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Promises promises!

Promises promises!
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2015 is here. We’ve all, hopefully, recovered from our New Year’s Eve hangover, and realized nothing much has changed. The boss is as annoying as ever, our weight hasn’t changed, the guy we’ve crushed on forever still doesn’t notice when we purposefully strut our stuff right next to his cubicle, our salary is still as abysmal as the Rupee against the Dollar, and our mothers are still our only real friends. But, these are trivial things. What about the bigger picture? After rounds of discussion with friends from all walks of life over platters of yummy Delhi food, I’ve zeroed in on three changes we’d like to see in 2015. Here goes!

Ban auto-tuned voices
That translates to banning a lot of today’s singers, too, by default. I’m not against pitch correction, hell no! I’m a singer and I rarely manage to be pitch-perfect. Without pitch correction I’ll sound like my father does when he sings in the shower! But, synthesized voices, like those of many of our Bollywood actor-singers, MUST be banned! Music is the language of the soul, and must therefore be organic. Singing isn’t an assembly-line activity. Artificially manufacturing voices is like selling a packet of crisps filled with only gas- brilliantly packaged, but hollow inside. Let’s vow to bring the melody back in our music. Let real music not die, ‘as time goes by’...

Promote sports other than cricket

The success of the recently concluded Indian Super League (ISL) has shown that if promoted and marketed efficiently, sporting activities other cricket do have the ability of capturing the imagination of the people of this country. It was heartening to see cricket greats like Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar take the initiative and invest in football, a game which is popular in only a few pockets in the country (Bengal, Goa, and Kerala, primarily).

And, what was even more heartening was the fact that gifted but little-known local footballers, like Sandesh Jhingan, Denson Devadas, and Arnab Mondal, emerged as the true heroes of the league! Promoters, advertisers, and investors should be buoyed by this success and try and replicate it with other neglected disciplines so in a few years from now, we don’t have to return nearly empty-handed from international events like the Olympics. We have enough and more reel stars, and frankly speaking, I’m bored of them. It’s time for the real stars to shine, and let 2015 be their year!

Let there be love:
2014 has been a year of pure hatred. Gender hatred, religious hatred, political hatred- I mean, we successfully managed to spread hate across all sections of society. Some achievement that! But, let 2015 be the year of love. Let’s learn to live and let live. I mean, c’mon, we live in a democracy, and yet, we aren’t free- free to say what we want, free to worship who we want, free to wear what we want, free to live the way we want.

Thousands died for the freedom of this nation, and what good is that freedom if we are unable to rise above pettiness? Will we ever be truly free unless we’re able to practice tolerance? How will we be free if our minds aren’t free of prejudice, bias, and malice? Let the sacrifices of our ancestors not go to waste. When they died for our freedom, they dreamed of a free and beautiful India. It was that hope, that dream they gave up their lives for. A dream that we have failed to realize in more than 60 years of independence.

Let 2015 be the year when we take the first step towards Poorna Swaraj. Let 2015 be there we learn to love ourselves. Let 2015 be the year we learn to let people be. Let 2015 be the year when we be the change we want to see! Amen!

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy
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