#RIP Mr Khan
Have you ever heard a #song and felt it was sung for you. Of course later on closer inspection of the lyrics you might discover to your amusement or shock that the song is talking of murder, drugs or porn or something very inane. But the music just squeezes your heart and transports you to a special memory. You can smell it, you can feel it, you can see it as clear as the day it happened. It gives you goose bumps. You escape your current shell and like an invisible audience you hover over your younger self experiencing what has now become your memory.
One of the songs that takes me back to my school days is “ankhiyon se goli mare”, featuring #Govinda and #Raveena. It’s not what you think. This song was my music teacher, Khan sir’s pet song when he had to boost the spirits of the school choir group. Those were the days filled with music and euphoria. I studied at a Christian school, which obviously exalted #Christianity and ridiculed all other religions. This was funnily strange because 80% of the population in the school was non-Christian. But we were kids untainted by the complexities and prejudices of religion, so we did not care. Anyway being in a Christian school meant a choir which I joined with extreme enthusiasm. Our teacher Mr Jogen Khan was an exceptional human being. Like all artists he was moody and very touchy to even a hint of disrespect. He chucked out many a kids, talented or not, for even a laughter out of place. Despite his idiosyncrasies, I thought he was the funniest and the most adorable #teacher ever. I like to believe he had a soft spot for me even though I was not really the most talented singer around.
I’m a Hindu by religion but I never felt closer to God than when I sang the intricately woven notes of love and worship that is the identity of Christianity. For a 16-year-old teenager from a West Delhi school to be let loose amid toughened, smart-mouthed South Delhi kids was no joke. I remember the two years I spent there as being the worst time ever in school life. But amid the jibes and culture shock, I found solace in the choir. It was in that little music room stuffed with 20 kids that I discovered, to my surprise and glee, the sopranos, tanners, altos and base. I would never listen to music in a lateral, casual way again. Khan sir’s #choir was my saviour. I had a ball travelling to places like the #Rashtrapati bhavan, #Delhi Haat, FICCI auditorium and various Churches to perform. Whenever we were nervous on stage before performing, Khan sir would wink and utter in his broken, adorable Hindi,“ainkhi se goli mare”. And just like that the atmosphere would transform from nervousness to uncontrolled giggles.
I continued to learn the Violin from him after school and even after I got married. Owing to the vicissitudes of life I just stopped going eventually and lost touch with him. I kept thinking I must find his number and meet him. But I thought too long. I recently met a schoolmate who informed me that Khan sir passed away 2 years ago. My shock and regret knew no bounds. I realised I never knew anything about his life really. I did not know anything more than the persona he exhibited to his students. All I knew was that the man who brought beautiful #music and humour to one of the lowest points of my life was gone and I didn’t even say goodbye. Govinda’s “ainkhi se goli mare” will always make me smile at the memory of that wonderful #musician and human being.