When Music United Us

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Music is like the call of a siren, the cry of a baby, the sound of thunder, and the calm silence of the sea. You just can’t ignore it. It beckons and entices, every heart that beats.

By Aakriti Singhal

It was one such morning in the Indian capital when the roads belonged to the citizens. With no traffic to wade through, cyclists, skateboarders, skipping girls, dancers, dramatists and music lovers were actively expressing themselves on this not-so-quite morning.  We decided to embrace the most unadulterated form of live music–no publicity, no stage, and no mics. We aspired for a direct line to the audience on the streets. When we arrived, we did however wonder how our music will be heard over such a din. Frankly, the decibel levels that day would have scared off even the most seasoned musician. But there we were, for the love of music, shrugging off our concerns. We scouted the area and occupied an elevated platform enclosing a tree. Then by the strength in our hands that strummed the guitars and the passion in our voices that soared above the noise, we performed.

Our repertoire of Rock and Hindi pop numbers altered the course of strangers passing by. After a few beats, we were strangers no more but kindred spirits, drawn together for some heart beats by music. A group of girls elevated our performance with their sensational dance moves. A little girl strummed her beats along with our guitarists and left with a spark in her eyes. The older generation threw away its inhibitions and sang with a joie de vivre that would put a youngster to shame. One of our guitarists quit playing for he was having too much fun being a cheerleader. Bystanders became performers and performers became bystanders. For two hours, we sang and played until a cop told us it was time to pack up. We almost dedicated a song to him but alas, he was very dutiful.

Reluctantly, the crowd dispersed and we bid adieu to the anonymous, exuberant faces that created magic with us that morning.

It was not a performance but a musical union, unforgettable and unexpected.

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