Most people start their days by making a warm cup of coffee or cursing their existence, depending on the hour of their waking. On the contrary, my mornings used to resonate with the tunes of my grandparents' old cassette player playing old devotional songs and the hits of yesteryear; whenever I would wake up early enough to hear them, that is. Even finding any cassettes in this day and age is close to impossible, those mornings are still some of my most treasured memories.
I still remember the long drives I took with my parents along the coast in the first car they owned ever since moving to India years ago. I would take the time to carefully select and push CDs into the car's disc player, eagerly anticipating the moments my favourite tunes would start playing. My childhood summers were marked by hours spent thumbing through my father's extensive CD collection, searching for songs to listen to, with no expectations of what I was looking for. More often than not, I would not even able to find the booklet that came along with the CD to figure out what I was listening to. Tracks used to play in the most random order on our old boom-box that now sits comfortably in an unseen corner of the attic. Even though things changed so quickly over the years, the one thing that I'm still left with from those halcyon days is my everlasting love for music. Even today I listen to all kinds of music, spanning a veritable sea of genres and styles. However, it isn't just these fleeting instances of nostalgia that makes music so special to me.
Music has a way of offering comfort when not much else does, a metaphorical crutch we use on our darkest days to help keep ourselves upright. From the lilting lullabies that transcend borders by carrying the intonations of familiarity and love, to the first illegally downloaded song on your iPod, every melody is equally cherished.
Though many argue about the constrictions of ‘real’ music, it is undoubtedly an irreplaceable part of life without which our daily hustle would be much less vibrant. Music is the only thing that even comes close to expressing the inexpressible, putting emotions into context for when we are unable to do so ourselves. The way the same music can mean different things to different people is a beautiful reminder of how wildly unique lives each of us leads are.
Whether you think music with words isn't real music at all, or if music is only worth listening to when it is accompanied by verse, there is no doubt that it leaves an indelible impact on humanity regardless of the form it takes. As we join possibly millions of others across the world while listening to a song of our choice, there is a tangible sense of belonging that ties us together through the human experience, spreading good vibes to all who seek it; such is the power of music.