Why I Stopped Listening To Music During The Lockdown by Anirudh Venugopal, Copy Supervisor
Retracing my steps back to the middle of March, when the realization of the pandemic had yet to sink in, I remember being relieved yet slightly dismayed. Home was the place to chill, while work was the place to crush it with the bunty-log.
But that was still fine. WFH previously stood for a holiday with responses to some work texts or at least that’s what I thought before it transformed into ‘the remote office concept’ that we are familiar with today.
Fast forward another 6 months, and work was going well. Our tech-hungry souls had no problems adjusting to being imprisoned in our homes. But something still didn’t feel right. And while finally getting to reorganize my inbox, I found my very firrrsst resume. With that, I also found the reason to my unease.
Before the rise of Canva and fancy CVs, there was the time of the .doc resumes. Lurking in the corners of these serif-dominated anesthetic documents, was a section that could bamboozle even the most skilled interviewers. With wide eyes tracing the letters with confusion and a rising sense of irritation, I read a single innocent sentence — ‘I like listening to music’.
Yes, just like you, I found myself wondering what my fresher-self was thinking. But, after a beat, the realization hit me like a bolt of thunder — I hadn’t listened to my playlist in more than 7 months.
After a quick Google search that convinced me of being a sociopath, I started to reason it out with a little introspection. Why, where, and more importantly, when did I listen to music?
Starting the day with those ear-bleeding honks in traffic? Sure.
Ignoring the uncle, who did not fully understand how voice calls worked, screaming at the person on the other line and everyone around him in the bus? Of course.
Blocking out the shrieking laughter at work to finally get down to, well, work? Ding! Ding! Ding!
Butchering some dance moves after work to blow off some steam? Well, it just looks dumb without some jams. Watch some dance videos on mute and you’ll know.
But now, after the lockdown set in, I didn’t have these problems and so, I didn’t have the need for music. And I’ve finally realized that I don’t like music. I just like listening to it more than the other sounds that surround our everyday lives.
From that realization sprung another one. Songs are not only to be social or anti-social; it’s also personal. In these times where we have lost the option to be social or anti-social, there is a rising trend to look inwards.
Those who still can’t seem to agree with my extreme confession but have indeed found yourselves to be the reason your music app cries itself to sleep every night, here are a few suggestions:
· Drinking beer surrounded by your bunty-log has now been replaced with exploring your long-lost career to be a writer or a musician or a chef (the list goes on and on). That calls for a change in the playlist too. Instead of the thudding bass of house music that dominates pubs, synthwave can be your jam when you, the pen and paper decide to have a party of your own.
· Maybe to pamper your nostalgia, you could put on your work jams. Here are a few the folk from Webchutney love vibing to.
· Or like me, some of you feeling the need to decompress after a whole day of calls and co-ordination, there’s nothing like some classics to take your mind off things.
A world with masks will surely rob us of our basic ability of non-verbal communication. Looking, smiling, and just very literally being able to put a face to the stranger you’re talking to are all things we have been taking for granted up until now. And we might end up being more alienated as a society.
Music, historically known to bring people together and connect as human beings through song and dance, will have to shoulder this responsibility even more due to our anti-social, mask-cladded avatars. Interestingly, once we’ve returned to normal, our ears, too, will have the immense responsibility to support both earbuds and mask strings alike.
Once things return to ‘normal’, individually, I’d be the first to hit play. As a society, I hope we collectively ‘like listening to music’ and don’t let this pandemic steal our ability to connect in the physical world.
So, to every fresher who still visits the, ‘I like music’ well to fill up their resume, make sure you really know why.