A kite was gliding In the sky; A boy stood imagining One day he would fly Under the blue sky, Over the mountains, Over the oceans.
Far into East and West Into North and South Nothing stopping him Feeling the air currents Pleasant and cool Flowing over his wings.
A bearded man Picked up brush and paint; He sketched the kite Silhouetted against the sun; He drew a cage With a bird inside Looking for release, Tears streaming down her eyes.
An urchin giggled, With a bread in hand, And hairs tousled, Two crows hovered around To swoop down And take up the prize
A pair of searching eyes Looking through lens all times Saw them. And clicked images Poignant and sharp, Depicting A mix of pleasure and pain.
Day wore on and poured into night Birds returned to their nests singing; A man crazy about picking Music from every happening Heard the birds’ communes; He composed his jingle Mingling rhythm with tunes.
The moon shone that night, Bright and beautiful, Wolves howled, lovers met, Romantic and joyful.
A man sat in the open With paper and pen Waking all night watching; Lyrics were born Extolling The moon and the shine And the joy flowing down.
Inspiration comes Percolating in tiny trickles Enlivening the spirit, Loosening the mind In magical effect Into making newer things Indulging in the beauty of creation.
One of the most important ingredients of the evenings in my life has been music. In my boyhood, when I used to return home after playing football in the afternoon, my elder sisters in the village would be rehearsing musical notes ‘Sa Re Ga Ma…’ or some songs like prayers, Rabindrasangeet (Rabindranath Tagore’s songs) etc.
I would walk back home, tired and hungry, listening to the lovely music – the next activity in my routine being a few hours of studies. The brief musical interludes then energized me to read for two or three hours before going to bed.
Flute is one thing village boys are good at playing. So quite often flute music would come wafting from a distance through the darkness in the evenings. The melancholy tunes of the flute filled my mind with both joy and sorrow. The silence in the evening was the perfect foil for the music to travel and reach a large audience. As painting requires a canvas so does music need silence to be heard in its purest form.
I also hear birdsong before sunset. Birds also perhaps sense that evening is the best time to warble and send their music into the air. Notes sung by one are picked up by the others in the vicinity who replay the same and thus they continue their musical conversations for some time.
Music is abundant in nature, birds being just one of their best exponents. In the rainy seasons, the swish of the rains, wind coming in gusts and rustle of leaves together create a music that has a particular rhyme and rhythm.
Besides, it is again music in which human creativity is at its best and is endless. I studied in a residential college. The alleys of college campus very often resonated with evergreen Kishore Kumar songs, ‘Pal pal dil ke paas’, ‘Aanewala pal janewala hai’, etc. that blared from the college hostels in the evenings. Those songs brought a spring in our steps as we moved inside the campus.
I used to enjoy songs differently though. Doors shut and lights switched off, lying on bed, I switched on my radio at the time of scheduled musical programmes and listened to the songs telecast by the radio centre. And before exams, when I had to stay up and study till midnight, music helped me reset my mind for long hours of studies.
After I moved to Hyderabad for my job, the evenings are even more musical with community programmes and musical concerts happening every now and then. I hear great singers singing Hindi playback, ghazal, khayal, classical, etc. I marvel at the talent of the lyricists, composers, singers and instrumentalists who put together all the elements to produce great music.
The lyrics carry a wide variety of emotions. A song that is rich in lyrics can be inspirational and can make great impact on our minds. Songs with good lyrics and melody touch a chord and soothe my mind. Rabindrasangeet carries deep emotions and makes a great impact on one’s mind.
The vagaries of life make us pass through never ending twists and turns that make us both laugh and cry. I have at least one thing to fall back on in all circumstances – musical evenings