When music plays the moderator

By K.T. Jagannathan
Chennai: 17-02-2020 9:24PM
Last Updated: 17-02-2020 9:25PM

When I was young, my father often used to say how easy it is to misunderstand. To understand is the difficult thing in life, he would lecture me. Several summers in life, I realize now how stupid and cynical I had been in the past.

When I took potshots at people, I often felt as though I had tasted success. The journalist in me egged me on to look at everything and everybody with suspicion. Quite often, my ego told me to be cynical. This assiduously practiced art has, no doubt, helped the journalist in me to fire sharp questions and take strong positions. Most times, I walked with a sense of happiness, which bordered on arrogance.

In the self-built cocoon of a secure life-style, I unwittingly got myself immersed in the assumed sense of importance. When I was not noticed, I felt ignored and slighted. How can they ignore my presence? A wounded ego, more often, does greater damage to the individual's personality. It may not show up in the open. It could lie buried deep inside, nevertheless. I know not an ego-less journalist. I still carry a chip on my shoulders. But lo and behold of late a miracle has come about! Thanks to music, I am carrying only a smaller chip now!

The die-hard critic in me has slowly given way to a responsible professional. Music has changed the person and professional in me. A chance prodding from my wife's flute teacher also drew me into music. Today, I also practice on this divine instrument. I always ask this question to me, and I pose this to others as well. Who is a winner in the ultimate analysis? To me, the winner at least in the newspaper industry is the one who does a job again and again through out the day, into the month and the year and goes on and on endlessly. The paper survives not by the brilliance of a few who come out with superb stuff once in a blue moon. It is sustained by the boring guys who stay to win the long haul race.

The key is discipline, I guess. Music has indeed taught me this. To pick up the bamboo flute, sit cross-legged and practice for a while at least what the teacher has taught you - that in itself requires co-ordination between the mind and the body. Practice, more practice and still more practice - that alone can make this co-ordination perfect. It is a long lesson. One has to traverse quite a distance to perfect it. Even though I have just begun music lessons, the world outlook has changed for me. It is easy to bring a structure down. It is, however, quite difficult to build it. Well, music has indeed been a leveler, a sobering influence in life for me.

Kumar - kumarbr20@hotmail.com
Scintillating, wonderful, marvelous and splendid. I can go on and on. You have done a tremendous job by writing this article. I wish that it is printed and distributed free in the music halls in this season. Please keep it up. I have no words to praise your forthright views.
(This article was first published in 2008)