Music: The Love Diary

My love for music is diverse. Almost the slang multiculti becomes abnormally normal when it comes to my taste in music. “Cultures express themselves differently through the music that they listen to, sing along and perform. Music serves as a tool for people to define themselves and their culture, and allows people to express themselves through performance or even just through listening.” Making music a performative memory for cultures, yet for me, it is a timeline – ritual of passage!

It’s not stuck to any single genre. I listen to anything and everything. My play list is a mess and my heart is at rest. That’s how I see my taste in music.

Even though I can’t carry a single tune to save my life, though my BF thinks I sing well (which I doubt), I am usually making a mess of the lyrics and even greater mess of the tune. Unless it’s an anthem of some sort. Who would think that I grew up surrounded by classical music – both Indian and Western? While my mother is a devout classical singer (practiced every morning) my dad is all about waltz and European classics. And as I grew up I added Rock to it, and then the holy trinity was completed! Any “normal” Indian passing by our house would be confused by all the three being played at the same time, at different corners of the house.

To be fair, Bengali classics were also played at home (not just Rabindranath Tagore/Thakur/Bandyopadhyay – but also কে তুমি নন্দিনী, আগে তো দেখিনি/ Ke tumi nondini, Age toh dekhi ni); but they were dimmed out with time, particularly as I started high school and eventually moved continentally. But, if I have to choose two out of many songs/music I grew up with – there are just these two waltz that brings me back to childhood. One of my, as well as perhaps all of Austria’s, all-time favourite, the Blue Danube (1866 written by “waltz king” Johann Strauss II). Anyone who had a private school education, particularly in Calcutta, know this from their third grade music sheet. These lyrics are everything that compose a swaying daydream – and this song has been stuck in my head all weekend while in Vienna, and is still stuck in my head now.


Oh, beautiful stream, so clear and blue

A radiant dream, we bring to you,

The sky seems to flow, the stream so bright,

With you as you go, reflects the light,

And gay is the song, and gay the song,

You carry along, you bear along,

By shores that you lave, with your wave,

On your way… to join… the sea.


Only replaced this morning by Swan Lake (1877). This is probably the best known Tchaikovsky composition. Dad joked that my first kick as a foetus/baby, apparently got my mom startled, – happened when he was playing the Swan Lake record. Why am I not surprised that even till this day I find it soothingly mesmerising?

Blue Danube and Swan Lake. My dad would put it on every Sunday while he relaxed on his armchair reading his newspaper. And it stuck.


Lunch update:

Barwitzki (Cookie) and I (Hoppy) for Pale Ale Soul searching at PSL space: “You know the others go for Kürbisgeschmack and we go for Gouvernamentalité”.

Context: An old-couple (in their second-youth to be fair) passed by us at the Starbucks and the adorable old lady pointed to her very German husband and went – “KÜRBISGESCHMACK” enthusiastically. Cookie and I both smiled and Cookie-Barwitzki went “they really don’t know how to function in our day and age”. I agreed. Somewhere there it was seated – government and rationality, put together in an old-couple in their second-youth dynamics. Where societal group dynamics play/played an equal role in shaping their couple life. Perhaps a reason why older generation – on a less feministic/realistic and more optimistic/romantic note – managed a lifetime of “misery” together and still stayed together.

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