It was years ago, well before mobile phones were ubiquitous, and when the only way to enjoy music was with the Sony Walkman cassette-player. I was journeying from home to my college, extremely anxious for an exam I was about to write, and decided that I would lighten the mood with a song. I switched on the Walkman, and realised that instead of my favourite song there was a classical music practice tape from my music class. While classical music was always a mainstay in my life, I did not consider it something I would actively reach out to for relaxation. It connoted work and serious dedication, not a means of unwinding. Nevertheless, with no time to go back and fetch the tape, I decided to switch on the tape I had.
As I kept walking, the swaras of Raag Yaman, which I had been learning in my music class, started playing on my tape. For the first few minutes, my mind was tempted to get into the technical aspects of the Raag and get into ‘learning’ mode. But I realised that I was rushing towards a more important deadline, so I just let the piece play. And for the first time I became a passive recipient of the music. Within ten minutes of hearing the piece, my heart rate started slowing and I started noticing small things around me. Like the gentle swaying of trees, the pure blue sky and the scanty white clouds scattered on the tapestry of the vast openness above. The feel of the gentle breeze on my face and the smells of morning roadside tea stalls. It was a complete transformation from an anxious state to a state of total relaxation and one of being completely in the present. I went on to write my exam in a relatively relaxed state of mind.
This is one of many powerful testaments to the impact classical music can have on our anxiety. In the last two years that the world has been battling the pandemic, anxiety has become a partner to Covid-19, mutating just like the virus into paranoia, depression and phobias. And just like we need vaccines for our body, we also need a powerful vaccine for our mind. Classical Raagas can possibly do that for us.
Anxiety is an uneasy state. It is an overall change in our mental and physical consciousness. Our minds are fearful and tense. Our bodies react to the anxious mental state with increased heart rate, tense muscles and an overall ‘jumpiness’. Cortisol and adrenaline are the presiding hormones, and anger and frustration are predominant moods. We are trapped in a whirlpool of negative and unpleasant feelings and are often unable to pull ourselves out of it. We then resort to medication to suppress the symptoms.
What happened that day many years ago when I engaged in classical music can reveal a secret that we can use to get ourselves out of this whirlpool. What really happens when you hear, sing or play classical music is that we are drawn into an alternate state of consciousness, a bubble of sorts, of the mood that particular Raag creates. The ‘Krithi’ or ‘Bandish’ (names for compositions in classical music) are also set to a Taal that has a gait. While this is true of any song, classical Raagas and Taalas are profoundly emotive. They connect at a visceral level to our deep feelings of angst and frustration, and have the incomparable ability to empathize and transform that emotional state to one of peace and bliss. And before we know it, something outside of us has taken control of our inner minds, held it carefully, caressed and nurtured it and eventually handed it back to us. Much like a mother would do. The reasons for this, I believe, are in the organic roots of classical music and its connection with nature. The seven notes of classical music are believed to have evolved organically from sounds of animals and birds, and to this day, Hindustani Raagas are set according to time of day and seasons of the year.
So, classical music has an effect on anxiety that mirrors a sublime walk on fresh dewy grass, a cord that refreshes our deep connection with nature and nurture. A gift from God that beats Prozac hands down. Available at your nearest YouTube channel.
The writer is a vocalist of both Hindustani and Carnatic Classical music, with over three decades’ experience. She is also the founder of Music Vruksh, a venture to make classical accessible for its aesthetic and wellness benefits.
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RANI WRAPS UP ESTONIA SCHEDULE OF ‘MRS CHATTERJEE VS NORWAY’
MUMBAI: Estonia schedule of Rani Mukerji-starrer ‘Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway’ has been completed. On Tuesday, the makers of the film took to their social media handle to share the update with the fans. They also posted a picture, wherein we can see Rani celebrating the completion of the schedule by cutting a cake with the whole cast and crew in Europe.
As per a statement, Rani and the entire crew shot in a bio bubble with all necessary precautions. The final schedule of the movie is expected to begin in India soon. Directed by Ashima Chibber, ‘Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway’ revolves around a journey of a mother’s battle against an entire country. Apart from ‘Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway’, Rani will also be seen in ‘Bunty Aur Babli 2’, co-starring Saif Ali Khan and Siddhant Chaturvedi.
SUNIEL SHETTY AWESTRUCK AFTER MEETING BIG B
MUMBAI: Believe it or not but even celebrities also get star-struck after they meet their favourite actors. The same happened with veteran actor Suniel Shetty after he appeared on the show Kaun Banega Crorepati hosted by megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
Taking to his Instagram handle, the evergreen actor shared a picture with the megastar from the sets of the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati. Sharing the picture, Suniel penned a note reflecting his visit to the show and how he got ‘wonderstruck’ and already a ‘crorepati’ after meeting Big B.
“Wonderstruck as always at the knowledge and discipline one can imbibe from the legend the mighty Mr Bachchan. After that you always walk away a #crorepati. Thank you for the moments Amitji. #KBC #KaunBaneCrorepati #sony @amitabhbachchan @apnabhidu #lockkiyajaye #mahacomputerji.”
NICOLE KIDMAN OPENS UP ABOUT DIVORCE FROM TOM CRUISE
WASHINGTON: Hollywood star Nicole Kidman recently gave some brief insight into her marriage and subsequent divorce from actor Tom Cruise.
Though typically both are shy about commenting on the end of their marriage, however, according to Fox News, speaking to a fashion magazine for its upcoming October issue, Kidman was willing to discuss the immense media scrutiny their relationship invited in the 1990s. Kidman and Cruise got together after meeting on the set of ‘Days of Thunder’. The actors married just six months after the movie came out in 1990 and remained together for more than a decade before finally splitting in 2001.
The outlet reported that Kidman’s acting career started to be eclipsed by all the attention surrounding her personal life and marriage. However, looking back now, she sees only her culpability in the media narrative. With a laugh, Kidman told the interviewer, “I was young. I think I offered it up? Maybe I’ve gotten a bit more trepidatious, but I’m always trying to be as open as possible. I just prefer to live in the world that way.”
She further added, “I’m wary at times, and I’ve been hurt, but at the same time I much prefer a warm approach rather than a prickly shutdown approach.” Kidman went on to note that the experience left her heart “open” when she finally met her now-husband, country singer Keith Urban.
BOLLYWOOD STARS SHOWER BIRTHDAY WISHES ON KAREENA
MAHARASHTRA: As the ever-gorgeous Bollywood star Kareena Kapoor Khan turned 41 on Tuesday, several of her family members and fellow celebrities from the film fraternity, poured in birthday wishes for her.
Kareena’s sister Karisma Kapoor shared pictures from their childhood on her Instagram handle and wrote, “Will always be by ur side. Happy birthday to the best sister in the world.. my lifeline. love you the mostest. #birthdaygirl #sisterlove #beboisthebest #happybirthday.”
Filmmaker Karan Johar, one of the closest friends of Kareena, shared a selfie with the birthday girl and wrote, “We are pouters and posers in crime! So much love for my favorite girl on her special day! Happy birthday to my poo for life (that can sound wrong on many levels but bolna banta hai!) Love you so much.”
Actress Kangana Ranaut extended her birthday wishes by sharing a collage featuring stunning pictures of Kareena. She wrote, “Happy Birthday to the most gorgeous of them all.”
Kareena’s brother-in-law Kunal Kemmu posted an adorable picture to wish her on her special day. Malaika Arora on her Instagram shared a clip of the ‘3 Idiots’ actor and wrote, “Happy Birthday to my most stunning n beautiful Bebo. Keep Glowing n shining… Love you.” Kiara Advani, who shared screen space with Kareena in ‘Good Newwz’, also shared a stunning picture of the birthday girl and wrote, “Happy birthday to the most iconic superstar! Love you, Bebo.”
Actress Jacqueline Fernandez also shared a picture of the ravishing beauty while sending her greetings on the special day. “Happy birthday Kareena. Wishing you the best in your life and adventures. From Jackie,” she wrote.
ARJUN KAPOOR ON VENTURING INTO FOOD & FITNESS SPACE
MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor, who battled obesity since childhood and has gone through a remarkable physical transformation. Recently he said that he will soon be venturing into the food and fitness space. Talking about how fitness has changed his perspective, Arjun revealed, “People have been kind enough to notice my transformation. My fitness journey has not only changed the way I look at food, nutrition and fitness but it has also changed the way people look at me. The opportunities and offers coming to me have also changed.” He further spoke regarding wanting to venture into the food and fitness space and said, “I have definitely initiated multiple conversations to explore myself in the food and nutrition space and I’m excited for some of the things that will materialise soon. I will be in a position to share more concrete details in the days to come. I want to be a part of ventures that are aiming to revolutionise the fitness space!” In August, Arjun had opened about his battle with obesity in an interview with a leading daily, wherein he said how his “underlying health condition has always made it a struggle for him to constantly stay a certain size”.
Later the 36-year-old actor had disclosed that he joined forces with world kickboxing champion Drew Neal to push himself to get the correct body type, and seems like his commitment to fitness is reaping benefits for him.
‘THE CROWN’ TAKES THE THRONE AT EMMYS 2021
LOS ANGELES: Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ won big at the Emmys 2021. This show which follows Queen Elizabeth’s life throughout the decades of her reign was declared winner of the Outstanding Drama Series award at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. It also bagged awards for best actors (drama) and best actors in supporting roles. The show also took home the best writing and directing award.
On such a remarkable win, the team of Netflix took to the streaming giant’s official Twitter handle to congratulate the members of the show. “Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Crown for their 11 Emmy wins — including Best Drama Series, Best Actress for Olivia Colman, and Best Actor for Josh O’Connor https,” the tweet read. Apart from ‘The Crown’, ‘Ted Lasso’ also registered a golden win at Emmys 2021. It racked up four wins, including for best comedy and star Jason Sudeikis. Emmys moved to an indoor-outdoor venue this year due to the pandemic. It was held on Sunday at the Event Deck at LA Live.
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