[ I had submitted this as my entry for #SelfLearning in the organisation that I am working at. Reproducing it on my personal blog ]
Looking back I find it very strange that something that I loved to do got side tracked. And I didn’t even notice it. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. It took a whole decade for me to actually get struck with that realisation.
I was playing Antakshari with my nephews and nieces and it suddenly hit me
I don’t know a single ‘New Song’ ! Forget a new song, I don’t even know any song from the whole past decade!!!
For me this was simply unimaginable 10 years earlier. I had grown up on Bollywood songs. Between audio cassettes and radio, I had heard a large number of songs as a kid. The liking for songs continued during my youth as well as early bachelor days of my work life. I had my own audio cassette collection and knew almost all the songs by heart.
I even managed to learn a few Tamil songs while working in South India.
But it all changed later. Within a span of 6 years a few major events caused a big change in my every day life. I got married. Followed by onsite to US. During my stay there I was blessed with 2 kids. Somehow the habit of listening to songs took a back seat. Yes, I continued to listen to songs but not in the ardent way that I used to before.
Plus as what typically happens with all NRIs – time froze for me. I would only listen to the songs I had carried from India. I had no clue about new movies or their songs. Even after returning back, kids kept me busy and I never got a chance to listen to songs like I used to earlier.
But when this realisation finally struck me, I decided it was time to correct it. I started browsing new songs. Unfortunately most of the “Top Played” tracks at the time were blaring on about the great virtues of liquor.
Char bottle Vodka was definitely not my cup of Honey.
I almost gave up with the typical, oft repeated cliched reason that all oldies give – Ab woh jamana nahi raha.
And that’s when I discovered songs sung by Arijit Singh. Beautiful lyrics along with an awesome melody. I simply fell in love with them and decided to focus on these.
But zeroing in on the songs was just a beginning. I realised I had aged too. The “learning by heart” that used to happen automatically 10 years back was no longer happening. I had to really really concentrate on the lyrics to learn them. Fortunately the technology was now so advanced that it was easy to listen to song and read lyrics at the same time on my mobile.
I said to myself “Challenge Accepted“.
For the next 3 months I would pick a song each evening and listen to it in a loop along with the lyrics in front of me. Interestingly my younger son Vrushank has inherited my liking and he too joined me in this quest for learning songs. It was fun learning with him.
I am proud to say that we together learnt more than 20 songs during these 3 months. Suddenly not just mine, but even my son’s new song collection was better than any of my nephews and nieces!
And there’s been no looking back after that. This self learning journey continues to this day. Of course I do not really sit with a song every day like I did during those 3 months. But now if I find a nice new song, I listen to it repeatedly and try to learn the lyrics.
Professionally I don’t remember getting any bonus points for this curious passion of mine. But just the act of humming songs to myself has given me great happiness – both during “Good” times as well as the “Not so good” times. To re-phrase Julie Andrews from the My Favourite Things song
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply hum my favourite songs
And then I don’t feel …… So Bad
And to me, that is a good enough reason to continue with it.