That Ragtime though

I’ve never been to New Orleans and learned what little I know about the culture from HBO’s Treme. I do like jazz though. Now, some jazz is inaccessible like abstract philosophy. You can only listen to it from a distance and wonder (in awe or repulsion) about what’s really going on. But play a Benny Goodman record and picture a cobbled street with decaying houses on either side and musicians playing despite the hardship and trial and you’ll soon weave poetry to the rhythm of the clarinet rushing in and fading like an incandescent idea that erupts into stream of consciousness before evaporating. I can see them now, under a blue sky, playing that old ragtime, creating those classic, tap-your-feet mellow melodies laced with a tinge of melancholia. Artists, just like you and me, struggling, moody and barely functional. Artists, given to booze, cigarettes and the occasional spliff, and a part of me just wants to watch them in solidarity and say, “The rum’s on me! To fucking peace on earth while the music still plays. To cigarette-scarred throats and husky voices. To sexy alto-saxophones and odd time signatures. To the little beauty left while the music still plays.”

© Nitin Lalit Murali (2020)

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I now blog at There will come soft rains

Follow me there

-Nitin

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