Happiness is a song

Some days are just bursting with happiness. There’s just so much of it, my poor little heart quivers, balks at the thought of taking it all in, in one go. I want it in neat little measured packets. But it comes at me in vast quantities, gushing over me, washing me down in pure bliss. Like when it rains tears, and you have no idea why. Have you ever been so happy, it comes out in tears? Today was that kind of day. Where a single song can hit the spot like a thousand bursts of splendour all at once.

And it started here:

You know its going to be a happy day when you come in to work and realise that Coke Studio Pakistan Season 5 has kicked off. And then you chance upon Tahir Mithu, who is like a power packed intense dose of pure, unadulterated abandon. And the joy that comes with it.

There is something pure and honest about music like this, when you hear it just one and it touches you in a way like nothing has in a long time. When it makes you so happy you can’t help but let the tears just happen. Because you have no other way to express what you’ve just felt. And when it fills you with a joy you cannot describe. And of course when the track goes on to play on loop for the next 72 hours. And you do not tire even after.

Part of it is the music. I don’t know what the folks at Coke Studio Pakistan eat, or do in life, but they have just nailed their music. Every last micro-tone, every mini-beat, every bar, is there, right where it needs to be. Not a speck more, or less. It’s in the tight instrumentation. In the perfectly tuneful vocals. In the refreshing, intelligent, uber-creative collaborations. The music, for the sake of music. The lack of unnecessary glamour and promotion of half-assed, non-musical people, but true artists (Are you listening Coke Studio India?). And in the fact that everyone is there for a reason. To make good music.

But a large part of it is in finding people like Tahir Mithu. Whose every pore breathes music. One look at this video and you can tell, the man lives, breathes, eats, sleeps music. And that’s the kind of passion that has the power to transport you to raptures in an instant. There is far too much good, soulful music in this world, for me to soak up in one life time. And finding Tahir Mithu has been a privilege I am so happy to have had. Watching him sit there, exuding such simplicity, passion and togetherness for what he does, just blew me. Here’s a man who opens his mouth and hits the right note, he’s just so all there with every sound. There he is, without a care in the world, for the fancy house band, the hot backing vocal girls, or the busy strobes whirring around him. His stance speaks confidence, speaks Im-here-to-sing, and Im-loving-every-minute-of-this.

And then I watched the jam bits of the episode, which just reduced me to a blithering mess. I’m a sucker for simplicity. I’m a sucker for honesty. And I’m a sucker for love songs. If you want to know what I mean, watch the episode here.

No words can describe the joy this song has brought to my life this week. So I should probably stop trying.

Tahir Mithu is a rock star, and they just don’t make ’em like him anymore.

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15 thoughts on “Happiness is a song

  1. Oh thank you! My eyes are burning but instead of sleeping, I’m sitting around winking at myself like an idiot, giving one eye rest at a time, only so I can listen to the song one more time.

    I’ll admit I initially had a problem with the (R) of the first ‘saan’ (as in R-G-R-G-‘N/S-G). Actually, I still do. I don’t like the use of the nishad there. He does alternate between ‘N and S and I think S sounds a little better but it’s not the end of my search. Or night. Ideas?? Please? :)

    • MY GAWD TWC! you’ve gone all technical with notation on me! I have to admit its been far too long since I analyzed music like this :) Feels so nice to have another “theory” music appreciator in my circle! THough I’ll have to give it a fresh listen now that you’ve pointed it out. I’ve gotten very rusty over the years. Long long long time since I sang or even paid attention like this..

      Also, so THIS is what it takes to get you to come out and comment :) I’m glad. How have you been? Been thinking of emailing you for a while now. Must make some time and send you a nice long catch up!

      • To be honest I have a lot to catch up on….haven’t been reading blogs for some time now. Today just happened to be one of those days when I felt like a weight had been lifted….so I indulged myself a little and logged into WP! Will tell you more over email.

  2. BTW I could not agree more with the rest of your post. I was reminded of this woman who sang Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo for C/S India wearing a short dress and yucky red lipstick and the most dramatic/affected expressions…..it was SOOOOO hard to watch!!! (Can’t remember her name….do you?)

      • Oh you mean COke Studio India?! I was so disgusted with it, I ditched it in precisely 2 episodes. Such a miserable failure it was. Especially if you had Coke Studio Pakistan as a bench mark. Pathetic Indian mish-mash half-assed attempt at glorifying useless musicials who dont need anymore glory. We have so much folk talent in every nook and cranny of the country. People like Tahir Mithu are here, we just havent found them or given them platforms like Coke Studio. Some of the music reality shows on Zee TV and the like manage to do it to a certain extent. I wish Mr Leslie Lewis had even half a musical brain, or the right intentions, maybe there would be hope.

        • Let me know if you can bear to watch them for the entire 5 minutes!

          I agree the reality shows do a better job…..of finding more people who can sing Bollywood numbers. Singers, yes. Musicians, no.

            • Couldnt get through more than 1.5 mins. I kept thinking it would pick up and get somewhere and she would stop hissing and vaguely groping the air in front of her, but it didnt. so I couldnt bear anymore. hehe.. And if you see the comments, you’ll see you’re not alone :)

              I dont care much for Shanker Tucker. I think its pretty lame, superficial “music”, but at least he does some good talent scouting and this version is somewhat bearable: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ZyU98N3Fk Somewhat.. I just like her voice quality in this one, but have huge problems with the staccato, pokey corners and straight lines. I think this song warrants so much more fluidity and free flowing body, that she hasnt done justice to.

              • I couldn’t have said it any better. You have a way with words when it comes to describing music….and otherwise, too! I too have a problem with the straight lines (what do I not have a problem with these days?!)

                Again, very Bollywood, and not at all like a ghazal. The murkiyaans were all very rushed. To me the whole point of a ghazal is to defy structure, take a murki wherever you feel like and make love to it!

                But at least I could listen to the whole thing! :D

  3. Have been lurking around your blog since quite a few months but didn’t get round to add any comments till this post….Thanks for putting up this link…made my day….this man and the music is BRILLIANT!……and as someone mentioned, you describe music beautifully….lovely post!

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