In the era of social media, everything is timed in seconds. Dinner's on the table, you click a pic and instagram it. You want to have a say, you tweet. You are having a cool reunion with friends, you facebook it. Then you go into a virtual nostalgia about how 'real' those days were, when you could meet your friends instead of whatsapping them, texting them and cyber-chatting with them.
Emotions today are customized to what emoticons can convey. And it is tough for anything such as a 'memory' to have the world, so obsessed with internet and social network, to pause and take a deep breath.
What does someone like Daniel Pearl mean to this world which is being consumed with increased hate? He wasn't the only one whose life ended at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan. But, he sure was a different soul who had ensured his life went beyond his journalistic stint as Wall Street Journal reporter. Music had shaped his personality like no other. That was where he found his 'inner peace' when journalism sapped the energy off his body and mind. It has been more than 12 years since Daniel Pearl was beheaded, and a video posted on the internet. The family was devastated to say the least. His son Adam was born three months into his father's death. His French wife Mariane is still grappling with his memories, and her own life's challenges.
But, the way his family came to terms with 'Danny's' short life - he was 38 when he was killed -- has been highly commendable. Having formed Daniel Pearl Foundation immediately after his death, the family is keeping the memory of Daniel alive by organizing World Music Days every year. Concerts will be held at different places around the world every year around Daniel's birthday which is on October 10.
The concerts are being held to reaffirm the faith of humanity through music with a network of concerts across many countries. And, mind you, the program is about building awareness, and not a fundraiser for any cause. So far, about 11,900 such programs have been held cutting across religions, and faiths. This is something that connects journalism, music and innovative communications in the world that's drowning in the cesspool of violence, and intolerance - year after year.
This year, the 13th annual celebration of Daniel's World Music Days will commence on October 1, 2014.
The pattern is simple and has a format that is 'all inclusive'. Musicians across the world can sign-up, register, making a dedication from the stage for the World Music Days, through the month of October.
A journalist, who was totally into music from the time he was a youngster, would only find this a befitting tribute for the life he lived and represented. In some ways, music and journalism go out on the same quest - connecting with people, and the search of truth.
Musicians who perform and dedicate the event to Daniel, will simply upload their original creations on eStage, an online multimedia gallery that features the internet radio station. The platform also showcases music, lyrics, artwork, photographs, and videos with the sole hope that it is music that bridges hearts, and not intolerance and violence. It's 'harmony for humanity' that tugs at the hearts here.
This year, musicians such as Steve Akoki and Pink Martini join the likes of Sir Elton John, Herbie Hancock, Peter Gabriel, Philip Glass, Kool and the Gang, Indigo Girls, Dave Koz and other renowned musicians to pay a tribute to Daniel Pearl, around the same time when more and more killings by Islamist militants have been reported from various corners of the world by ISIL. In the recent times, two journalists and an aid worker were killed by the fundamentalists. This year's series will have special focus on these brutal killings that have begun to shake the faith of humanity, all over again.
With Steve Akoki and Pink Martini's pledge to join in, Judea and Ruth Pearl, Daniel's parents who have been still struggling to come to terms with the pain of having lost their son, have said they are grateful to musicians across the world for joining in.
Daniel's identity of being a journalist, a successful one at that was not his entire identity. Journalism was his passion, alright. But music soothed his soul. He was an avid violinist and, a mandolin player. He completely understood how music connected people even on foreign lands, where language was a barrier, and music built bridges within moments.
When musicians across the world explain what 'harmony for humanity' means to them, the world will probably find a new language of love and trust among fellow humans. This may not mean much to those extremists who are bent upon wiping lives off the face of earth, but to the others who believe bridges keep the world alive, a new vocabulary will be born again.