captured hearts and mesmerised audiences from the beginning
of time. The earth-quaking roars of the dinosaurs would probably
not seem melodious to us, but taste varies. Then again, since
we never met these dinosaurs except in the realms of Jurassic
Park, for all we know they might have had shurela voices. Unfortunately
with their extinction this earth was left barren of musical
maestros until the advent of Homo Sapiens. Adam serenaded Eve.
But Eve (a coy damsel) didn't give up easily, until she inadvertently
uttered, "I'd have married you only if you were the last
man on Earth!" Adam grasped the opportunity to point out
that he was exactly that, and the troth was plighted.
course singing became a necessity-- with crooning the new-born
to sleep, and the gusty 'heiyaaaa ho' while pushing boulders
away from the mouths of streams--thus introducing running water
close to the house. It continued in the same vein for years
on end, with civilization upon civilisation--revealing prowess
in the field of singing. Musical talent flourished from the
Sumerians to the Aztecs. Drums, flutes, harps, sitars, guitars,
spoons, glasses, bones of vanquished enemies all were experimented
upon. C major, A minor, G sharp became everyday language. Music
was in full swing.
were not gifted with a melodious voice, were of course left
out in the rain (not literally, one hopes). While others in
the Bedouin tribe sang and clapped along with the persuasive
music of the Dancing Maiden of the Desert, this group only clapped.
While others in school assembly heartily sang the national anthem
at the top of their lungs, this group resorted to lip-synching.
From personal experiences (yours truly being an honoured member
of this party) I can tell you that it's not because we don't
respect our national anthem. No, it's because singing it with
our here-gola would be an insult to the anthem itself.
life continued until one fateful day when the water we left
running close to the house actually invaded the house, assisted
by indoor plumbing. After getting over the initial delight of
having pure (and not-so-pure in Bangladesh) water gush forth
with the turning of a tap, mankind had a revelation. At least,
the members of the aforementioned party had a revelation. Now
they could howl to their hearts content without fear of reprisal.
Let me clarify.
You see previously, when possessed by the Music Naiad, these
poor souls had to flee to the countryside where there was an
abundance of wide open spaces. Here the unmelodious would sing
(the term is used in its broadest sense) at the top of their
lungs. A weight would lift from their souls. They had contributed
to the musical world. Sometimes in the absence of wide open
spaces fields harvesting crops would be used. That accounts
for the crop circles. There, nature retaliated.
wonder why they didn't risk it and sing in public. At least,
if not in public why not in their beds, under the blankets?
Well, whenever they dared to sing in public they were immediately
hired for mike advertising. You know, those people who go about
blaring, "Bhaish-o-o-b! Bhaish-o-o-b! Agamikal dupur dui
ghotika-e…" You get the point. How many people would want
that fate? As for the latter suggestion, well they got tired
of their houses being branded as being haunted from where moans,
groans, shrieks emitted at regular intervals and gave up. So
countryside it had to be.
As is evident,
this posed certain problems. Not only did nature retaliate,
in some unfortunate cases frogs (of varied sizes and shapes)
came hopping the moment the unmelodious singer let forth a line
of My Heart Will Go On. They thought their long awaited kinsman
had arrived. How long can you stand that? Combine that with
hideous transport costs, and you see the howlers' dilemma.
why the running water came so handy. Now bathrooms could act
as the singers' refuge. While wallowing in warm water, with
bubbles drifting up from all sides, they could at last… SING!
With the mirrors steamed and thus the images hazy, their dancing
rendition of Michael Jackson hits (using the tooth brush as
the microphone of course) did not seem as gruesome as it actually
was. An enviable performance comprising such diverse hits as
"O sokhina gasos kina bhuila amare-e", "Ore Saleka!
Ore Maleka!", "In the End", "Pore na chokher
polok", "My sacrifice", "Hotel California"
etc. was within reach of all who wished to perform it. In the
process, the poor toothbrush might become unfit for further
usage, but for the sake of art everything can be excused. A
new race of humans had arisen the bathroom singers.
it would be a mistake to think that only previously unsuccessful
singers gained by the bathrooms’ arrival. No! Composers and
lyricists also had their share of the profit. Songs like "Ami
tooth, tumi toothbrush", "Shaban pura shorir-e, pani
nai kol-e", "Singing shower", "Melodious
water", "45 minutes is nothing compared to the time
you take" were all composed while taking a shower, while
brushing or while sleeping in the bathroom. Bathrooms were the
newest inspiration. The showers, the best sensation.
us do not indulge in bathroom singing. It has become an accepted
norm, and plans to remain so. In a short while, we will see
thriving bathroom singers' societies, websites and junk mails.
Lata Mangeshkar or George Harrison we might not become, but
in our minds' eyes it's just a case of unrecognised genius.
And even Gregor Mendel faced that, right?