Relationships have become the first casualty of our increasingly intolerant mindset.
Remember that scene where Ryan Gosling asks Emma Stone, “What? You don’t like Jazz?”
My romantic life has been shadowed by this question for a long time. It was when Ryan broke into a state of shock that I held my boyfriend’s hand and smiled. Good for Emma, she made an effort to understand and appreciate Jazz. In our case, we love our music too much to make time for the other’s.
Let’s call me A and my boyfriend B. A has grown up on a steady diet of Jazz and Classical (Western and Eastern, mostly instrumental) music. A was also trained in Western Classical music on the piano, Indian Classical dance and Indian Classical music. There’s no way in this fucking multiverse A can enjoy the absolutely ear vandalizing, soul churning, brain dropping thing that is a very poorly written, wannabe composed Telugu song.
What? You don’t like Telegu music?
Consider B. B loves Telugu music and wants to listen to it all day, all night, forever and ever more. Eternity, you see, is synonymous with the pop-culture of Tollywood-influenced Telugu music. He wants the ear threatening culture to travel from ear to ear and spread across all ears of the world.
Lyrics like, y’know, “you are my chocobar, you are my chocobar, you are my chocobar”.
This is NOT even an item number. This is just a very you-are-my-chocobar song. One of the many.
To cut the crap short, apart from an existential threat in my musical world, I suffer from a heavy dose of commitment phobia. Why? Because I’m expected to find beauty in you-are-chocobar and tolerate it.
Do I suffer from commitment phobia? Illustration by: Eshna Goenka
Let's go back two years: I was with a guy who was more complicated and confusing than Aishwarya Rai in ADHM. A few months into the relationship, I didn’t know what I was doing anymore. I mean, music and movies were fine, but I had a growing doubt he was engaged to be married to someone else when he was dating me. He was definitely cheating on me with some other girl. But I still do not know if he was engaged to someone else. Yes of course I suffer from poor judgment. It's what you do in your early 20’s. Let’s call this character, C.
Now B was my friend when I was dating C. After we broke up, B and I decided to give it a go.
Barring the music, B is a sweetheart. B cooks for me, respects my opinions even when I’m illogical, is a great friend, is supportive, has a twisted sense of humour, loves to experiment with everything except music, can be a nerd when needed, loves gossip, loves sci-fi movies. B is everything I need, except the Telugu music. B kills my ears with his taste in music. But music didn’t cross my mind when we first kissed at a house party. I don’t even remember what music was playing when we when it happened.
Independent earphones FTW. Image Source: StockClip.com
Infact before dating him, I never knew music is something that would come in the way. It was all about the jokes we shared, the morning hugs, our crazy stories, our pathetic PJs that blew our drunken minds. When and how did I become so intolerant?
A friend of mine broke her relationship because of political differences. I’m sure a 'sickular' liberal and a bhakt sanskaari will find it difficult to stay in a room and not turn the conversation into YouTube comments.
Another friend recently got dumped because she was `a hindrance’ to her boyfriend’s productivity. There’s no compromising on space anymore. I don’t know how can define that though, because my friend didn’t chain him down and had her own business to manage.
To each his own, shouts the playlist!
But with social media and the internet, people have learned to suffocate others in unimaginable ways. When you’re just a click away and promise availability all the time, you can’t blame the distraction that a million unnecessary pings cause. You break down with several panic attacks every time your phone drains its charge. But, guilty as charged, my phone is a digital extension of my hand and I’m insecure without it. At the same time, I don’t want people to be connected to me 24/7. Maybe we are a generation that has grown up on irony. Our parents complain about the lack of time and attention, never about too much time and attention. Blessed generation, I must admit. Narrate all these problems to my parents and they will think of me and my friends as nut jobs. Only, we aren’t. We are just a product of our environment. Thanks to internet addiction, tolerance went from being a virtue to a vice. Why tolerate any ounce of difference anymore?
Scene from a Telugu song. What even! Image source: YouTube.com
With every passing day, our music has come between us and filled my mind with doubt.
How do you deal with someone who doesn’t like Jazz? How do you come back from work to be with someone who connects the stereo to the internet and blares out Telugu hits? Life needs to be in sync and cacophony is not the way. We did watch some great Telugu classics and I do enjoy some songs, but Jazz puts him to sleep.
The miracle that is a headphone addiction. Image Source: bandt.com
I even feel self conscious when he meets my friends. What if he bursts into one of his songs? In this era of everything pretentious, I don’t want to be judged poorly because of his poor taste in music. I have grown up in schools where people judge you based on the kind of music you listen to. Thankfully very few people understood my music. Otherwise, had it been something massy and too popular, I’d have been relegated to a status of behenji. Or, wannabe. There are categories. I know them.
I am tired of this turncoat debate with myself. I don’t have answers, but I do know my chalk and cheese parents are about to celebrate 27 years of marriage.
“How have you managed this relationship for so long?” I asked my mother. “Don’t you get irritated with Dad’s movies?”
“We are such good friends that nothing could come in the way”, she smiled.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.
By Miss Cleo
Cover photo credit: variety.com