In classical languages, every word has a melody of its own. Pronounced correctly, each word of a Sanskrit stanza stimulates a different point of human emotion. Sloks have to be repeated in a prescribed manner to reawaken the soul. This isn\'t just new age mumbo jumbo, listen in solitude to the chants of Buddhist monks, Hindu priests or even the Gregorian brothers. The vibrations of a chanted mantra are designed to resonate with one\'s soul, and transport the listener into a trance-like state.
If visiting a monastery or a temple is an indulgence that you can\'t fit into your busy schedule, do yourself a favour-go get an Ani Choying CD. This singing nun has the power to make an atheist believe in god. Nothing explains the moving melody of Ani\'s songs more than her own admission that singing is a form of prayer.
A day after Ani released her new album Smile at an exclusive gathering at Soaltee Crowne Plaza, she sang at a charity concert in Pragya Bhaban on 25 June to an enthusiastic audience. The concert was labelled 'Smile with Ani Choying\' and the performance lived up to its promise.
Ani\'s hymns and chants are not as well known to the Nepali audience as her hit Phool ko ankha ma phoolai sansara from her first popular album Moments of Bliss . The compositions in Smile have the same team as Moments of Bliss -lyrics by Durga Lal Shrestha and music by Nhyoo Bajracharya. True to his self, poet Durga Lal has stuck to his choice of purer words rather than pick up colloquial terms common to popular Nepali songs. Ani has succeeded in giving depth to words of Sanskrit and Persian origin by her cultured diction.
Bajracharya makes his own musical strength shine by limiting the use of percussion. With wind and string musical instruments, primarily flute and guitar, as her accompaniment, Ani lets words waft across the ether and envelop you like a balm.
Smile has 10 songs, the last one a new rendition of Phool ko ankha ma . Each song is capable of soothing frayed nerves but Muskan makes your worries dissolve completely. Moments of Bliss and Smile assist in reflection, contemplation or pure relaxation. These songs aren\'t for people who need decibels as they run. Ani\'s voice and each of her words need to be savoured so they soothe.