Along with great well known philosophers that have shaped my thinking, comes the two people that have churned me into what I am – my parents.
My passion and love for my culture and my thirst to learn about other cultures stem from my parents imbibing in me, the seed of our heritage. From somersaulting around in my mum’s womb, to crawling around and then to waddling everywhere, many of these moments were in a Hindu temple. The temple in fact has often been part of a joke said by many of my friends as it being my ‘second home’ because it literally was as a child.
My love for music and dance grew in me, through the Hindu literature and the many stories depicting the love of God through the arts. Through learning Bharathanatyam (Classical Indian dance), Carnatic music (Classical South Indian music) and even mirudangam (Classical South Indian percussion instrument) for a short period, this really honed my love for our culture.
However, it is important to mention that it isn’t these things alone in my humble opinion that makes ‘culture’. To me, culture is more than just the arts, or more than just the food we eat, or the language we speak, it’s about values which are passed down, whether we realise it or not. Even little things such as calling an older lady ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’ is to me, a cultural value and not just a traditional one.
With this said, the older I grew, I became more spiritually in tune too. I began to realise that through my music I was beginning to offer a gift to help others transcend onto a higher plane, that knows no words, just melody, a melody that calms and soothes.
The first piece I ever wrote was in fact a Bhajan (Indian devotional song) aged 5, after which I wrote many pieces, most of which up till the age of 12, I forgot along the way. Now, looking back, my music and the songs I wrote during my teenage years grew with me. The naivety I had as a child, could be seen in my songs, the romanticized view of life, through to the University stage where everything was, just fun.
Now in my twenties, I would say my music has changed. As does everyone, our outlooks change in accordance to how our lives are going at the time. My inspiration comes from both people and places. If I had to name a bunch of people that were my inspiration or who continue to be, it would take a while as there are people in my life who are my rocks, and then there are the famous people who simply just rock the world!(cringe, I know)
What do I hope for this world of ours? Well, I do think we all have a part to play in making society that little bit better, and an aim of mine is to keep making music, (putting it out on public domain a little more) encouraging the young students I teach and other youth to ask questions. I say this because, my cultural background, from things such as the meaning behind Hindu weddings, through to learning how to make a Dosai (if you’d like a recipe just get in touch) can only truly be understood through asking questions. It’s so important to understand why things are done a certain way, and how. Another aim, is to simply enjoy what life has to offer, and to be proud not just of where are parents are from, but also the mix that so many of British-born Asians quintessentially are.
That’s all of my thoughts for today and tonight! What do you think?