[Written in September 2006]
The great music maestro Ustad Alla Rakha said “Every life has rhythm, so rhythm is lively.” What a simple and straight discourse! Before I start to write this article I was little confused about the title and also the topic. Should I have started with something like ‘Life in Rhythm’ or ‘Rhythm of Life’ or ‘Rhythm and Life’ or so alike. Finally, I came to the conclusion that each would describe basically the same idea even started with a very different sense. Mr. Alla Rakha knew the truth, at least when we see that he created his son Ustad Zakir Hossain another rhythm master.
All living beings have their own rhythms. Of course, it’s not about any song or Taal like Keharba, Dadra etc. Rhythms are from every aspect of lives. Human being, animals, other creatures or even trees have rhythms in their manners, appearances, cultures. We all are in a cycle. We are depended on each other. So, nature has already fixed our rhythms. When our beat-counts are not maintained we fall into troubles. Nature gets puzzled to minimize the chaos. Break with the rhythm is no way expected. Imagine, one mosquito will take only one drop of blood in a week and it will be doubled in size. Next week, it will take two drops of blood and get doubled again after the second week. In the third week it will take four drops of blood and get doubled in size and so on. Can you think of about the appearance and meal of that mosquito after a year? I guess you can. It’s enormous, and huge: that only mosquito can be the only hazard for the total human race and all others in the world. It doesn’t happen. Even mosquitoes hardly live more than a month.
The Dates are available in deserts, Planktons are found on waters. Because, these are necessary for those places – so, appropriate. This is the rhythm of the nature. Thorns are natural under the rose buds. The nectar is quite expected in flowers. It is out of rhythm if we get bitter drinks in coconuts. Bougainvillea has its own rhythm to climb the gates or terraces. The Banyan trees never loose their rhythm to grow without the typical wide spreading structure. Even in miniatures they would keep their characteristics unchanged. You might have seen the rhythm with light on the leaves of the coconut trees in a moonlit night. Or, the rhythm of branches of the tree bend over the pond.
Ants do not miss any beat when they move in line. It seems to be a very well trained army troop. All are going in a rhythm for collecting foods for winter or coming back. If you want to go for a honey collecting attack to a bee-hive you should do it in certain days. Otherwise you will not be successful. This is the rhythm of the lives of bees. When will they collect nectar from flowers, for how long and how they will preserve, when they eat their honey themselves, … … all are preset in a rhythmic way. Worms have rhythms to help farmers by changing layers of soils on fields. You have definitely heard the sounds of crickets, specially in boishakh-joishtha (the Summer) at the evening times, with a unique rhythm. Lizards are in all houses, and everyone knows the ‘tik-tik’ sounds by lizards.
We know, cock-a-doodle announces the arrival of the very morning of the day. This is nothing but rhythm. Possibly on TV, we all have seen cheetah running for prey. What rhythmic steps! Someone has to understand the rhythm of movements of fishes under water if he/she wants to catch. I wonder if you have enjoyed the rhythm of helter-skelter movements of a new born calf. I can easily say that he/she has missed a lot if someone didn’t really see this. We can feel all these different rhythms. Pony has charming and musical rhythm on its steps. Elephant is well known for its elegant and calm steps.
We can understand rhythms of lives all around us. So, we can make rhythms – we can compose music. Joseph Addison said that the greatest good thing that the mortals have is music. Songs do have rhythms even when these are presented without any instruments like Tabla or Drums. Those are the Taals namely Keharba, Dadra, Teentaal etc. Taals are not only the rhythms. Music or songs are not the only source of rhythms in our lives. We do appreciate a success or cheer up a favorite contestant by clapping. Doesn’t it hold a rhythm? We protest to an unwanted event by uttering slogans. Doesn’t it come in a rhythmic way? We walk in a rhythm. Our heart punches blood in rhythm. Hinders may break rhythm of walk. We may fell down. Cholesterols may block blood flows and eventually stops the rhythm of heart. We may become seriously sick. Lungs inhale and exhale in a rhythm continuously from the time we are born up to the last moment we breathe. Lung without rhythm for even a minute may cause death.
The universal rhythm master is maintaining rhythms in all lives. We all should act in rhythms. The universe does not allow, or is not capable of allowing, any chaotic events. One odd generates other odds. We all are in a same orchestra. If somebody misses a beat other fellows are supposed to be influenced. As a result, the total system be shattered being broken with its rhythm. Rhythm in life is maintained if we do our duties in the way that the nature really wants us to do.