Mohammad Muneem- Expressing through melodies
My name is Mohammad Muneem. I pursued my early education from Tyndal Biscoe School and I always loved and sought to share my thoughts and experiences through creative arts. I was more inclined towards music and poetry and hence chose them as my way of expression.
Born and brought up in Kashmir I graduated in engineering and then Management. But I guess, life happens when you are busy planning it. I never thought I would be writing poetry or making and performing songs. I co-founded Muziclub: live music in 2010, after finishing my MBA. It’s a professional music training academy and we are affiliated to Trinity College of London and ABRSM London. In 2014, I designed a workshop coursework called Sarir-e-Khamma, meaning ‘the scratching noise of the pen’. It’s a song writing course I teach this course at Symbiosis, Pune and take workshops at different universities. Apart from this, most of my time goes into rehearsing performing live. I qualified as an engineer and then a management grad. I even worked in the corporate sector in IT for six months but it just didn’t make sense to me, didn’t satisfy me.
Singing happened to me when I wanted to express what I wrote. I wanted someone to sing the words I wrote but no one was really interested. One thing led to another and I found this teacher who taught me the technique to vocals. And the next thing I knew I was doing was singing my own work. I found writing songs really liberating hence, stuck to it. It became my inspiration. What’s the point of doing something that you don’t find any inspiration in doing ! In the beginning, things are undoubtedly hard but that is how you know how much you love doing something, when you struggle and strive to do it any way you can. Anything you want to achieve that is food for your soul has to pull you out of your comfort zone and make you go to all extents of hardship to achieve.
In Kashmir, we live in a very culturally closed knit society and that’s challenging. Your family of course always wants you to be well settled, but eventually they understand where your passion lies. It was difficult but didn’t stop me.
Its saddening that in Kashmir the infrastructure of music and song writing is not really picked up despite being home to such great renowned poets. But around the rest of the world, music is an industry. Performing in Kashmir is something very close to my heart and I love performing here. It’s always a pleasure to share your original work with your own people. As for Kashmir, there are a countless number of things I would want to do. I am humbled and at the same time proud that I have my roots in Kashmir. One significant thing I think I can do for Kashmir is to share stories of Kashmir with more and more people around the world. Tell people about this heavenly land and what it stands for. Our society expects a lot from us and I think it takes a lot of courage to do what others want to you do, to please them and not let them down at any point. When people pursue their passion, that becomes their league. There is no league, it’s just about following your passion and then sky is the limit. I guess I am selfish in this regard because I aspire and seek to be passionate about my own dreams.
About my work, there is a long way to go and a lot to come hopefully. My song, ‘Like a Sufi’ is releasing today; let people absorb it the way they feel. Soon to follow is another release, Jhelumas. It’s been a great ride so far. Allah Kareem, I thank all the people who love and connect to what we do. And a special thanks to my critics, they have really helped a lot to improve and grow. I love and miss Kashmir a lot but whenever I miss Kashmir I come flying. It’s a pleasure to say that I have written most of my work in Kashmir. Though, I love all the food and everything else Kashmir has to offer, I continue a big fan of ‘nadir-mounje’ and ‘noon-chai’.
Jumla abhi muqamal nahi; abhi alfazoun ki khud mukhtari baqi hai! Who knows how long we will live! However long you live, as Rumi puts it “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.”