MIDWAY: Prejudiced perceptions

It was an interview for the dream job. I had applied for the post of a radio jockey in one of the most reputed stations of the valley and had been selected for the second round of interviews. I was facing a heterogeneous group of five. As evident from their facial expressions, everything was going perfectly well. Even the pot-bellied serious looking gentleman kept nodding and approving every word.

And then someone queried about my choice of music. “English, Nepali or Hindi?” “A little of all,” I answered. “What type?,” he prodded and I made the mistake. “Rock, metals…”I never got a chance to complete the sentence. The elderly gentleman almost shouted, “metals!” To my utter dismay, he suddenly turned furious. I knew it was all over. I wasn’t getting the job and I was right; I didn’t.

What I rue is the fact that I didn’t get a chance of explaining that I also enjoyed fusion, sufi, classical and almost every genre of music. Had the gentleman asked me, I could have even sung a gazal or a bhajan but he didn’t bother.

It’s shocking how people associate rock music with anti-social behaviour, long hair, hippie culture and lack of intelligence. I know an excellent professor of English, a gold medalist, who has beautiful shoulder-length hair and looks very handsome. And no, he doesn’t smoke pot, misbehave or act irresponsibly. But my brother is mistaken for a good-for-nothing fellow just because he wears long hair. And heavens forbid, should he ever fail in his academics, the blame would naturally go to his mane. No science has ever proved any relationship between the length of hair and one’s level of intelligence. So why the prejudice? It is assumed that an inclination towards loud music means you are prone to violence and anti-social behaviour.

Give us a break, can’t we like music for the sake of music? And don’t you ever notice the excellent guitar work? It is probably this kind of narrow-mindedness and baseless stigma that creates a rift between generations.

Change is inevitable. Nothing should be scorned just because “it didn’t happen in our times.” Please don’t judge a book by its cover. It is perhaps imperative to expand one’s