Thursday, 3 October 2013

Melody



What does melody mean?’ I asked, suddenly in the middle of watching late-night TV.

He sat up straight with a glint of excitement in his eyes. The slightest mention of music livens every cell in his musically talented being. ‘Essentially, a melody is stringing together of notes to create a tune’ he said, putting it as simply as a tone-deaf person like me deserved. ‘And it should sound pleasant for it to be called a melody?’ I asked.

No, not necessarily. What is pleasant to one may be noise to the other. Say, in many Jazz compositions the melody is difficult to understand and appears as a mixture of … why do you ask though?’ he stopped short with curiosity and turned down the volume of the TV.

It’s in the news. Tomorrow onwards Gandhi Jayanti will be celebrated as World Melody Day. By India and some other countries. Some relationship between music, peace, tranquility and harmony’ I said matter-of-factly and turned the volume back. I ignored his frown of incomprehension. I knew what it meant. Comedy Central drew back our attention and all too soon, we were at peace with it.

                                                                               ...

I woke up this morning on the 2nd day of October and the scent of a national holiday was lolling everywhere. The road some distance away was quieter today. The MCD park had no men walking their bicycles to work, no lunch boxes tied tightly on them. Even the strays seem to take a break from good morning play, for no children in blue uniforms ran along with them to seize the school day. Within, no one was looking at the arms of the clock for they were fast asleep. A handful of snores, the fan above, a group of babbling babblers and my clicking keys is all I could hear. As the sounds conspired to keep pace with each other, I thought to myself – what does melody mean, to me? Which collection of notes, when strung just right, makes me feel alive and happy to just be? Have I even bothered to realise? 

Without further thought, I decide to type away whatever came to my mind. And I also swore not to spoil it with editing later.

Melody.  

Melodious it was to hear my dance teacher say to my mother – ‘She is perfect’. Even better was to see both women turn towards me and beam with pride. I was 10. 'She went the highest' chirped my cousin, as we raced to win the who-goes-up-most on the mango tree. All 6 of us. We still talk about it. The sound of my confident voice when Whitman’s ‘O Captain My Captain’ fetched me my first poetry recital award, and the ‘prize we sought is won’. The applause, the thunder of a thousand hands clapping for me - melody. The lip-syncing father in the crowd somewhere saying it in a whisper ‘well done’, but heard so clearly when you are 13. Melody! The uncle who always lovingly introduced me as 'Born BA Pass' to everyone who came home, for I could be witty. Pass. Reminds me of my Sanskrit teacher's surprised saying – ‘You passed?’ Musical note in the report card. Piano tuned when I heard my friend whisper – ‘The head-boy is interested in you’. I hid the music inside, showed but a scowl when him I saw. Playing hide-and-seek, this melody! ‘Interested in me’ and my 17-years-old pride soared higher.

I am quite lost too, just like you. Don't worry’ and just the right notes struck as I made my first friend in college. Big city new college I have a friend already. Why worry? ‘Have you copied from a critic?’ the professor asked dumb-founded, as my heart squealed with delight, knowing in the literary world I had arrived. Melody singing all over. The drums rolled the notes and ‘Death, be not Proud’ got published. Then. A bigger degree, and even better friends. On farewell they did say – ‘You have the best heart inside’. Bells chimed. Those were big words for me. The 21st birthday was full of music, loud, real loud! 

'Come and stay with us now. You've been gone the longest while. We miss you.' they said in unison over the phone. Back home to my parents, how could I have refused? Then.‘I quite like you’ and the proposal was done. The head-boy and I tuned our lives together in our small town. Years after the first chord had struck. The 'like' again, perhaps used for love? Melody in words. And the Musician was now mine. Endless times of ‘Im with you’ followed. Times of crisis or vile relatives, new careers or infinite plunges. 3 words of support and what else do you need? Just two more to strike the perfect note – ‘We’re ready.’ My son was born. Melody, that first cry and then the giggles, the burps and even the first words. Named him after the highest note of the octave, in perfect unison of his mind and mine. Heavenly music when he now says ‘We are family’. Family melody. It even rhymes.  

… and I stop to catch a breath. My mind would have gone on, but my fingers are tired.

Was it the combination of snores and babblers and fans that got me jogging down the past? Hit the right note, inside? Have to tell him how I understood melody today. Words strung together forming the perfect tune. In that moment when they were said and heard. Years back, months back, days back. For the rest of the time, tucked away inside the box of memories, waiting to be opened at just the right O'clock. Today the hour struck.  

Musings on My Melody Day.



62 comments:

  1. Melody and harmony, Sakshi! All of that. To me Melody had always meant a harmonious assortment of notes - and you put together one here.

    Btw, if you have rhythm in your blood - without which you cannot dance well - I refuse to believe that you are tone-deaf. Tone-ignorant like me perhaps :)

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    1. That is interesting to note, Suresh. I never thought of that. I am certainly not tone-deaf. Henceforth, I am only tone-ignorant. :)

      Harmony is a very complex musical term. I tried to understand it but it eludes me. Left it at that. Thanks for reading, Suresh. :)

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  2. I love you, you passed, I miss you...Your words play memorable notes in perfect harmony to create this melodious post. Beautiful.

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    1. Beautifully worded comment, Alka. Thank you. :)

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  3. This is so beautiful that I am afraid to jar something with my comment. So whispering it to you quietly... Well done!

    Dagny

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    1. And a hushed and humble thank you to you, Dagny. Very happy you liked this. :)

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  4. Oh my God!!!! I have no words to describe how beautiful, sensitive, touching, poignant and absolutely melodious this post was. While I have read some awesome posts which take readers on a walk down their respective memory lanes, this one beats all of them by far!!!

    Wow, you have a way with words my friend, and melodious is but an understatement to describe the same. Truly awesome post :D

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    1. ALWAYS sweet as sugar, you Jairam. Thank you. I'm happy this post 'strikes a chord' with you. It was too spontaneous and I was wondering if it should see public eyes poring over it. Phew! All fears to the winds.

      THANK YOU. You really encourage the writer in me. :)

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  5. Melodious indeed. :-)
    I believe nothing can be more melodious than the ones you've quoted here. Just as beautiful as you are. :-)

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    1. I will cherish this comment. Thank you, Rekha. :)

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  6. Perfecto!...Melody is to me; what I want to hear ,considering the given circumstances... :)

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    1. And to me too, as you may have guessed from up there. Or from down here. :D Thanks for reading, Abhijnan. :)

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    2. and I guess...this answers the perennial question- "Ye Melody itna chocolaty kyun hain?" :D

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    3. I am SO glad someone bothered to mention that. Everyone got too serious reading this. Thank you for the smiles. :D I KNEW someone or the other should say this!

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  7. I am so glad that I have met you.
    That's all.

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    1. :) I am glad to have met you too, Rickie. And that being your shortest-sweetest comment, ever.

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  8. The first thing that came to my mind as i read the title was was Melody khao sab jan jao. Sorry !
    You write so well Sakshi. Your writing is liek a melody. The words flow softly, sweetly in great harmony ! What a post !

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    1. Haha, Ruchira. I am happy you thought of it. And one other person before you. Melody hai chocolate-y! :D Thanks for liking it! :)

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  9. Simple yet melodious life.. ups and downs, when we embrace it with all positivity ,then life would be 'Melodious'. Liked it Sakshi :)

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  10. When the one sitting in that seventh heaven strikes his cords, it is melody everywhere for us humans. Acceptance arrives, like your epiphany of melody in life. Life is beautiful indeed :D

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. Lovely lines there. You don't sound blasphemous at all. More like an aesthete though. :) Thanks a lot for stopping by! :)

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  11. Life is full of melody, isn't it? :-)

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    1. Indeed, Amrit. Thanks for reading! :)

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  12. This is a delightful post in a very different way. It leaves me warm and gooey inside as your melodious riot of thoughts took me along on a beautiful journey. I really look forward to meeting you because there is something very special about you, Sakshi! That headboy thing reminded me of my own incident. When the headgirl conveyed that the headboy was interested in me because he said, "I sing like a nightingale." I was in the school choir. The classmates teased me mercilessly. And both of us never went beyond a hi unlike you :).

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    1. I have felt "connected" to you the moment we "met". Perhaps, it's something in the air. ;) Thank you, Rachna. I am looking forward to April. :)

      Haha. I like your head-boy thing more than mine. Especially since mine never bothered to drop any compliments. Still doesn't, actually! :P Many thanks for reading, Rachna. :)

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  13. Its a touching,sensitive and very well described about life's melody.I dont have much idea about music b/c i m dumb and deaf both.
    I w'd like to say when the frequency of sound matches with our eaternity,melody of life start.It depends upon us how we carry or enzoy in rhythm.

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    1. I absolutely agree with you when you say it depends upon us how we carry, receive and enjoy the melody of life. I thank you for reading my post, and even more for dropping your beautiful comment, Pravir!

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  14. Ohh melodious and beautiful is this post. So many memories woven together in magic. I love it!!

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  15. You say that harmony eludes you but i felt that the words and melody written by you in this post are in harmony, read it again and again and again. Like Rehmans music this post is just catching on to me.

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    1. Thanks, for the again and again. You've got me rally happy. :)

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  16. Very nice interpretation of melody through the feelings it invokes ! Btw, same pinch - even I recited 'O Captain, my Captain' and won a first prize in english recitation ;)

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    1. You are the ONLY one 'same pinching' me on this, themoonstone. Good to know. And thanks for reading! :)

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  17. Love ur melody, Sakshi and even more the melody of ur lil one. Soul curry for the soul! How do u come up with such melodious post appealing to the eyes and mind of the reader?! M smiling:)

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    1. Thanks for liking it, Vishal. Good to know you are smiling. :)

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  18. Beautifully written post Sakshi. You brought a smile on my face. :)

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    1. Happy to have made you smile, Amit. Thanks a lot for reading! :)

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  19. Melody is in your words sakshi...beautifully written.:) loved every word!! right now...every single word or sound my little one makes is pure melody to me...

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    1. Thanks, Preethi. I cherish everything little sound my little one made too. Children are angels! :)

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  20. All things works on melody. Life works on a steady beat.. :)

    PhenoMenon
    http://throodalookingglass.com/2013/10/raindrops-2/

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    1. Indeed indeed. Thanks for reading, PhenoMenon. :)

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    1. Specially if it's prime time at nine on News Hour. :) Thanks for dropping by, Kalpana.

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  22. hi...very well written...loved it!

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  23. This is so beautiful! Poetry, really :)

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  24. Beautiful post. I love how you progressed through the fabric of life to the strains of the melody. The music never stopping, but going on.

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    1. Lovely comment, Kathy. Thanks a lot. :)

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  25. How beautifully you intertwine melody with nostalgia ...and while I love everything you write I wish I had written this one ...:)

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    1. You can write this one. Each one's will read different. It will a tune of one's own. :)
      Thanks, Sridevi.

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  26. How beautiful, Sakshi...every word a melody. :)

    I love the way you weave the words and create imagery...simply beautiful :)

    Ah! wish I could write like that :(

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    1. Thanks, Kajal. You have your own unique style. :)

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  27. lady you have a gift of gab...a budding author...you write so beautifully :)

    Keep it up :)

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  28. I know I have already read and commented on this post of yours back in October, but given that you made us read this again, and this time around I d like to believe that I am a little more selective with doling out praise, courtesy the chats that we have had on this topic, I have to say that this post remains one of your most memorable melodies yet :)

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    1. Jairam, I am very fond of this post too. It is one of my favourites that my pen has produced. Thanks for re-visiting it, like I did. :)

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  29. This is a song in itself....a melodious one indeed.

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    1. Thanks, Janaki. You are a poetess par excellence. If you saw a song here, I must have done something right. :)

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