In these trying times, the prolonged exposure to an unresolved conflict has taken away the beauty and joy from our lives. Anxiety, restlessness, and hostility have become a constant presence, affecting everyone equally. Over the past four months, from May 3rd, 2023, until now, stories of violence, hatred, and revenge have filled our hearts with sorrow. In these difficult times, Ranbir Thouna’s ‘Thawaai’ is a musical balm for the soul.
Anxiety and depression have become a part of daily life, affecting not only adults but also children and young people. They have been exposed to distressing incidents, violence, and stories of war, leaving deep scars of hatred. It is crucial to protect our children from feeling lost and misguided and encourage them to hold on to their creativity and the values that shape their character.
In times like these, where our peace of mind is challenged by violence, we need to find activities that bring solace and promote thoughtful reflection to prevent further harm. Listening to music is a healthy practice that can soothe our souls and provide a sense of calmness through its aesthetic essence. Selecting songs that resonate with our hearts can help sync our restless minds into a harmonious rhythm.
We must continue to cherish and promote art, culture, and literature, even in the midst of chaos. Failing to do so may lead to a collective breakdown in our society, with more people facing mental health issues. Finding a safe space to vent our frustrations is essential for our well-being.
During these challenging times, it is worth acknowledging the role of All India Radio Imphal, particularly the AIR FM Sangai Channel. They provide a wide range of programming, from informative news to educational content, programs for various age groups, and entertaining shows featuring songs and plays. Their diverse music selection, spanning from old to new and encompassing Hindi and Western music, is played regularly, offering relief from the agony of the violent social situation.
In a state like Manipur, where nights fall early, tuning in to the channel and enjoying a variety of songs until late in the evening is a commendable initiative. Many locals, engaged in their daily activities, have found solace in tuning in to AIR FM Sangai channel on their mobile phones, appreciating its mobility and informative content.
With months of internet restrictions in place, accessing the internet has become a major challenge for ordinary people. In times of necessity, traveling long distances in search of internet access has added to the frustration of daily life. Hopes and aspirations have been shattered, and the positive outlook on life has been disrupted.
The impact on mental health has been profound, with anxiety becoming a common condition. A community known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant festivals, dances, songs, theater, and music, has been brought to a standstill. People have stopped engaging in creative and aesthetic activities, raising concerns about the decline in the quality of our community’s life and the increasing levels of mental stress.
Listening to songs has tremendous healing power, especially when we immerse ourselves in our favorite tunes and leave the troubles of the world behind. It allows us to transcend time and space, evoking deep emotions and fantasies. It can be a source of comfort and a means to express our innermost feelings during Manipur unrest.
In a personal attempt to find peace of mind, I curated a playlist of my favorite songs, focusing on those that could provoke deep thoughts. Among them was Ranbir Thouna’s ‘Thawaai,’ with its lyrics that touch the heart: ‘Marol thoktraba thamoi, Nahak yaodraba punsi, mathanata kapchakhi, mathanta nokchakhi’ (the dumb heart in a life without you, cried and smiled on its own, all alone; Freestyle translation). The song’s deep, melancholic rhythm, delivered with Ranbir Thouna’s high-pitched voice, sent waves of emotions through my body.
The song’s mesmerizing rhythm reflects the contemplations of a lover who is now estranged and forlorn. It encapsulates the pain of a wounded heart, expressing it with words that convey the shades of sorrow and emptiness. It’s a release, a way to heal, and a form of therapy that may surpass the capabilities of medical science.
Ranbir Thouna’s ‘Thawaai’ song frees the estranged lover from the bonds that have held them captive for so long, offering a sense of serenity. It feels like the freedom of a bird that has been grounded for too long, finally breaking free from the shackles of destiny. The lyrics are an outlet for the heart’s deepest emotions, and the melodies resonate with the veins, bringing joy and purity.
The lyricist of Ranbir Thouna’s ‘Thawaai’ must have been someone deeply in touch with their emotions. It reflects a sense of self-dejection and resignation in the face of a failed relationship rather than seeking vengeance for betrayal. The song’s pattern is woven with emotions of eternal, pure love, promising to wait until the end. It must have been a relief for the lyricist to release their agony through these lyrics.
In real life, the lyricist’s tumultuous situation, trying to reach the heart of a loved one who remains unresponsive, could have led to madness if not expressed through these lyrics. The lyrics depict the pain of two hearts that once shared dreams and aspirations during brighter days but have since been separated.
While it may have been advantageous for one of them, the other is left to lament in the same place where they once shared their courtship, love, laughter, conversations, dreams, arguments, separation, and longing. If not for the song, these feelings might have led to severe mental distress. The writer’s attempt was a way to numb and mute their own heart, and Ranbir Thouna’s beautiful voice breathed life into these lyrics, touching the hearts of many.
We can appreciate the blessing of creativity, as it allows us to express suppressed emotions and prevent them from causing prolonged mental distress. When emotions are bottled up for extended periods, they can lead to severe mental health issues that are difficult to treat. We must not disregard the importance of aesthetics and creativity, even in the face of everyday challenges and upheavals.
Instead, we should recognize them as essential outlets for our emotions and as vehicles for preserving our peace of mind. Connecting aesthetics and creativity with inner peace is a practice that should be encouraged and embraced.