Posts Tagged ‘music’

This morning I was listening to an audio book ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama.


Not only is the book absorbing, but her narration is spell- binding too.

In one of her anecdotal episodes, she recounts how she learnt to play the piano from her Aunt. She tells us a little something about pianos. On her very first day, her no- nonsense aunt asked her to put her thumb on Middle C. Now, she was just about six years old then and had no idea what a Middle C was. The piano for her was a wide array of black and white keys which her six year old hands could not reach.

But eventually she found out that Middle C is the anchoring point. It is the point where treble and bass stand divided. She says that if one could manage to put her thumb firmly on the Middle C then everything else falls automatically in place. The right hand knows which keys to press and so does the left.


This got me thinking.. As in music, so it is in life. We just have to find our Middle C for things to fall into place. She had an advantage at her aunt’s place. The Middle C key on her aunt’s piano was disfigured hence it was easy to place. She practiced and learnt how to play beautifully.

On her first ever recital for the public she came on the stage to find a flawless piano and was in a turmoil because she wasn’t used to ‘flawless’
Her aunt understood her quandary and pointed out the Middle C, after which she played without a hitch.


It so often happens with us too. We do have elders and more experienced people around us to constantly point out the Middle C in our lives- the point which separates right from wrong, moral from immoral & virtue from vice. But unlike a piano, where the key we are talking about is constant, life does not roll like that.


What may be right for one, might be all wrong for someone else. The morality and virtue we talk about is subjective. What works for one may not work for the other. It isn’t fair or even realistic to make rules & societal norms, and expect everyone to adhere to them whether or not they feel okay with them.


Our society has a yardstick to measure or judge people. And it is unfortunate that anyone venturing out of those boundaries is considered wayward or obstinate or even a rebel. Be it love, human relationships, work, ambitions, lifestyle – everything has to be within those standards to be accepted by the society.


God hadn’t made us like that. We made society to keep us company not to keep us aloof.
I feel, every thinking – person, who has some kind of experience in life or even if they don’t, has the right to choose the way they live and love.

All we have to do is find our own Middle C’s and carry on with the symphony that this life should be. We should be able to follow our own tunes if they make sense to us. Even if the notes are discordant at first they would fall into harmony, which suits us, soon enough or they would give us an experience that would be hard to forget.


Just a thought!

It was just that sort of a day when you need to remind yourself of who you are and what your core is made of. Actually, it’s been a series of such days end on end.

Being a bibliophile, I try and find answers in the written word. For me, there is nothing that a google search can’t throw up- from books on recipes to countering depression, from what to watch in which mood to what to wear and where & how to travel, from ailments and their cures to the composition and impact of medicines, I find everything when I look for it and more often than not, I end up reading on everything that goes on in my mind. That’s how much words rule me.

So, it wasn’t surprising when I noticed some discrepancies in my general behaviour and reactions, I immediately looked up the reason for the change and found out that there is something called ‘working depression’ & that I was quietly but steadily moving towards it. On delving into the problem further, I found out about (surprise, surprise!) a book- Pilgrimage of Desire by Alison Gresik.

Generally, I don’t read self help books but this is something that all of us can benefit from. I am still on it and I feel better because I realise that we are not alone in this. All of us go through lean patches and we have got to believe that there is a way out of them. And once we are out of them, we shine brighter. We may not come out unscathed but they are just battle wounds, the scars that leave a memory and a lesson.

Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the marvel, that is, Jon Bon Jovi and one of his songs that is etched deep into my psyche is ‘Welcome to wherever you are’, the other being ‘Walk like a man’. I may have spoken about the latter in one of my previous pieces but the former is the one that inspires me in my current mood.

I leave you with the lyrics and will try and attach a link to it too.

Happy listening!

Maybe we’re all different, but we’re still the same..

We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins.
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see.
You are caught between just who you are and who you wanna be.

If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far.
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Welcome, to wherever you are..

When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel you are drowning, in a shadow of a doubt.
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say.

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyone is a hero, everyone is a star..

When you wanna give up, and your heart is about to break.
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are.

Welcome to wherever you are

I am not a huge fan of pop music from the 50s and the 60s. The first time I heard this beautiful song was in the movie Love Actually, some 9 years back. And,  about four years after that a very dear student gave me this song to listen. Since then, Joni Mitchell’s version of this masterpiece has always remained on my playlist and I have delighted in its cadence thousands of times. I have always admired the raspy timbre of her voice. The gruff, scratchy sound goes perfectly well with the cover of the album, with her holding a cigarette in one hand and a glass of red wine lying in wait.  

Both Sides Now- Joni Mitchell

It is only recently that I got to know that Frank Sinatra, considered by music enthusiasts as one of the most iconic & influential 20th century artists, also rendered his voice to a version of the same song during his reprise years. Although his voice is timeless but I would still go with Joni Mitchell’s version any given day. 

Both Sides Now – Frank Sinatra 

The sublimity of this song lies not only in her rendition but also the soul stirring lyrics. It’s the words that resonate with me every time I listen to this song. I have posted the lyrics in hope that even if readers don’t click on the links above, they can atleast read the exalting text.

Rows and flows of angel hair

And ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere

I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone

So many things I would have done

But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow

It’s cloud illusions I recall

I really don’t know clouds at all


Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels

The dizzy dancing way you feel

As every fairy tale comes real

I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go

And if you care, don’t let them know

Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow

It’s love’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know love at all


Tears and fears and feeling proud

To say “I love you” right out loud

Dreams and schemes and circus crowds

I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed

Well something’s lost, but something’s gained

In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all

There are quite a few songs that can make the list if I start writing about them but my purpose today is to convey a message of love and hope to a very dear, affectionate person who needs it today. I am sure he will peruse this write up as he always does with my blogs. I think he’ll recognize the song and appreciate why I chose it, in the first place. 

To him I want to say- Whatever trials and confusion you are going through are temporary. It is just a phase. Love and life are illusions to most people even if they gain intimate knowledge of them. No one can claim to understand them completely. There is no fixed recipe for happiness. Not all our desires are fulfilled. That said, we still live our lives and find happiness in whatever blessings we already have. I hope you find peace and happiness too. 

May you come back stronger and better. 

I’ve looked at life from both sides now

From up and down and still somehow

It’s life’s illusions I recall

I really don’t know life at all