Language and Music
Language and music have inner connections: (a) both are structured in sound (b) both connect us to our universe (c) both are ways of bringing out our inner selves.
As an individual and as an author I have often thought deeply of this connection. I was never great at languages. I mean, the grammatical part of the languages. I was always conscious, and still am, that there are so many others who know more words and more grammar than I do. Yet, from my childhood, I was always gripped by the fact that language, more than grammar and vocabulary, had an internal use; it sprang from that deeper space where grammar and vocabulary did not exist. Or so it seemed to me. For me, language came from a natural need, just as music did. This need entailed the desire to express myself, my inner self. This expression was largely through rhythms, sounds, and tones. When I was happy these were all in harmony and my words flowed out of me without my mind coming in the way; when I was unhappy and disturbed, they did not emerge as naturally or emerged falteringly. If I continued to use words, trying to create something meaningful through them, they gradually became steadier in making me their medium. They did help in soothing my mind and then I was more at peace with myself, just as I am when I listen to soulful music. Words, I can dare to say, have almost been more sound for me than sense.
Rhythm has been a great attraction for me. In my childhood dance drew me into a trance. Then, I began to play the Indian drum, the tabla. In the absence of the tabla, the table, the stool or the hard bound book. I learned as little of the instrument or dance as I did grammar. I know very few rules of grammar.
My language tends to rise out of the need to express myself. Yes, some basic grammar is necessary for that and that much one picks up as a member of society; out of one’s reading, speaking and listening. Some phrases or sentences continue to vibrate and resonate within my system just as some tunes do. They grip me internally, more for their sound and rhythm. I have often spoken and written with rhythm rather than grammar and vocabulary as my guides. I may therefore never be a great speaker or writer, but I may be more in harmony with my Self and my Universe.
The Tailor’s Needle, my first novel, is an example of how I tend to use a language that is dictated largely by sound and rhythm.
My style as a writer changed with my maturity and as I became an individual. I grew from one who rhymed and chimed most of the time to one who saw harmony in the universe and in me getting reflected in and through language. Much of this is still sound-related – just as when an instrument is strung and tuned finely and when it starts speaking the right language of music.
My most recent work, the novella – SABA & NISHA A Love Story, can be ordered free of cost till August 31, here: