Milind Joshi, Senior Vice President, Aegis Ltd, on the healing benefits of music and the importance it holds in his life. By Satyaki Sarkar
There’s one passion that’s older than Milind Joshi’s love for technology and that’s music. It has been a core part of his life ever since his mother introduced him to it when he was a young boy. Music nurtures his creativity and provides some much needed calm when he his job as an IT leader tends to overwhelm him. With over 30 years experience in the field, Milind is an expert implementing large scale business transformations, and has headed IT organisations around the world. All of this comes with its fair share of tensions. And over the years, Milind has found that music is the perfect tool that helps him recharge and gives him the energy to attack each day with enthusiasm.
An early start
“I got into music when I was quite young thanks to my mother who loves it,” says Milind. “It was because of her that I got introduced to semi-classical music and Maharashtrian Natya Sangeet, which is music played in a drama. Although I never formally learned to play, inspired by her I picked up the harmonium, mouth organ, and guitar. I love listening to the songs she listens to, and have taught myself to play them. However, my love for music doesn’t have a restrictive genre, and I love all kinds of music. From Indian classical to western bands, I love it all. In college I’d listen to a lot of rock and Bollywood music. Anything that feels pleasing to my ears is something I immediately become interested in, irrespective of the genre.
“Back in college I used to play the mouth organ at college concerts, and even got paid for my performances. However, I knew that pursuing a music-led career would not work for me, so decided to keep it as a hobby. Looking back, I have no regrets as music still accompanies me in my life. However, I do feel I could have devoted more time to my passion. Even while listening to rock music I am able to identify which raga the song plays in accordance with, something most people would not be able to distinguish. Music is universal, it’s all about understanding the undertones and figuring out what it makes one feel.”
Music creates an oasis of calm
“Music has the ability to greatly affect your mood. It is an excellent means of release, after a day of stress and worries. When I come home after work, with the weight of the world on my mind, music helps me relax and regain my composure. It completely shuts you out from the world and takes you to a different place. Classical music, on the other hand, is a completely different subject. It comprises of different ragas, each of which pertain to a season, time of day, and even emotional state of the person. While I can’t claim to know everything about it, I certainly do understand the impact it has, when played under the right conditions. You definitely feel the difference and cannot deny the impact listening to a morning raga during early dawn has on a person. At home in the evening I usually listen to the Marwa and Yaman raga, which are two of the most soothing ragas. Together they form a very good combination when listened to at the end of the day.”
A part of everyday life
“Music is something that integrates itself into my life very seamlessly. I like listening to my favourite songs whenever I have some free time. I make it a point to listen to music for at least half an hour every day after work, as the benefits are wonderful. The harmonium is a pretty bulky musical instrument that needs delicate handling, which is why, even if I’d like to, I can’t take it out every day. Hence I play it on the weekends. However, I do take the mouth organ with me on trips, and you might often find me playing a tune on it with friends. I also try my best to attend any classical music concerts that take place in Mumbai.
“Music is a great passion as you can enjoy it by yourself or with others, and every person’s perception of music is different. In these modern times, with the advancement of technology it has become very convenient. So I feel everyone should devote a part of their day listening to music, instead of whiling away their time watching television or aimlessly wandering about the Internet.”
Musicians that struck a chord
“My favourite musicians in Indian music are Bhimshen Joshi and Kishore Kumar. When it comes to western music it is Eric Clapton and Jethro Tull. Fusion music is another one of my interests, and I have even tried playing classical music on my mouth organ. It was pretty difficult, but the melody produced was definitely worth it.”