Thursday, May 7, 2015

Songs Mom Sang....

Many many years ago, a girl in her teens mesmerized an audience who were travelling to India by sea. She sang 'Mann Dole Mera Tan Dole' and left everyone spellbound. She had no formal training in music. She sang because she loved music. She sang because it made her happy.

Years later, she took a degree in vocal music. She was in the prime of her heydays. And she was asked to perform at the college Youth Festival. The stage was set. And the captivated audience swayed to the mellifluous symphony of a French song that was originally sung by Claude Francois. The song was Donna Donna Donna. Listen to the original song here. I do not have the record of the song this girl sang that day. But she left a magic behind. It was not important to know the meaning of the song. For music has its own language and it communicates in its own mysterious way. The magic was done that day on that stage in that Youth Festival. And in case you are wondering who that girl was, well she was my mother. Yes, she was no prodigy, no superstar, no singing sensation of yester years. But where ever she went, where she sang, she left her magic behind.

I remember growing up in a house that resonated with songs and music. It would sometimes be the strings of the tanpura or the deep tones of the harmonium which accompanied my mom's voice. She would practice before going to perform at the radio station and then we would hear her songs on radio. To me who was just a child, it all seemed to have a charm of its own. I would try to join her in the sargam she made me and my brother sing, in my own 'besuri' awaaz. Mon would always encourage me saying, you can sing while my brother teased me, he being a good 'singer' himself. The love for music was deeply inculcated at that stage. Some people say that music can measure a person's character. The choice of music they like can well be a window to their heart. I too feel that music can define a person. It can tell you how sensitive and loving s/he is. A person who doesn't like music is a person with not much of a kind heart. The songs mom sang made sure that we were going to have a life-long relationship with them. Even today, oldies from Bollywood echo in my mind in the voice of mom. I tell my kids the songs she sang and sometimes try to play them on their Casio. This is my way of continuing the legacy she has given me. And I always tell them 'Nani yeh gana gatin thin....(Granny used to sing this song...)

That's my mom singing 'Donna Donna' at the college fest....


Had it not been for her, I might not have opted for instrumental music later in school. It was then that I learnt Sitar and tried my hand at practicing tunes of songs I loved to hear. And although I no longer play sitar, I do encourage my kids to play the Casio. My son, who is just six, managed to learn a few tunes from me and played them well and surprised everyone. My daughter, who is two, takes the Casio, (actually snatches away is the right word...!) and imitates her brother pretending to play her rhymes. She is a loud singer for her age, filling the whole house with her melodies, especially, when she is very happy.

I like to think that these kids have got the streak of music from her grandma. And I tell them stories and show them pictures of when mom was young. Does it not tickle you to think of the time when your parents were young and had a life different from what you have seen?

Whenever I hear songs, it seems that they are coming from my mom. That strange feeling of familiarity with those songs is coupled with my childhood. I become a little girl again listening to her as she practices with her music teacher (Mom's teacher was a great singer himself. He used to sing and play almost every musical instrument with such skill that it could never fail to amaze you, add to it the fact that he could not see!). I am back to the house I grew up in, with its walls filled with music. It was a different time.

I recently googled the French song that mom sang and sent her the link. She heard it and was so happy. She must have made a trip down the memory lane, reliving her golden days. It makes me happy to see her smiling. Being away from her, this is the least I can do.

On this mother's day, I wish her good health. I wish her happiness. I wish her a life full of music. I wish that her grandchildren (my kids and my brother's kids) carry forward her love of music in their lives.

What is the one most special thing your mom gave you? I know it is so difficult to think of just one thing, but still, think about it and share your thoughts below.


31 comments:

  1. My God, Sunaina, you could be talking about my mother. She, too, had a lovely voice and I think I got my love for music from her. By the way, I think you have a gift for writing:)

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    1. Isn't it great Lata....the wonderful gifts mothers bestow on their children everyday.....thanks for stopping by....and you know what....the way I write too has been guided by my mom....had it not been for her valuable and constructive criticism, I wouldn't be here....by the way, you are a wonderful writer yourself.....:)

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  2. Excellently written.. Loved every bit of it.. 😊

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    1. thanks shubha....good to see you here....:)

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  3. The way you've singled out love of music as one of the precious things that you picked up from your mom makes an enjoyable read.

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    1. thanks somali.....it is one of the most defining gift I got from her....

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  4. Music/Singing is indeed a great gift of life, think about how birds sing and how they communicate.
    That's a great legacy one can carry further.

    Just wondering, that picture deserves to be on the wall in your house at some prominent place. The blessings will go a long way!

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    1. Oh you are so right Alok....i took this pic from her after much deliberation and put it here.....to honor her and devote my writings to her....thanks for stopping by....

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  5. A lovely post Sunaina... Your mother is looking so sweet in the B&W image :) and I have yet yo go to the link for the Donna song !
    Wishes of mother's day to you, her and us all :)
    A lovely nostalgic post .

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    1. do listen to that song Kokila ......it is so melodious.....i can just imagine how mom would have swayed everyone that day.....wish you a very happy mother's day too.....

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  6. That is beautiful piece from past! Priceless!

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  7. Very beautifully written Sunaina..

    http://zigzacmania.blogspot.in/

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  8. Superb and well written. I really liked it

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    1. thanks Yash.....I am glad you liked it....

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  9. Lovely post written for Mum. It simply touched my heart.. Lovely thing you did by sending the link to your Mom and the way you are introducing music to your kid is absolutely wonderful.

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    1. thanks Pendown.....Moms always touch the heart. When I read posts about moms from other friends and bloggers, it always moves me. There is some magic about them. And there is a magic about music which only the sensitive hearts can feel.....Mom was happy and surprised when she heard the song after so many years. Isn't internet a blessing...?...:)

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  10. Wow... Such a sweet post ! Ur mom must be so happy n proud :)

    Me&MoM

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  11. Beautiful post, Great to read.

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  12. What a sweet post. :)
    Here's wishing your whole family a life full of music.

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    1. thanks Nambiar.....wish you a melodious life too....:)

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  13. Wow Sunaina, such a beautifully heartwarming post!!! Loved every word. Great going. You mom must be so proud. You have a great gift with words. God bless!!!

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    1. thanks Vyomi.....for some reason whenever I write for my mom, words just weave a magic.....it is her love and her blessing I guess.....:)

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  14. Good one! Could consider increasing font size for reader comfort...

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    1. Thanks Rajeev....will increase the font size....thanks for the feedback....

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  15. Good one! Could consider increasing font size for reader comfort...

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  16. Just got lost somewhere reading your blog Sunaina...sweet, n nostalgic.. a precious gift indeed you have given to your sweet Mom...n she rightly deserves it. lost my Mom way back in 1988 even if I wish I can't gift her anything but yes only in my thoughts!!!
    Would love to read more blogs from you!!!

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