Life is a very precious GIFT

Written by on in Informative

Namaste, Dear Music Lover,

Life is indeed a very precious GIFT, to be celebrated and treasured as an irreplaceable experience given to each of us at birth. Few people are given much warning about when their life will end, so they can only press on with hope and courage (no matter how awful it seems at some points).

Often it seems that our lives are so caught up in pursuit of daily activities, and we forget the importance of everyday life-affirming moments and people who support our growth and development. It’s easy to find faults, but actual clear thought, good planning and careful, often skilled work is essential to bringing needed improvements.

Many people of faith (and philosophers in general) may hold the view that pre-knowledge about our deaths would not improve our lives, advocating for less rather than more in-advance danger warning.

Our prayers will be answered—in God’s time

On the one hand, knowing that we only have say 12-36 months to fulfill our life ambitions and goals could lead to more panic than rational behaviors. On the other hand, being informed that one cannot possibly succeed pursuing an advanced college degree program for either time or financial reasons in the next 2-3 semesters could help people to be more reasonable. (Perhaps more forlorn, but less ambitious, I’ll add.)

Don’t worry, Dear Music Lover. I have not become depressed or in any way morose. I also don’t spend hours or stay up late nights troubling my mind over such topics. But it is fair to have such concerns on one’s mind when tens of thousands of people are dropping like flies from a scary viral pathogen. Doing the ostrich move (face hiding) may be a sort of coping mechanism, but it won’t increase one’s nuanced understanding of the current states of human reality. 

However, I may take opportunities to show my impatience with God’s and my parents and my partner’s plans for our future. In a teasing frame of mind, I may feign attachment to an inanimate toy as if its companionship is my heart’s desire. I do such things and I speak frankly with my off-the-cuff [and I don’t even own nor do I wear cuffs, thank you] remarks about whatever occurs to me.

You see, I’ve learned to evoke tremendous sensitivity to the literary nuances of Tagore and song lyricists for movies, but for the love of my life, I can only show thinly veiled contempt—as the matter of my schedule has been either upended or simply blotted over by some rather inky monsoons. Or, Dear Music Lover, perhaps you can tell me!

When will the madness be quelled to an extent whereby we can all move past the recriminations and (real/feigned) assignations that collectively move me farther from my goals and closer (by steps, thankfully) to madness? But I jest—in much the same way as the 💕 of my life. Yes, I can laugh and I have cried, but in truth all of the years and the tears have begun to commix and commingle. Oh, a single ready to mingle? Well, I’m a free person if that matters. Does it? Is a date certain ever certain during any stage of a global pandemic? Why am I asking so many unanswerable questions??

While working on tasks/jobs in any given moment requiring our full attention (and despite all of the distractions we manage to survive) can serve as distraction (lessening the deleterious impact of the anxiety attendant to such stressors), it may actually be far later when we can finally reflect upon life (in all of its ups and downs), and be duly grateful for the people and good fortune we enjoy as we reach our present place and conditions. I do occasionally reflect in some such manner.

In most instances, each of us could reflect upon a long series of interactions and significant influences that individually and collectively have impacted how we feel (perhaps being sources of inspiration and encouragement, or when taking a bitter look at the hurtful moments, were impediments to our success), how we’ve either persevered and triumphed—or how we fail(ed) to endure, leading to defeat, loss and/or abject despair. 

While often, we can remain emotionally detached from our momentary struggles, sometimes life’s negative impacts are so profound that it can seem as though our situation is hopeless (when in virtually every case if we consult our better angels and higher power, we learn that a) we aren’t alone, and b) most of the struggles we face are eminently survivable, especially when we simply “buckle down” and try our best). The extent to which any situation actually IS hopeless seems directly related to how hopeless we believe it will be. 

Libraries are closed, the WWW is open.

Dear Music Lover, we very much hope that you’re doing as well as you can manage (given the many aspects of life that as for us as well, are out of your control and must either be accepted or struggled against with considerable effort). 

So when faced with choices between what may otherwise seem only futile options, if we can instead view our real options with some detachment, we can then allow for the emotional aspects to benefit from our thoughts and reflections without immersion into an emotional hot pot. For me, an edible hot pot makes more sense, and all of this forced home time may actually be helping me to improve my culinary skills. I’m finally moving past Maggi and toward fresh produce cooked in the traditional ways that family and friends have shared over the years. My various test results indicate that although I dosed myself perhaps excessively with that product when I was finding my way in Bollywood, now I feel better, and some say the improved diet is helping my appearance, too. So… if it could simply re-book the many appearances that were canceled due to the pandemic! (Actually, if that were actually the case, I’d cook fresh & daily, lol, and maybe Sony would offer me a plum Executive MD role.)

To carry a cooking analogy a bit farther, when we have become subsumed into a hot melt of our own turmoil, hopes of deftly sorting through our options (and making just well-reasoned choices) are only diminished. But as in most situations, the final disposition needn’t be one we are powerless to at least recognize as an opportunity rather than some hopeless failure. So it’s called seasoning? Which season? I can drop the odd pun.

We can regard this pandemic as a one-off or one of a pattern of epidemic tragedies that seem to befall humanity about once per century. That becomes an almost-too-convenient excuse to dismiss any global health crisis as impossible to stop, yet in need of containment through whatever draconian (e.g.,  apparently-effective social distancing) measures are available to slow/stop trends.

As I often do, I’m airing some items without taking a written position here—not because I’m afraid to do that, but because I don’t feel that in these matters I need to take any specific position that might otherwise be objectionable to anyone. Let’s be clear: it’s not because I’m afraid to have opinions, but because I don’t feel inclined to make public pronouncements other than we love you and hope you’ll return to the cinemas when you can (because we in Mumbai produce movies and music that you and others actually value, and so you want to support them/us). Ṭhika āchē?

Too often people stuck in one or another mindset (and generally “stuck” with some troubling thoughts or fears—please note that all fears are merely irrational thoughts) refuse to take a step or two back to gain a clearer perspective on their circumstances. Instead they freeze up and become even more vulnerable, hence less effective in coping with the threats they face. 

In that case, they may indeed be nearing their demise. It’s really obvious: if we choose to cave in or acquiesce to outside forces, by definition we’re already doomed. While manifesting at least some hope, succumbing to the relentless pull of tragic impulses and negativity that is so often connected to the end of lives, those who specialise in spiritual matters often enunciate more interesting takes on the arc of a life being connected to the universe and being congruent to its god-given purpose.

These spiritual gurus (if you will) often insist that a life’s course is more like a ring than an arrow, holding that every end is also a new beginning, not a final stop only stuck somewhere forever. This is why I’m helping to support various mental health initiatives to address the urgent needs of many vulnerable souls—who face mounting obstacles to their happiness. I’m actually a rather rugged soul and I delight in serving others in need. I see this sort of a musical treatment modality as integral to my calling in life.

I’m not a real doctor like Madhuri ji’s other half, I just play one in music/on TV (as the saying goes) in my time. Which, when the stars all align, also happens to be God’s time.

In fact, our human concepts and terminology for not only time but space, substance, forces and some say even reality itself are limited to our frames of reference. So for example, we have no way to refer to these phenomena based on the physical universe in the same ways the Creator(s) would (which could and likely would be wholly independent of the entirety of our understanding).

God speaks English/Hindi and looks like us? We cannot know. But all hope is not gone. It’s simply time to try to expand our knowledge, rather than finding fault (with what we think we already know, but may not!) and looking for easy ways to replace everything (and the terms we use for items that we can somehow identify).

So Dear Music Lover, if your head isn’t spinning yet with all of the preceding discussion, you’re a rather resilient type—like me. You guys rock! I am really looking forward to seeing everyone at our next live concert!! When? I’m sure of one thing. It’s in the future.

Namaste

AM

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