For most people, language is the most effective tool of communication for humans. That may seem to be so on the surface; however, experts studying language attribute only a certain percentage of self-expression to the language we speak. For them, there are several other ways in which we express ourselves. Chief among them – is music. And although the best self-expression comes from the musician in this regard, those who love music also express themselves by choosing the genres they love. Music indeed is a fascinating medium of self-expression. For Aryf, it might even be the ultimate.
For as long as he can remember, music has always been a part of Aryf’s life. It moved him as little else did. Walking down memory lane, he says, “Our home was filled with music. My parents, both music lovers, helped us develop a keen ear for different instruments and appreciate the subtle discernments that are difficult to cultivate without guidance. Although I have always appreciated the presence of music in my life, it was never more than when I was in college. Young adulthood is the time when you’re still figuring out yourself, trying to fill the shoe life has given you, or, in short, find your self-expression. Music helped me with that, especially when words failed.”
For Aryf, music was a way to vent emotions that seemed complicated to comprehend. Talking about his experience, he says, “Music allowed me to be myself. In it, I found the friend I sought, in its true spirit. I filled up my room with different styles of music and played them as per my mood. This helped me understand myself better. I found myself gravitating towards certain genres more than others. Although I wasn’t doing it consciously, I started to sense a pattern in my choices. And it was all because of the music that I was listening to. I was beginning to understand that it’s not life per se that’s difficult but our inability to know ourselves that makes things difficult for us. And as a young college boy, you can imagine how I would wound myself in tight spots. It was during these times that I found myself dumbfounded that music helped me open my mind. First of all, it showed me I wasn’t alone in feeling a certain way. Second, it helped me understand that confusion is natural, and equally natural is the possibility of finding one’s way out of it. And thirdly, I started to empathize with others. I carry these lessons with me to this day and find them to be so flexible and accommodating in their essence that they continue to help me express myself, despite the years that have passed since I first discovered them.”
Self-expression is an art. Music is an art too. In Aryf’s case, one art form helped him discover and hone the other. And that by itself is no mean feat.