[ Asok Pillai ]
Expressing an opinion is not the same as taking a stand. Taking a stand and being adamant may not altogether be in the best interest of your personal growth. Offer a view, based on how you feel about a situation, and move on. As Creig Creppen put it, you are presented with a choice: evolve or remain.
If you choose to evolve, you already know that freedom of thought is not something anybody can take away from you. Just try to use it wisely. Be creative. Explore ideas. Love your art. Be fluid. Choose perpetual transition. In a world where you are only as good as your usefulness, be useful to yourself, at least in terms of deriving creative satisfaction. And try not to hurt anyone’s sentiments (ah, that word) along the way…
1 January, 2020.
It’s another cold night in Itanagar. I would like to go to the balcony to assess the situation outside, but there’s no way I’m getting out of the blankets right now.
There’s loud music playing somewhere in my neighbourhood – kids dancing the night away, it appears. New Year’s Eve. It means nothing to me. Therefore I can’t say I appreciate the noise.
I wonder if this is what they call the ‘generation gap’ between me and those kids. All things considered, however, such is not the case. I understand exactly what they are doing. I was the same way when I was sixteen. It’s the music that’s killing me: a collection of way-below-average modern Hindi songs that’s so pathetic I almost feel sorry for their taste in music.
In moments like this, I feel a distant ache for the ever dependable Hindi songs from the Eastmancolor movies era. I stopped listening to Hindi songs I think a couple of decades ago, or more, I can’t remember the year. However, being a connoisseur of sorts of the vintage, I go on a nostalgic spree on YouTube occasionally, watch the hero dressed in well-ironed clothes (perhaps a sweater slung over his shoulders) wooing the heroine in the manner of a gentleman, to a flirtatious song sung by, say, Mohammed Rafi: Poppy music and good ole nostalgia. Sadly, the days of meaningful music are old since long.
And here we have a bunch of kids, shaking up the neighbourhood, lost in the glory of the carefree, full-blooded years of youth. This is almost midnight, and I’m unable to hear myself think over the goddamn racket.
New Year, sure. But why do I have to listen to tone-deaf music at this hour of the night? Bring down the noise, guys; you enjoy your party and let others enjoy their peace – that is the volume at which those songs should be played, if at all.
The only song I liked was ‘Badluram Ka Badan’ – that famous marching song of the Assam Regiment – and they played it only twice or thrice, I think. Singing and dancing to that song is basically a physical exercise. I imagine they tapped out, exhausted, to the only cheerful tune they had in their arsenal of bad choices.
By next week, I’ll probably remember just that lone uplifting fraternal ditty of the Assam Regiment. The rest of the collection is so bad that mentioning the songs’ titles would only amount to advertising them for no good reason.
Oh, how long will this torture last? The kids need to cut it out. I have no grudge with any generation but, dear god, I need you to conspire right now to make them stop the freaking unholy noise.
I have to do some musing in silence.