Opening Pandora’s box!

Opening Pandora’s box:
Oh, the treasures within!
Imran got me Pandora for the computer!!!
“Music is the universal language of mankind,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Now, I can find the songs that I want and listen to whatever station. It is kind of like xm radio: but more stations are created and I did find that they play Adnan Sami, many instrumental bansuri, harp, sitar and tabla compositions. Music need not always have words to move me – (or Imran either, (which was one of many wonderful discoveries). Victor Hugo says: “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”
. And, at least the part of Pandora that I interface with is accessible!!!

I was pleasantly surprised when Imran began remembering and actually “LIKING” the songs. He was singing and enjoying the music. “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything,” — Plato.
Imran remarks:
“This was performed in the 1970’s.”
“I remember when the call to prayer was accompanied by drums in the street.”
“Be patient, many times the tabla does not start until the song is at least 20-25% finished and with these songs, it could be 5 or 10 minutes into the song.”
“Oh wow! That was beautiful the way they put that together – combining an eloquent blend of Urdu and Punjabi — sometimes, there is no English equivalent for Urdu or Punjabi… …. I just can’t explain the poetry here.”
In addition to what I discovered about my melodious DH (yes, he can actually carry a tune), , I learned many wonderful things like:
A “Rag”, ( is not an upbeat song of the 1920’s played by a piano and famous for such artists as Scott Jopplin. Rags, Ghazals, Bollywood and Bankra; they are all distinguishable types of music. The Dhol (called Tol in Punjabi) and the Dholki will soon be obsolete. [this makes me want to purchase one – or two, quite quickly so I can have a piece of music history and hope that it does not die out completely]. Punjabis seem to have music that is rich with beats and tend to kind of follow the structure of American music where there are verses and a chorus or refrain. (unlike ghazals or Rags). and these songs have a whole “choir” (sometimes of men only and sometimes of both men and women) sing the refrain – sometimes in unison and sometimes in harmony. The music of the Punjab is less serious and more fun loving. And, they dance! Of course, not gender mixing, but they still dance. I wonder if my stiff old blind body could learn a dance or two. (smile)
“Mohjan hee mohjan,” – “Let’s have some fun,” – [roughly translated].
Imran knows lots more about music than he let on. He even admitted that he took “beginning Tabla lessons.” “Sa, re, ga, ma, pa, dha, ni, sa,” is “Do ray me fa so la ti do.” “Jaysay box ko Pandora, aapnay dil ki kitab kholay.”
“just like Pandora’s box, our hearts opened like a book.” Or something like that. We heard it in a song and I want to remember it, so am trying to write it here so that I can remember.
I like the bansuris and the tabla players and the Punjabi song “Dil lagia dil,” (she has my heart) stuck in my head for a while. Hmmm, could I change it to “dil laga dil?” maybe.
I ask about female Tabla players and female Bansuri players. …. “Only in the US,” is the general response. He says: “It is just not a feminine thing to do.” And “this is not something that inspires familial pride for their daughters.” So, when I feel like reaffirming my independence, I always make reference to learning the play the tabla. But, today, that dream has been shattered. Tabla players sit on their heels with their legs tucked under them while playing. …. Showing my age: I can’t even get in that position, much less hold it for hours on end. DH is quite comfortable sitting on the floor (at least, as comfortable as) sitting in a chair. It feels “normal” to him somehow. And, even when he does sit in a chair, he still likes to sit cross-legged; which he can do for hours at a time. Obviously, he needs no yoga lessons. Amazing, we call this position “Indian Style,” and I always thought that it was for the Native American Indians. But, now I know differently. (smile)
Anyway, back on topic, We spent hours listening to music, DH translating, me laughing when I recognized an English word:
“Did he just say love you love you love you?”
“Wait, That sounded like “boom boom,” Where does that fit into the song?” [belly laugh because I noticed]. “ Why can’t I remember those most eloquent Urdu phrases that announces one’s undying affection and the strength of one’s love????
“Music fills the infinite between two souls,”
— Rabindranath Tagore
NOTE: Another discovery — Sometimes Indian&Pakistani artists put English words and phrases into the song that (if you know English) sound silly. I guess they think that Pakistanis won’t know the difference.
Sonu Nigam, an artist that I like, and one that sings bollywood selections; had a song where he said: “me love you, too” all the way through it… … several times. I know that he has performed here in the states. If I was more technically savvy, I would post a link to his performance and the publicity that it generated. He was performing around the time that Michael Jackson passed away. Jermaine Jackson was at the concert and Sonu Nigam gave a tribute to Michael Jackson, as well as practically hauled Jermain up on stage for a duet; which, by the way, was never accomplished. Finally, Jermaine faded back into the crowd. It was quite uncomfortable for Jermaine and I don’t think that Sonu understood the situation. But, my point is that Sonu nigam does know English well enough to know that you can’t say “me love you, too.” He just thought that no one would notice!

Any gift that touches the heart and soul of even the most unintentional listener gets a “thumbs up,” in my book.
“If music be the food of love, play on,” — William Shakespeare


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