celebrate self-love with Tere Bina
An essay about how a song helped me fall in love with myself
I wish we truly understood the value of loving ourselves. Our bringing up in this society makes us perceive others and ourselves as ‘assets’, and years of conditioning has hard-wired it within ourselves – that we are less of humans and more of machines that deliver projects on time, respect deadlines, are functional, open for change, open to manipulation!
We push ourselves to do what they say and expect, with no regard for what we desire or wish to do. This pursuit for the unattainable brings us closer to the edge, and sometimes we get a little too close.
“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”Kim McMillen
My struggles with Mental Health Issues
I have struggled with mental health issues for longer than I can remember. At times it feels like the factory state I came into this world with. I have a faint memory of how things used to be in school, but can hardly recollect. And even though I am doing what I am supposed to do, I still can’t escape the dreadful grudge of the crisis.
“I am human. I struggle.”
Learning to Process
Where I differentiate myself is in the space I am able to give myself.
I allow myself, free myself, to explore anything that comes with the newly acquired emotional baggage. And what I have learned is that it all boils down to the lack of self-love, lack of self-respect and a dire, desperate need of self-care.
The Story of Tere Bina
In my early twenties, my schedule was almost as monotonous as the day with very few variables controlling the flow. Wake up ill-rested, head to the washroom to freshen up, have breakfast and return to bed to the ever looming existential dread.
One fine morning, while brushing my teeth and looking into the mirror, my eyes got caught in my reflection. The eyes in the mirror whilst mine suddenly seemed as distant as the horizon and as strange as the deep seas.
I couldn’t recognise the man in the mirror – myself! It pushed me off to the tip; almost had a panic attack. I couldn’t recognise myself! Of course I remembered all the features, how my face looked, my beard, everything but the man – the person inside the mirror, the soul in my eyes. I failed to understand.
It put me through one of my worst crises; as if my already dreadful existential crisis wasn’t enough and it needed a desperate boost of identity issues! All the issues, insecurities, insurgencies came rising to the surface, and there was no escaping anymore. It all came tumbling down on me, and I could feel my heart sink with every little beat it took.
Things happen, that is how it is with mental well being. You think you are in control, you keep pushing yourself and one day when the levee breaks, you go down with it.
It took me hundreds of songs, loads of words to express – at least write it down how I felt. Decoding was hard but I had no other choice.
To this day I still struggle with issues but writing songs and poems makes it easier.
‘Tere Bina’ is the song that sums it all up. I had a melodic idea running in the back of my mind for a very long time. It was this particular feeling that the melody was meant to be with and I never pushed it. It all came down organically and naturally.
I wrote the song years after the incident, but it brought with it more clarity and courage.
The reckless pursuit of pushing ourselves, this internal need to belong and an innate desire to be loved makes us do things which we are not. It takes a hard blow behind the head to make us understand the difference between the idea of a certain emotion and the absolute experience of the feeling.
The mirror event years ago was one of those hits.
- We ask so much of people, ‘demand’ their attention, always seek approvals, acknowledgments drive our reasons, but all of this stands on very fragile ground. It shatters at the brink of rejection. It does!
- What I have learned is that I need love, everybody needs love and there is nothing bad or immoral in asking for it. I ask for love all the time, but who do I ask it from?
- Who should I ask this love from? Who is my ‘soul-mate’, my partner, my ‘better half’, my family, my caretaker, my parent, my friend, an unconditional lover, who?
- It took me ages to figure out that I knew the person all along, just never looked under my clothes. It is me!
“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”Bob Moawad
The Beginning of a Long Unwinding Love Affair
You need to fall in love with yourself, have an absolute understanding of what it really means to love yourself. It, of course, starts from practicing saying words in front of the mirror ’till the day when you just know it – when you don’t need any words or actions anymore to justify or prove it. You just know!
I am in absolute awe of myself, I love who I am, I love how flawed I am, I love how crooked my laugh is when I am in the mood, I love how stupid I become in front of my friends, I adore my nursery jokes, I love myself! I celebrate my uniqueness.
Here I present Tere Bina – the song that helped me fall in love with myself.
Music Video of Tere Bina
Lockdown gave us ample time to be free, get bored, then get frustrated and eventually find light at the end of the tunnel.
With no gigs happening anywhere and no hope of gigs on the horizon, I put in all my energy into creative projects. ‘Quarantine Sessions’ is one of these ideas.
I recorded a performance of ‘Tere Bina’ as a part of the live sessions.
It was a warm sunny day, still hot from the trailing summer heat, but quite silent for me to zone out.
It is difficult for me to get into the vibe but I was feeling it so I decided to record a rendition on the roof-top of my home. I did the best I could with what I had and recorded the version.
I put it out on Youtube, and forgot about it.
Here is the music video.
I heard it a couple months later and I was astonished by the emotional value I had put in the performance. It is so moving – subtle, beautiful and a pure reflection of me as an artist.
I am releasing the song out on all the digital streaming platforms for you to listen to be subtly reminded to keep loving yourself, at least start doing so!
Stream Tere Bina (Quarantine Sessions)
Covid-19 has made irreparable damage to the independent music scene. Most of the money used to come from live shows and gigs, but with no events happening and no hope of things opening up anytime soon, there is an impeding doom looming over a lot of independent artists.
Please consider supporting the artist in any way you could. I put my music up on sale on my instamojo store.
Consider buying the digital package, a small contribution can make a huge difference. Here is the link.