World Music Day: Seeking solace in the harmony of notes
Without music, life would be a mistake — Friedrich Nietzsche very aptly said this to highlight the importance of beautiful notes aligned in perfect harmony. And amid the pandemic, with most of us being indoors, music has been the perfect companion on a dark day. On World Music Day (June 21), a few Delhiites confess how the power of music has helped them drive away the pandemic blues.
“I was completely tired of shuffling between online classes and video games while being at home. So much screen time took away my peace of mind, and also made me feel lethargic and cranky. While I had been stepping out occasionally, being confined indoors for a maximum time also took a toll on me,” says Mohit Bhatia, a final year student at a university based in Greater Noida, adding, “That is when I decided to cut down the time I spent on the phone, and picked up my guitar again! I also learned how to play the ukulele, and it has been immensely refreshing. I have now being recording and uploading my renditions online, and the response I’ve received really help me stay positive.”
Jitin Kumar, a Delhi-based data analyst, agrees with Bhatia and adds, “When my family and I had tested positive for Covid-19, I felt extremely low. It was a stressful time period and to deal with the anxiety, I turned to music. I often listen to songs from my favourite bands during the day. I have discovered many artists during this time, and have also gone back to playing the guitar, along with my brother. It’s a fun bonding exercise, and keeps us both from getting at each other’s neck while we are at home (laughs).”
For those pursuing music professionally, the pandemic has been a mixed bag of experiences. Take for instance Indie singer-songwriter Mahima Mathur, who goes by her stage moniker Bawari Basanti. “On one hand the pandemic gave me the time to hone my skills, and I learnt new softwares and worked on better compositions while I stayed home. On the other hand, as someone who feeds off on the energy of the people I perform for, the absence of live gigs has been disappointing,” says Mathur, who feels that music has allowed her to remain calm and centred even in the middle of the calamity. “The pandemic has surely changed me both as a person and a musician. I don’t want to create songs just for the sake of it. My focus is on creating music simply for the joy it brings to me and hopefully leave a legacy that is worth remembering,” she adds.
And music has also come to the aid of those dealing with post-Covid trauma and many have been turning to music therapy as a form of respite from fear and anxiety amid the second wave. Dr Anju Sharma, a Delhi-based psychiatrist and sound therapist, says, “In the patients that we are treating, we have seen bipolarity — they have extreme mood swings and there is a behavioural change since our anxiety levels are very high. Music can help soothe people and enable them to relax their mind. Those who are anxious must listen to water music, sounds of rivers, waterfalls, anything without lyrics. Also, OM chanting as well as positive affirmations for 30 minutes a day can do wonders.”
Author tweets @bhagat_mallika