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Ode to Melody

By: Amb. Salahuddin Choudhry
The writer is a former diplomat

M         mesmerizing every beat every reed

           U          utter melody matter prosody

           S          step by step notes to notes meet and heed

           I           in a world its own lines by line steady  

           C          c’est la vie inner beauty goes to see

           F          from stanza to stanza rally meters

           I           is to compose reed to reed key on key

           R          rhythm by rhythm tone to tone beaters

           S          score of music made from mood into style

           T          tiling and threading all the words together

           L          life it’s all about for nothing is futile

           O         over and over again beats and tones feather

           V          vary notes from notes to score in harmony

           E          emerges the music we love finally !

Music’s Life

[“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words, and that which cannot remain silent.”]

—Victor Hugo

A child…first move….first step it takes….a rhythm…..the beats a step produces…..and the man learns to move forward: all together a music personified !

A ripple…to moves….first, second, third…. meshes into others to produce….. larger but hazier

ripples, leaving water surface smoothened: all together a rhythmic pattern, a music tone….. to discover sound !!

A muezzin…a call….invites for prayers….through bold lines, in tone & rhythm not too obvious: all

together so euphonic listeners get mesmerized and move forward !

All this inherent in life; all combined harmonizing into togetherness; at tandem life goes

forward, to set Into a community; the people in it surviving on steps to move; picking up moments in tones in beats full of living rhythms; all to interact, amongst each other, to make life complete, complete with music that is unconsciously felt and liked; that’s how life is loved !

 Music has no walls, music sees no boundaries, music does not limp, music binds no inanimate

object; Music is heart spirit soul everything, yet music excels everything; there, music is life, simply that !

Music transcends afflictions…. music overcomes anger, hatred, intolerance….music compels to

think about racial discrimination…..music abhors inequality, shuns imperial or colonial mentality….music

ascends to ethereal levels, sometimes surreal: but, all toward harmony and love.

Though philosophically speaking, a world without music would have no meaning at all to many,

as it gives flight to the imagination and life to everything. From the young to the old, all enjoy listening to music whether it is jazz, rock and roll, country, folk, blues or heavy metal, whether it is ghazal or geet,

and qawwali. So, as June 21, which is marked to be World Music Day, approaches, we take a look to the

origins of the day and its journey so far.

World Music Day originally launched several decades ago in France. In 1982, the Ministry of Culture in France developed a clever idea to celebrate the wonders of music. They wanted free, live music to be available to everybody everywhere, no matter what their heritage or background.

It was discovered that out of thousands of people in France then, one young person out of two, played a musical instrument, which prompted them to find a way to bring people out on the streets. Ever since, the festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 1000 cities in over 130 countries.

Known as Fête de la Musique as well as World Music Day, it originated in France and was first held in Paris on June 21, 1982. Since then the idea has spread across the globe with each event holding to the same simple set of principles. The day also happens to be when the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, occurs and hence selected to commemorate the 6,000 year old practice.  

The best way to Celebrate World Music Day is to spend the day listening to all our old favorites, and, if we’re truly feeling adventurous, start exploring ‘YouTube’ for music from different cultures. We can explore many home and home scores, and then start digging into folk music. With sources like these

it’s easier than ever to explore the panorama of musical experiences the world has to offer, and we can do it all from the comfort of our own homes. Of course, we could always pick up an instrument and start adding our own voice to the choir!

Music is not only a fantastic creative outlet, but it can also have many health benefits. When we listen to a particular song it can bring back a happy memory or make us feel energized. Studies suggest that listening to music can have a number of positive effects on our health and mental wellbeing. As well as enhancing our performance of exercise, it can also provide a huge amount of comfort. Exercise has also been proven to reduce anxiety and listening to relaxing music can also decrease stress levels. So, if we are looking for a mood boosting activity, why not celebrate World Music Day and let all of our troubles rush away from our mind instantly?

COVID-19 pandemic.

World Music Day celebrates music in all its forms and the impact it has had on the world and the human spirit which can have a calming effect as we as a nation face the current malaise of nCv.

In a natural atmosphere, there’s nothing in the world like the sound of one’s favorite song coming on, it just gets right into the head and body and makes us move. Else it may take us on a journey to a faraway place and time, where we languish in a memory of times gone by and people who are no longer present. Some of our favorite songs can lift us up out of depression and sorrow, and make an otherwise horrible day suddenly look like it’s not been so bad. 

Music in Pakistan.

Pakistan, over many ages, inherited a number of rich traditions in music, an art form that plays a role in almost every facet of life, be it in the expression of religion, the interpretation of poetry, or the celebration of a marriage. Two most popular musical forms are qawwali & ghazal.

The most popular form of semi-classical music is the qawwali, the music of Sufi mystics, originally sung in a place of worship such as the shrine of a particular saint, or any place outdoors which has been the spirit of the World ‘Make Music’ Day.

By enhancing the message of mystical poetry, and by providing a powerful rhythm suggesting the ceaseless repetition of GOD’s name (zikr), the music of qawwali has a religious function: to arouse mystical love, even divine ecstasy, which is the core experience of Sufism.

The ghazal is a common musical form in Pakistan. There are few common themes in the ghazal but often meta-physical that brilliances the verses…..all together bringing about harmony in listeners’ thought-process.

A new genre of music is developing now in Pakistan like ‘locking down’ and ‘quarantine’ music – vocal & instrumental !

International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga, following its creation by UN General Assembly in 2014, has been celebrated every year throughout the world on 21st June since 2015. Yoga, now a worldwide pheno-menon, is a physicalmental and spiritual practice which originated in India and helps relieve muscle pain and tension, and beneficial for losing weight and keeping mind & soul calm, that is increasing memory and productivity. By changing lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in well-being toward peace and joy.

Yoga plays a significant role during the world crisis as it has healing and other alternative therapies, and the benefit of yoga during COVID-19 is that yoga helps in boosting our immunity and curing breathing problems through higher intake of oxygen-rich blood to the brain, heart, lungs, and digestive system.

The theme of International Day of Yoga 2020 is -“Yoga at home and Yoga with family”. Coincidentally, the other three 21st June World Day events – Music Day, Optimism Day and Fathers’ Day – fit so perfectly well with Yoga concept that thrives on family unity & harmony which is the secret for stress-free happiness.

During the current coronavirus pandemic, people are paying serious attention to yoga while staying at home. Many who never practiced yoga are now doing online yoga or through online videos.

World Fathers’ Day

Father’s Day is a celebration honouring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, though it is also celebrated widely on other days by many other countries.

Father’s Day is held on different months and dates around the world, but a majority mark it on the third Sunday of June, which for this year is on June 21. The day is a celebration of fatherhood and paternal bonds and the importance of fathers in a society. The quotes below describe who a good father is and who he represents to his children.

The perfect definition of a Dad: A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.

It is a wise father that knows his own child (William Shakespeare).

Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing father (Unknown).

World Optimism Day

Positivity combined with inclusivity are equal to optimism.  All these together are so much the need of today ……at a time when the whole world is struggling with face-off against the Covid-19 pandemic. We shall develop optimism in life vis-à-vis pessimism only when we can win ourselves by positive approach having all people and segments included as a society or nation.

What could be a better than this day of 21st June 2020 which also is solemnized as a Fathers’ Day when we as a nation and the world community pay homage to the fathers (we having done to mothers on 15th May) – the generation from which ours has come and others will keep coming.

                Let’s on this great Day pledge to let nCv fear & stress be overcome by optimism and mental strength & devoted meditation…. to take on affronts & afflictions and turn life into a melody !

Above all and of all, “music” makes life to love life.

The author is a Rotarian and former senior diplomat. He can be reached at [email protected] and @saladinCh.

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