By Pratishtha Dobhal
Music: “It’s not the year, it’s the passing on.”
Words: “Yes. I believe so. The artist has died but the art lives on. Look at them, mourning mortality.”
Music: “Shouldn’t they? If it wasn’t for ‘them’, there would be no ‘you’ or ‘I’. We’d just be ‘somethings’ waiting to be rescued in the vortex of time.”
*If only it was that simple*
As I sit here mourning the loss of music’s greatest talents this year I am filled with guilt and gratitude.
Guilt of not meeting the giants whose music held me in good stead during all those years of ‘growing pains’, and gratitude for the fortune they have left behind. I have grown considerably older and wiser (hopefully) since I first sifted through mum’s cassette library. Not even a tween then, the first voice I fell in love with was of Leonard Cohen.
I remember listening to ‘Suzanne’ for days on end on our trip to Nainital, wanting to be Suzanne and being romanced by the golden voice.
It wasn’t until MTV India launched in the late 90s and told me it was time to ‘Stay Raw’ that I immersed myself in the visual escapes music videos allowed. Now the voices in my head (no deliberate pun intended there) ‘literally’ came to life. And even though Michael Jackson dominated the music video scene, George Michael added an extra helping of swag. I was sold not just on his music but the man himself.
This year has seen the list of pioneers who comforted, inspired, and shaped who I have become pass on without any warning. They have stitched a little web in my timeline I will remain eternally grateful for.
To Leonard Cohen,
Thank you for the lessons on life in your music,
To George Michael,
Thank you for being the trendsetter and liberal fighter,
To David Bowie,
Thank you being a culture bender, an extraordinary trailblazer,
Thank you for being the vanguard of all things cool,
To Doris Lessing,
Thank you for shaping my house of possibilities.
To all artists who may not be a part of this list,
but strive hard,
Every. Single. Day… To be one amongst all the first’s
Thank you for being you.
Going out there and imagining the impossible,
fracturing the status quo.