Sing Along.. Or not..

Everyone loves music. There’s no denying that. Whether its toddlers listening to the Teletubbies, a teenager listening to Adam Levine’s latest album or a 90 year old attending a Carnatic (Indian traditional music) concert; everyone shares the same passion for music. And sometimes, that passion can be source of great pain to the rest of us. 

That passion, induced by hearing beautiful music, makes people ‘try’ and emulate the singers by singing along. They have this desperate urge to express this passion. Of course, when a toddler sings, it all seems to be very cute. But as you get older, the ‘cuteness’ quotient reduces. You begin to sound distinctly like a dying walrus! And to add to the problems, people think bathrooms are soundproof rooms where you are authorized to sing as loudly (and creatively) as possible. 



As bad a picture as this might paint, it might interest you to know that there is one category of singers worse than the ones I’ve mentioned. There are some kids (boys especially) who are pressured into learning Carnatic music by their parents and relatives (some distant aunt, second cousin’s uncle, etc, etc). From the early hours of dawn right until the sun sets, they religiously and tirelessly practice, giving you a heart attack every time they reach a high note. And when the poor kid finally stops singing (hallelujah!) you sympathise with him, but sympathy turns into psychotic rage when he once again starts singing, like a frog heralding the rain!

The family of that boy is very supportive of him. When you meet the grandmother, she bursts out praising  her grandson’s voice. You control your laughter. You meet the mother a day later who asks you if her son’s singing has improved. You nod your head and try to change the subject before you strangle the woman in front of you. And finally when you see the dad after a while, his first and only question to you is whether you heard his son singing ‘Kurai Onrum Illai’ (a famous South Indian song). You mutter some praise about his voice, but you have reached your breaking point. You find a new house next to a loud construction site the next day and move over there for the sweet melody of the cranes and the drills. 

But all is not lost. Several studies show that singing out loud can actually reduce stress and make you happier (even if the rest of the world mourns). So even if you are traumatizing the rest of the world with your ‘wonderful’ voice, you are helping yourself. So sing out loud, but please, soundproof your walls (or your bathroom).