A couple of days ago, I had come across an article on the importance of music in our lives:
‘ Music is a very colorful thread woven into the entire fabric of our lives. Soon after birth we hear our first melodies as our mothers hum soothing lullabies to help us sleep. We learn nursery rhymes that are designed to both entertain and educate us in our preschool years, which help build the framework for the social and language skills we need to function in society.We’re taught music in school, and some of us participate in the school marching band, orchestra, or theater. We sing church hymns to help build our spiritual being, and patriotic songs to give us a sense of national identity. In every step of our lives music places another brick on the foundation of who we are…… ‘
But for how long in our lives does music play an important part? And do the above lines hold true for everyone? What about someone who has never gone to school? Or someone who doesn’t know what patriotism is? For someone who has spent every moment of his life just to survive? Do the above mentioned lines hold true only for the privileged ones?
I am learning guitar at one of the classes in BTM. Every weekend, after the class gets over, I hire an auto rickshaw to reach my room. Last Sunday, the same thing happened. The only difference being the conversation I had with the auto rickshaw driver. The driver knew Hindi and he started conversing.
D: So you learn guitar.Me: Yes.D: Since how long have you been learning this.Me: Its been two months now.D: What all have you learnt in these two months.
Getting into the details was pointless.So I said: Some variations of “Sa Re Ga Ma ..” and some songs.D: So what all can you play.Me: I can play a couple of songs.
Till that moment I thought the driver was interested to know more about guitar or so.But his next statement bowled me over.
D: I think learning music is a waste of time.
Whoa !! I had a man who is telling the truth, something that he really felt. Something most people wouldn’t say. Especially to someone who is learning music.But why would he make such a statement. I had to get the truth out.
Me: Oh really. And why do you think so.D: I am a married man. I have kids. I have a lot of responsibility. Can you give me one reason why I should appreciate music. From morning to night I ride my auto rickshaw to make a living. Every moment is an attempt at survival. If I had time, I would learn something that would get me more money in the future. Maybe I could learn driving other vehicles or so. But there is no place for music. Absolutely no place. After you get married and have kids, life plays a music of its own. And you don’t have any control over that. That music makes you dance to its tunes. And you have no option but to dance.
I was dumbstruck. I could cite numerous reasons as to why someone should learn music. But I had never thought it this way. Reasons not to learn music. I couldn’t refute the driver because every word he said was like reading excerpts from the book of his life.
This case was of a person who could not afford to learn music.
My uncle had been to Bangalore a month back. When he came to know that I was learning to play a guitar, the first question he asked me was: Why are you learning this?
I remember my uncle used to take part in Antaksharis and other competitions during college. But the fast lane of life had made him forget all that. Music was no more important to him.
This case is of a person who has lost the passion for music.
So what is it that enables someone to learn music? What is the driving force?Is it only passion? Or only affordability?Or is it a deadly combination of both?

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