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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

When Music Taught me what Preaching failed to:To Live in the Present

Yes, I always knew that one should not dwell in the past, that it is the present that is the most important. My BFF even gave me one of those mementos, the ones which have life’s many lessons embossed on them. This one, brought all the way from America, says:  “Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present”.

Messages on Whatsapp groups by prolific and incorrigible Thought for the Day messengers include:”Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present”; “The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness”. And many more, culled I am sure from the same source, viz Brainy Quotes. How much did all this help? Almost Zilch. The memento did perk me up for some time but then it got hidden behind a bank of books and would only show up in the frenzy of spring and Diwali cleaning. Whatsapp messages are so well meaning, but let’s face it when did well meaning ever have any real meaning?

    I have always prided myself on being a positive person and lived life more or less to Tennyson’s Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why…Until recently that is. With no catalyst to pin the blame on, I did start wallowing in the past with many why’s cropping up, much like the Devil’s horns. The past, we all know, is a long winding, tortuous tunnel with no end in sight.  There would be times I would surface from long walks down forked roads and tell myself: ‘Never again’. But much like the proverbial druggie my wayward mind would at any time and almost too many times plunge into the past again.

    A week back I stumbled upon a playlist lying forgotten in a folder on my desktop inexplicably titled Home. I hit the play button and the most magical words started filling the living room. I listened to the songs, almost spell bound in nostalgia, till the husband entered and enquired if there was lunch for the proletariat or not. Lying in bed that night I realized I had not met the past that day. The next day I was better organized. I transferred the music to my phone, connected it to Bluetooth and switched on the Bose speakers. The very first song that played was:
                                   Aanewala Pal Jaanewala Hai
                                 Ho Sake toh Iss Mein Zindagi Bitaado
                                          Pal Jo Yeh Jaanewala hai….

           Then came
                   Aage Bhi Jaane Na Tu, Pichhe Bhi Jaane Na Tu
                            Jo Bhi Hai, Bas Yahi Ek Pal Hai….
                        Ye Pal Ujaalaa Hai Baaqi Andheraa Hai
                         Ye Pal Ganvaanaa Na, Ye Pal Hi Teraa Hai
                    Jinevaale Soch Le Yahi Vaqt Hai Kar Le Puri Aarazu

And then

            …… Kal ke andheron se nikal ke/Dekha hai aankhein malte malte
                Ho phool hi phool zindagi bahaar hai/Tay kar liya aa..
              Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai/Aaj phir marne ka irada hai

…..Aise Jeevan Bhi Hain Jo Jiye Hi Nahin /Jinko Jeene Se Pehle Hi Maut Aa Gayi
Phool Aise Bhi Hain Jo Khile Hi Nahin / Jinko Khilne Se Pehle Fiza Kha Gai

                     zindagi ke safar mein guzar jate hain jo makam,
                        woh phir nahin aate,/ woh phir nahin aate!

                          Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahi milta
                           Kahin zameen to kahin aasman nahin milta

                            Chhodo kal ki baate/ Kal ki baat puraani….
                             Aaj puraani zanjiro/ Ko tod chuke hai
                            Kyaa dekhe us mazil ko/ Jo chhod chuke hai

The magic of the ageless classics enveloped me giving me warmth and immense viribus. But more than this I got answers to issues that had been haunting me. You want me to share the answer? Simple. Carpe diem. Seize the day. It is only today that is mine.