If there is guilt being Bhutanese in me then it would be for loving hindi songs over my own country ones. This sets me thinking that I might have been some musician or lyricist or troubadour in ancient India because I have immense taste for the country’s vintage songs unlike to any other classics. As a Bhutanese, this aspect of me is totally an irony and of course, disgusting.
I cannot blame my parents for my liking to the neighbour country’s songs for they fed me enough and equal of both Bhutanese and Indian songs during my early childhood. In fact, my father was quite partial over the choice of songs I should listen to; he would refuse to change the radio station from BBS once Ap Dawpel begins with his hypnotising voice and magical dramnyen. He urged me to learn the indigenous musical instrument too. But I didn’t have the aptitude or the interest. My mother who being used to cinema in border town, used to bring in an Indian classic frequently and seldom hums herself. That just pleased my auditory sense. And as I matured and grew aware as the country’s citizen, inevitably and eventually, I fell in for the hindi songs.
Kishor Kumar, Udit Narayan, Anu Malik, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar are few who are into my knowledge as the singers and upon whose songs I feast usually. Regarding modern, I am little selective; I prefer sufi over other genres. And Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is my favourite. Proudly, I can complete couple of his songs. Due to these songs, I didn’t ( and don’t ) face communication gap here. It’s an incentive for being impartial in listening to any songs. On contrary, shame swallows me when I’d to admit I know only tits and bits – either head or tail – of own folk songs.
Having admitted that, one may think I don’t have a sense of patriot and I’m disloyal to my homeland. Well. If research be done in this matter, it won’t be surprising to know the truth being brought to light revealing majority of youth swept away by western winds, few caught by Korean fever, some into Chinese and few like me and only fewer hooked back by country’s culture, with appetite for folk songs.
I impose myself, however, into learning and listening the songs because it’s identity; the proof of where I belong. And I’ll make sure I know a dozen at least by heart, soon.
Gospel songs are recent addition to my menu. I had begun to like it. But I assure you I am not influenced into Christianity. Perhaps, it’s only to mark my presence in a Christian college. It’ll be a souvenir.
But vintage songs remain unbeaten in my favourite list. And sufi as well. Sometimes, I really think hard that I reach the extent of insanity – my being as Mughol Emperor or Akbar himself in previous life, lying on the magnificent throne, watching beautiful damsels entertaining my court; their anklets tinkling in tune to the songs I love... Ah!.. Let’s stop it. This will be just an excuse for my loving Indian classics and sufi.