My conversation with classical musician and composer Rajkumar Bharathi for my ‘The Happiness Road’ Series that appears in DT Next every Sunday. Read the conversation on the DT Next page here. ‘The Happiness Road’ is also my next Book. Photo Credit: Vinodh Velayudhan
“The key to inner peace and happiness is acceptance”
Sage-like. That’s the one word I have to describe Rajkumar Bharathi.
Consider this: Even as his career as a musician was peaking, in 2001~2002, he was struck by ‘Spasmodic Dysphonia’ which impaired his vocal cord nervous system.
It was a big blow. Surely, there was the emotional pain arising from his inability to sing. But Rajkumar refused to give up music; from singer, he transformed himself into a composer. Over the last 15 years he has emerged as a sought-after music composer for leading dancers and their productions. But Rajkumar is not in the least bitter with Life over his impairment. “My voice was never my own. It was given to me. And then it was taken away. I saw no point in complaining. I did not question Life.” he says matter-of-factly.
Rajkumar reveals that he has this ability, he calls it a “blessing”, to accept any situation without necessarily resisting it. “So, I didn’t suffer. The key to inner peace and happiness is acceptance. I just embraced my new reality,” he explains.
I seek more clarity – isn’t acceptance often seen as a sign of resignation, of inaction? Rajkumar’s eyes brighten up. He leans forward. And gushes forth: “You see, any crisis has to be gone through. Now you can do it willingly or grudgingly. Anything that you fight against causes suffering. I did not want to suffer when I could be peaceful. It is a fallacy to think that we have a hold on what’s happening to us. The sooner you realize that you don’t control anything, and that Life just happens to you, the happier you will be. I have learnt to offer myself to creation. And creation is taking care of me. See, music is still providing for me – the seven swaras are still my constant companions.”
I marvel at his equanimity. He appears unflappable and stoic. I wonder loudly if others too can learn to be like him. He is quick to affirm: “Everyone has a zone where they will be unmoved. When you find your zone, and learn to just be with what you have, you will be happy. No one can intrude into your happiness zone if you don’t allow them to.”
Well, Rajkumar’s journey sure offers a deep, reflective point of view – why not stop fighting Life, accept your reality, find your zone and be happy?