Music and Lyrics
The man who was strumming his guitar in the wildest manner possible.. the man to whom Dhwani meant everything.. the man who brought her out of pain, despair and insanity or so he thought.. the man who Dhwani respected and liked... Sujay...
It was an year since Ved had last spoken to Dhwani. Dhwani’s parents had started seeking an alliance for their daughter. They had given her a picture of a guy called Sujay. Some Sujay. How could they even think that he can replace Ved. How can they expect her to forget everything and say yes to a random guy they were seeking for her.
Sujay ..... a very practical guy... A guy to whom girls wouldn’t readily be attracted.. he was not soft by any means... rough.. hard... tough.. whatever you can describe a very aloof and detached person to be... To Sujay, the world is a happy place, as long as you can keep yourself happy and do everything possible to keep yourself happy ! There were two things that kept him happy... Guitar and sports. Name it he played the sport. 6 feet tall, dark and smart but not the handsome mushy types. He did not know what quizzes were, academics meant nothing to him, a girl was just another entity in planet earth.. there were no differences between the species of Venus and Mars.. He was in all possible ways, the opposite of Ved. The only purpose in world was jamming and playing.. UNTIL Dhwani entered his life. Dhwani, who his parents had chosen for him. Dhwani, who had instantly rejected him. His parents told so. But he did not know why. Nor was he bothered at first.
Sujay liked people with a very good sense of music and Dhwani was one of them. To Dhwani music was dope after Ved had left her. To Dhwani, Sujay was another ardent music lover, who shared the same passion as hers. To Sujay, Dhwani was beginning to mean more than just a person who shared his interests.
Dhwani had become a very closed person. She lost the chirpiness that defined her. She no more attached theoretical explanations to whatever she spoke. She no more got excited about walls that were painted with Disney characters. Her pillow best knew her secrets. She couldn’t sing. Sadness choked her throat whenever she tried to.. She wrote her lyrics.. Music was becoming her way of life. She thought that the song.. the music of her life.. Ved had left.. She was scared that he would take away all other songs with him.. She wanted to atleast treasure those memories.. She wanted atleast the other songs for company.
They met, for the first time in a rehearsal session of Sujay’s band, through one of their common friends – Deepa. Little did Deepa know that Dhwani and Sujay knew each other’s names and that they had seen each other’s photographs
“Hi guys ! This is Dhwani.. one of my closest frens. She loves music and it would be great if we have her around during our practice sessions. She can be a good critic” said Deepa.
She had already told his band about Dhwani and the pain she was facing. She did not give them exact details but it was very evident that Dhwani was distraught. So the band welcomed her.
“Dhwani..Deepa told us that you are an amazing singer. You have to sing for us sometime ” said Pavithra, one of the girls in Sujay’s band.
“Dhwani we heard that you write lyrics as well. Sujay and a few of us compose songs. You should write. We ll be happy to compose” said Ranjan
All this while, Sujay had not even looked at them. He was in his own world.. playing his guitar.. He avoided Dhwani. The world thought he was insensitive. But little did they know that he held one emotion to be very dear to him. His Ego. And Dhwani and hurt it by rejecting him.. Dhwani was not perturbed by the fact that she met someone who she had rejected. Infact she did not even know if Sujay recognized her. She loved the piece he had just played.
Days passed and Dhwani found solace in listening to “Sahana” – the band. She was a passive listener. It was a tranquilizer. It eased her of her pain. But Deepa saw that she had not come out of her depression. She tried her best to make her sing. She couldn’t. She had lost it. She had not come to terms with the fact that Ved had left. Ved had been the song she loved most. With him, he took away every song that Dhwani had sung, experienced and enjoyed. Deepa wanted her Dhwani back. Back as the same old Dhwani
“Dhwani” called Sujay.. “Dhwani can you please find me the book in which I write my notes”
“Yes Sujay. Ill get it for you” his wife called back. She was his right hand. In his case, the left hand . Without her, he was truly incomplete. She had come into his life, an year ago. He was a very strong man. The only thing he was sensitive about was music. He did not know how to talk to people. His guitar did the talking. She did not like talking to anybody either. So his guitar did all the talking between him and the rest of the world and with Dhwani too !!
He liked Dhwani, a few months after he had met her. He started liking her as much as he disliked her when he met her first. He liked her lyrics. Her style of writing. She could effortlessly pull off emotions in her song and her lines were far less cheesy. This was something very unlikely for a girl. He liked her ‘cause she was different from the rest. Music as Dhwani said kindles emotions in people. She believed that mere music could kindle emotions in people. He truly believed that for a song, the lyrics was as important as music. It is not only music that touches your broca’s area but also the lyrics. He kept questioning Dhwani’s theories. He kept arguing with her. All this with one thing in mind. He wanted her to sing. He wanted to hear her sing.
“Sujay here is your notebook. Please keep your things in place so that you don’t need me to be with you always”. Any guy in Sujay’s position would have come up with cheesy lines like “Even if I keep my notebook in place, I will need you to be with me always”. But Sujay was the last person in the world who would come up with these lines.
Sujay hated it when movies potrayed a guitarist in a hero and he used his skills with the guitar to impress his girl friend. He always wondered how they would come up with such cheesy lines. Surprisingly, all guitarists in movies were very romantic and went down on their knees when it came to their girlfriend. Sujay smiled when he thought of how poor he was at this. He went back in time. The time when Dhwani started coming into his life.
“Deepa, I like Dhwani. As a person. Not that I have a crush on her or something. Dhwani was one of the girls my parents had suggested for me. I hated it when she said no to me. My Ego got the better of me and I avoided her. But of late I have fallen for her lyrics. Her line of thought. The smartness she held up for me to see. I have this feeling that she would complete me. Dont ask me how and why. I am not good at expressing such stuff. I don’t expect you to tell this to her either. Just wanted to tell you”. This was probably the longest sentence that Sujay had spoken in his entire life. Deepa stood there stunned as he saw another person standing there when Sujay had finished speaking. Dhwani. And Deepa knew what would happen.
Dhwani was extremely hurt. Angry. Irritated. She did not know why. It was not wrong for Sujay to have liked her. But she lost all hope and belief in love. She did not want another person to be hurt by it. She thought it was over when she said no to her parents. She started avoiding Sujay. Days passed and Dhwani stopped turning up for their practice sessions. One day, Sujay decided to call her up.
“Hello. Please don’t slam the phone down”
“What is it Sujay?”
“Dhwani. I am sorry. I promise this wont happen again. But please come back to the practice sessions. I know how much you love being a part of it. I don’t want to be the reason for denying you of the thing that keeps you happy. I don’t believe in love either. I just thought my parents had not made a mistake in considering you to be my life partner. I am sorry.”
There was silence on the other end. As long as the line was not disconnected, Sujay was happy. She was atleast listening !
The next day he saw her there. She was back. But she consciously avoided him. She thought that this would help him forget her. But this actually made him long for her. He wanted her to talk to her. But he didn’t. Months rolled by.
“I don’t know why she is doing this. So what if it did not work out between Vedant and her? Doesnt it mean that they were not meant to be together? Why is she acting as if it is the end of her life. Why the heck doesn’t she start singing. Why doesn’t she be normal with people. Why does she have to lose hope in love itself? Not that I want her to consider me. But what was just a liking, grew into something more when she started avoiding me. Damn. Why the hell did she come into my life. Life has become more beautiful and more painful as well”. Deepa let out a sigh. Sujay was better off when he spoke short sentences. With probably 2 or 3 words.
This time it was Sujay who noticed that Dhwani had heard them again. He blew up all his chances. She was never going to even consider him her friend. She was never going to come again. For any of the practice sessions.
Deepa was dusting out her old hard disk.. She had badly wanted to watch a movie “Anger Management” that would surely be there in her hard disk which she used in college. As she plugged in, she saw the auto play menu, which said view pictures. She clicked on it, to just refresh her memories. In it she saw the pictures of two of her closest friends. Dhwani and Sujay. The pictures that were clicked in one of those practice sessions when Dhwani was annoyed with Sujay.
It was the 27th of October. It was three months since Dhwani had met “Sahana.” Sujay jammed harder than ever before. His music was getting better minute by minute. With every passing day, his feelings for Dhwani intensified. Deepa saw that his music spoke.. Spoke loudly of his feelings for Dhwani. At the same time she knew what Dhwani was going through. She did not want another guy even as a friend in her life. She knew she can never get close to ANYONE. Love had ruined her life.
“Hi Dhwani. This is our last practice session before we play on stage. I want you to come. Please” said Deepa
For Dhwani, Deepa was a very important person. Her childhood friend who knew her the most, till date. She could not say no.
“Alright. I’ll come Deepa. ”
The band was practicing hard. They were now playing a piece of Yanni’s – Charriots of Fire. It was one of Dhwani’s favourite. Ranjan sang Annie’s song by John Denver – another favourite. Pavithra sang contemporary carnatic music – Sadhinchane, a pancharathna keerthanai by Thyagaraja swamigal.
All this while Sujay has not spoken. Deepa told Dhwani that he was going to do a solo performance. She was not going to be there for their show. So she wanted to wait and hear him play the guitar. He took the mike. Everybody else gave him complete stage presence by moving out of the stage.
He cleared his throat. Noooooooo. Sujay was awful at this. He was awful at singing. Why can’t he just to what he was good at.
“It’s never been easy for me
To find words to go along with a melody
But this time there’s actually something, on my mind
So please forgive these few brief awkward lines”
“Oh my god ! What a choice of song”.. thought Deepa. She smiled to herself. She could imagine another episode of Alex Fletcer trying to impress Sophie Fisher.
“Since I met you, my whole life has changed
It’s not just my furniture you’ve rearranged
I was living in the past, but somehow you’ve brought me back
And I haven’t felt like this since before Frankie said relax”
“Deepa hes actually good at it. I cant believe it. He is not exactly singing. But whatever he is doing is good” squealed Pavithra
“And while I know, based on my track record,
I might not seem like the safest bet
All I’m asking you is don’t write me off, just yet”
“Dhwani its ok even if you don’t like him. But you got to smile. Atleast for this attempt. My god ! I am unable to believe my eyes” said Ranjan. They were all laughing
“And though I know, I’ve already blown more chances
Than anyone should ever get
All I’m asking you is don’t write me off, just yet
Don’t write me off just yet”
As Sujay finished singing he just turned and smiled at Deepa, for they both saw Dhwani smiling. Not that she liked him. Not that he had impressed her. Not that Sujay could replace Ved. But Sujay had chosen the right song.. to express his feelings. The words.. so funny.. actually forced her to smile.
So Sujay was afterall right... It was not just music. They lyrics mattered as well. They struck a chord with the listener. She thought of this and smiled.
Sujay smiled. Not because he thought that Dhwani had liked him. But because he had made her smile. Now he just had one task in hand. To make her sing. He didn’t care if she liked him or not.
He didn’t care if she reciprocated his feelings. All he wanted was to see her smile. He thought that was true love. Not proposals, not outings, meetings or datings... Just wanting to see the other person happy, even if they have not reciprocated your feelings.. that according to Sujay was true love !
To Deepa, everything was like a dream. “Call it fate, God’s will or destiny.. he is the music and she will be the lyric. Together they will make the song.. the song that Dhwani wanted in her life.”
“Dude... good that you chose this song and sung it to Dhwani. She smiled and all that. But that doesn’t guarantee you a chance to sing this in the performance night. It was awful. Please do what you are good at” said Ranjan
“Sure dude! All I wanted was to see her smile. She will be the best lyric I can ever get to complement my music. Irrespective of whether she feels the same about me. Let us hope for the best !”
To be continued