Tunes of love
By: Aditi Singh
If music be the food of love, play on. This Shakespearean classical reference has more often than not found everlasting relevance in all ages. In the 1906 William Shakespeare composition, Twelfth Night, Orsino is asking for more music because he is frustrated in his courtship of Countess Olivia. He muses that an excess of music might cure his obsession with love, in the way that eating too much removes one’s appetite for food.
The therapeutic benefits of music are well known. Here is a story of how music saved a relationship from the edge. He fell in love with the girl next door. His melodious voice and love songs captivated her. Her family objected to the relationship and raised the height of the wall between their houses believing that eyes are the doorway to the heart. Once out of sight and out of mind, the blooming amour might wilt and gradually wither away, they thought. But can a stone wall barricade the fragrance of love? The secret tidings of love were indeed exchanged and she eloped with him. His friends had a flawless plan and by the time her parents came to know about it, the marriage had been solemnised. There was not much to do now. Thankfully, wisdom prevailed and slowly the families on either side of the wall began getting along. For the couple, the families’ stamp of approval was a great relief.
Soon, a baby girl was born and the in-laws on either side celebrated her arrival. A small opening with a wicket gate was made on the wall so that the child could cross over to the other side without venturing into the road. Years rushed by. The reality of life kicked in even as the initial thrill slowly evaporated. From being an occasional drinker, his love affair with booze gradually deepened. He started reaching home late. The child missed her father. By the time he reached home crapulous, she would already be in bed and before he woke up late with a hangover, she would have left for school. His wife’s vehement objections were followed by a frequent breakdown in communication. A few times she crossed the wall in anger but did come back the next day. However, the drinking spree escalated and soon he was addicted. The wife crossed the wall again, but this time, she did not return. The gateway was locked from the other side. He was remorseful and helpless. The daughter’s absence was unbearable. He often stood near the wall to hear her voice and became desperate when she cried. It was then, as chance would have it, that he met a renowned music teacher. He joined his academy and explored the fine concepts of classical music. The classes helped hone his singing skills. He started touring different cities with a music troupe specialising in bhajans. Music soon became his new ‘nasha’.
Now, I’m sitting in his drawing room, next to him. There are photographs of his performances hanging on the wall. She walks back to her father, leans against his shoulder and then runs to the kitchen, exuberantly relishing the reunion. It seems she is well aware of her role in cementing the bond. His wife comes in with tea on a tray, a nervous smile on her face. She had crossed over to this side of the wall a few days ago. The wickets were once again opened, silently and unknown to the outside world and the rumour mills. He sat relieved, having just about managed to pull himself back from the brink of an abyss. Yes, I must leave. These are the moments for the family. (INAV)