Let us all be grateful that we still have music to help us through tough times
Despite having nearly every conceivable convenience provided to us (“us” being those at a certain height above the poverty line, that is), these are some harsh times we are living in. Existentially speaking, of course.
We are a developing nation, but not really.
We can offer refuge to nearly a million persecuted souls from another land, while barely being able to keep the bottom of our own pyramid washed, clothed, and fed.
We can afford to diffuse in and out of plushed-up gourmet coffee and cookie shops and still comment on our country’s abject poverty as if our opinions are worth a damn.
Compounding our newfound sense of self-awareness is the dire state of our polity and governance in general.
What was once a country founded upon the needs and wants of the people is now slowly finding itself tuning into the siren song of apathy -- with constant infighting within the administrative ranks and obvious attempts at jack-boot thuggery only further reinforcing the notion that humanity is utterly incapable of governing itself.
To paint a bad analogy: If Bangladesh were a human being, it would be in its adolescence right now -- a lot of unexpected changes occurring both outwardly and inwardly, ensued by a lot of fear, anxiety, hypocrisy, and confusion.
But as we feel the last vestiges of control -- over our nation, our society, our lives -- slowly slip through between our fingers, observing the world around us grow ever-more divided and fragmented, let us all agree on one thing: Music is amazing.
In times when anxiety, depression, and dread have stopped being buzzwords and have been established as core pillars of what it means to be human in the modern era, let us all be grateful that we still retain some of the innocent simplicity that allows us to feel something pleasant, something positive, something constructive whenever we put on a record or hum a tune by our lonesome.
Music can provide that instant shot of dopamine that we so desperately need to cope with the potpourri of violent changes and languid stagnation which we read about in the newspapers or even observe out in the streets from time to time. It has an inimitable ability to both feed one’s delusions or break them free from it.
The choice is entirely yours to make.
To really lay my cards on the table, I doubt if I would be here today writing these words, had music not played as big a role in my life as it did. I’m not even joking.
There are way too many artificial constraints and regulations in life -- either through your profession or because of the regime you happen to fall under -- to make it a pleasant stay, and we all need an outlet to make all the bother worthwhile, and I’m just grateful that we have something as universal and easily appreciable as music to see us through.
And it’s hard to find something to appreciate when your own environment is out to get you.
To be a Bangladeshi these days means to be ruled by anxiety, both personal and collective. A growing economy does not necessarily mean you will have a meal provided for at the end of the day, and competence does not guarantee that you will be able to retain your job for more than a week. And so we all need a distraction.
And since every other form of distraction requires some kind of monetary transaction, why not just stay home and listen to your favorite album this evening? Sure beats the hell out of worrying about the future.
Rubaiyat Kabir is an Editorial Assistant at the Dhaka Tribune. He can be followed on Twitter @moreanik.