I have been raised on a steady diet of Bollywood music. But today’s Bollywood differs from the Bollywood of my formative years. And what constitutes ‘popular’ these days plays a BIG role in the lives of my children as I realised the other day.
We often play a game where I give the girls a theme and they have to take turns telling me words/phrases related to it. While that enhances their awareness and vocabulary, I also get to know what they think and feel about the issue.
The other day, by mutual agreement, we chose Music. Not surprisingly, Bollywood Music featured here too. So some of the words/phrases that followed were: Makes me happy, Songs, Melody, Notes, Applause, Fun Music Sheets, Orchestra, Conductor, Baton, Disco Deewane, Radha song etc.
I must confess, I had an ulterior motive for playing the game that day. While my elder one took to the woodwind like the proverbial fish, the younger one vacillated between that and the strings family. My husband and I chose the latter given the two groups make great music together and we did not want conflict at home.
So, we borrowed our first strings from a friend and started classes with great enthusiasm. Soon, practicing the ‘same old’ notes became a chore. ‘I am bored’ became a constant refrain so some days I just let the child be. And it began to tell. The notes that sounded near perfect initially began to jar on the ears. Worried, I wondered if I’d started the definitely difficult instrument a bit too early.
Was my nearly-five-year-old even interested? Or was I pushing her into it?
As I wrestled with my doubts, my elder child graduated to experimenting with Hindi film music on the woodwind, playing ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh Yeh Jaana Sanam’ one day. Within a few days of this ditty being played, my younger child bounced back to practicing her instrument on her own, the notes sounding near perfect once more.
The game that day strongly hinted that this change had as much to do with the need to be one up on the sibling as with a sudden liking for a certain ‘O Radha Teri Chunri…’ and perhaps a secret desire to get it right on the strings, someday!!
What I want to convey from this post is quite simple:
1. Children use all media to communicate. Keep your lines open: It may be a game but it reveals a lot. I realised the oneupmanship at play: If my seven year old could play a hindi song on her instrument and impress me, could my younger one be far behind? It’s a different story that the choice of song could have been better.