3 Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise him with the lute and harp! 4 Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! 5 Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals! 6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! PSLAM 150: 3-6, THE BIBLE (The Gideons International)
A hundred young energetic voices singing in unison erupted from a stone throw distance from where I lived. It was Teachers Day celebrated in all its wonders. Children giving back their love and respect to their teachers (the noblest of all profession) in the best they can. The exuberant young voices were accompanied by a sound complete in its genre, matching the energetic young spirit (Rock music).
With that beat and sound they sure do rock my world on that fine day. I could feel each one of them singing their part religiously, sinking their souls into a world of oneness, shedding their differences away into the rhythm of the melodic loudness, their young spirits blends in fine into the exotic anger of the music. To be blessed with that soul filling moment, listening to such an intense fusion can surely be a humble learning experience. Looking at Churachandpur diverse composite cultures, I believe, many of them must have belonged to different tribes and must have spoken different languages. And yet, when the music was played and songs sang, I could feel none, their differences. Was it Rock music melting away their many differences? Where can one find love and respect from human apart from it coming from the heart! The children gifted them, their Teachers, gift of the heart. A pure deserve gift! When differences form a barrier, music dissolves it. Where reasons fail, music unites. Certainly yes, it was Rock Music Diplomacy on the move! I began to ask myself then a dreams further than the dreams question. If Rock Music/ Heavy Metal be such a force that can unite these young lives and transcend through their barrier of differences, why cannot it be for the many thousands of young lives scattered across our beautiful Land, loving Rock/Heavy metal with a never dying passion?
Rock Music sees the first light of dawn in ‘Land of the Jewels’ almost as early as any of the western countries. A possibility born out of Globalization! From the early 1960’s till present, its grip and influences can be witness in the ever changing life-style. The Beatles, CCR, The Eagles, Queen, GnR, A7X….. and our very own Manipur rock greatest Cannibals, Dark Krusaders, Phynyx now LEN…. Familiar? Welcome to the family of Rock/Metal music! It means, at one point of time we are all in a way touched by Rock/Metal music. But for some many parents though, Rock Music/ Heavy Metal is a Taboo, a darker side of the entity! The world of Rock music that we have painted for our parents with our strange and unholy behavioral changes; I do not blame them, and I will not them either! And this is the sad side of the story with Rock Music in Manipur. Such prejudice was born as a result of the youths venturing into an uncharted brand new world with no sane hands to hold onto. But just that glimmer, bewitching and sucking us into the pit of oblivion, deeper and deeper. A fine mixture of ignorance and the flower of Globalization thus becomes the devil’s favorite PlayStation. Then non forms the blame, ignorance was at fault!
Trying to get this life in tune with Rock Music after a decade, I walked into a new dawn of rock culture. Almost a total facelift from its yestergoneby 20th century Rock world! In so many different beautiful ways I could see an order in a supposed to be chaotic world where anarchy defines the order of rock world. Having spent my free time in my favorite hang-out place “EPIC JAM ROOM”, I have often come across parents tagging alongside their wards. At times, young musicians belonging to different tribes and communities dropped in to ease their world of boredom, frustration and emptiness. When such opportunity is gifted, there I will be, standing on the other side of the room, through the transparent barrier, watching and witnessing Rock Music shedding away differences and inhibitions for these young undiluted creations of God. Perception and social acceptance do change for the better! This change could not simply have happened without people’s intervention. Somewhere, at one point of time, some like-minded individual or actors must have come together, giving in all, to mitigate the harm done by Rock Music. We, Rock Music lovers are living in the freedom and clarity of their selfless efforts. My deepest respect to these unsung heroes! The 21st Century young rock musicians area much more responsible lots. Then, not through the colours of myriad paints, but by that every selfless stroke of the paint brush, the question on being responsible is answered.
Music is an Art, a discipline with a much wider scope and prospect. And Rock music is, as such. This concept seems to sink in well with the new generation rock musicians. Most of the young musicians I have the privilege to rock with on stage are either in school or college with a define vision and dreams. They know where they stand, what they wanted to achieve in life. Most of all, they realize and understand the gift of freedom music can bring them in their life. Rock music this way is transformed into tools for building confidence and personality. In the end, these two embodiments of empowerment are what will set our children apart from the learned to be do’ers and achievers. If we are curious with the right curiosity, then there is a lot whole bigger world to be seen with great prospect and secured future for our children, whose hearts and dreams are built upon the sound of music. Curiosity kills the cat, so it is said! Curiosity of our children should be fed and nurtured with the right information and knowledge. Such move and action will save our children from walking into fool’s paradise; and from the grip of ignorance. And need I repeat the bitter fruits of ignorance? Ignorance is a sin, a great crime done upon one-self and a bitter flame, burning down all the beautiful things around to cinders. As parents, it is our heaven ordained responsibility to keep our children safe from such ignorance. Again as parents, this effort can be our biggest contribution in the process of healing our land. An article written by Ranjan K Baruah in the Sangai Express “Career option in Audio/ Sound Engineering”, dated 3rd September, 2017 is a must read article for music lovers who wants to build a world out of it. And not to forget, unsure parents!
I wish there could be more of a bigger platform for the many young rock musician of Manipur to nurture and expose their talents for the world to see, admire and appreciate. It would be such an extremely appreciated new beginning for the many Rock Music lovers and a solid stepping stone for a life to build upon a career. Parents, musicians and rock music lovers with queries on different issues and topics ( Instruments and gear set-up, discussion on Rock related issues and topics, counseling support- motivation and guidance, understanding the scope of music etc.) can visit ROCK MUSIC DIPLOMACY, a Facebook group.It is a group meant to bridge a gap for the many Rock/ Metal music lovers of Manipur, fostering the spirit of brotherhood and unity in the Land, empowering young musicians and music lovers to meet life head on. It is a platform where members are encourage to see through the heart of humanity. The world has made a living out of Rock Music. So can the talented young musicians of Manipur as well. ‘Traffic Jam’, a band from Manipur has already tens of thousands domestic and international viewers in You Tube. And here is the rocking testimony of what was just mentioned. Will my words be carrying vanity if I say, ‘our children are second to none’! When our lives are made ready, trained and prepared to meet the ever changing tide of progress, then the reality of living in it becomes a calm possibility.
When I allow myself to be pulled in too much in the bitterness and struggle of my existence, then, I tend to lose focus on the beautiful blessings that surrounds me and what could be had through it as well. I’m brought back to this part of the living by my young musician friends and I have been shown the truth about Rock Music. Those intense moments of shedding fears and indifferences on stage and inside the Jam Room breaks the barrier drawn by people. And humanity resurfaces when rhythm takes over. My young musician friends have also shown me a new doorway to living; a doorway where healing is possible for our beautiful land, Manipur. A new possibility of bonding through the spirit of Queen’s ever rocking anthem ‘We Will Rock You’. I have never been clearer in my resolve to do what I can for the welfare of my Land and its many beautiful young lives because I have been shown that clarity in those tender souls. And when Rock Music/ Heavy Metal is more than a noise, magic does happen. Yes! Love, Peace and Brotherhood!
Source: The Sangai Express