Isn’t it vexing, when you are going about your day and a perfect stranger walks up behind you, gets too close for comfort and starts humming? It is as if, they do not care about the world, whether they are making people around them uncomfortable by breathing on their necks, or that their vocal chords are not too flattering. These people refuse to recognize their talent, or the lack thereof. In their heads, they are playing out a dream sequence wherein they are wooing their ladyloves by throwing around weird lyrics and (not) hitting the right notes.
I would only like to tell these men the following three things: first, follow your passion by joining a music class; second, I am not impressed so stop trying; and third, you are not Sonu Nigam.
The music maestro recently made news for the right reason. Dressed in rags, the singer posed as an old homeless man and doled out some of his best songs on the streets of Mumbai. He carried a harmonium and slate on which he shared a message on happiness: Khojna kya hai? Khushiyaan yahin hain (what are you looking for when joy is here). He rendered his songs as unsuspecting pedestrians, hawkers and vendors looked on. While some stood around and listened, some others walked away.
A Samaritan squatted next to him, recorded the audio and secretly handed him 12 rupees while shaking hands in admiration.
The video went viral later. Music lovers across India were moved by the singer’s gesture. We often come across talented souls on the roads and in trains, working relentlessly to earn their breads and making twain ends meet. But not all of us pause to reflect upon their lives. Do we even care a second glance? Do we remember their facial features or the colour of their clothes? No. The only thing that echoes is the melody.
The video was a part of a social experiment conducted by ‘Being Indian’, a popular YouTube channel. The intention was written on the slate – to find out if Indians care about and “react to beauty when it is just around the corner”.
After he removed the prosthetics, Nigam said music is a knowledge that very few people acquire, and he is one such disciple. That this was one of the most enlightening and remarkable experiences of his life and he is humbled.
We must learn to appreciate the moment and not worry ourselves with the future, the singer preached.
Those who appreciate and understand music, must continue doing so, regardless of its source. That poor singer you just saw on the road might have a story of their own to share. Let us start encouraging and helping people, however we can.