, priyanka chopra..its a complete entertainment package.. the lyrics is absolutely brilliant...i almost picked up the phone and felt like calling my brother and saying thanks for being there as my guiding force thru my life... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rtzp60Sbx88

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    1. Thanks for dropping in Vidya, and I definitely have to listen to that song soon :)

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  12. I would suggest-

    Bhajare gopalam by S Sowmya

    &

    Sri ramachandra kripalu by Lata Mangeshkar
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBt0zQ1eZf8

    I suggest you to listen more to Classical music as it is deeper than we know and helps us spiritually.

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