The Pandemic: A Musical

By Bhagyashree Phadnis
Image source: Google Images

Last year if you’d told me that I wouldn’t be able to take my yearly trip for 2020, I would’ve
reprimanded you. What with college and everything else, my annual vacation is my only chance
to getaway. Transported to a whole new place, click one year’s worth of Instagram pictures, and leave all my troubles behind. The pandemic obviously destroyed all my plans and has even held me captive since mid March because of my immense germophobia. And consequently, I turned to the next best alternative to compensate, to mitigate the unreal sense of loss.

Music has been a key part of my life ever since I can remember. I would not be the person I am
today if I didn’t listen to the same music. Everything that I feel, is punctuated by music. It
perfectly fills the void within me. My playlist is my psychiatrist, it is my portable home.

Recently, I’ve been using music as an escape. An escape from the confines of my home to
mystical faraway lands. Not a plush green forest or a snow clad street. Neither a sunny beach or
a steep hill. What I hear, seems to conjure a myriad of thoughts, some coherent but some not,
and perceptions that are just indescribable. It’s the notes and the beats that evoke a sense of
euphoria, of astonishment and of wonder that bewitch me and I am instantly transported. Not to
a place but to a state of mind. Everything feels surreal yet so real with a sense of belonging.

There are some compositions that leave me absolutely awestruck. I wonder about how
someone manages to create something so good that I am left spellbound each time I hear it.
These are the songs that I can listen to for hours together and still not get enough of. Because
it’s just like visiting your special place. We all have a special place that we like to travel to, that
makes us feel at peace. It could be a lonely road thousands of miles away, or just the balcony of
your house. It could even be the experience of travelling, the journey that is your special place.
No matter how many times you go there, it never fails to pacify you because that experience,
that moment is enticing beyond what words can delineate. I believe the same applies to music. I
even have songs picked out for particular moods or emotions, just like I go to the park for fresh
air or to the beach for sunshine.

Most of the songs in my playlist have a memory or a back story attached to it. Some of them are
sent by my most favourite people, some are random ones that I’ve heard at a party or on the
radio. Some songs are from movies which suit the situation very well, some are treasures that
I’ve discovered on my own. While some are just embarrassing guilty pleasures that I will never
admit to have a liking for. So whenever I listen to a song, I don’t just listen. I think of all the
thoughts, things and people even remotely involved or related to them. It gives me an essence
of wandering and always brings a smile to my face.

I can positively confirm that I am in a much better place than I would’ve been, if it weren’t for
music, amidst the groping pandemic and chaos. Music makes me happier, a much better
learner and an even better person. Because I know that art never dies, it’s eternal and is
accessible irrespective of time, place and language. And therefore, the last time I was transported is when I wrote this, whilst accompanied by the fine piano tracks of Pride and Prejudice.

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