Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Sound of Music

When dark clouds overtake the normally sunny blue skies of where I live, I’m usually transported back to my school days. This transportation also stems from several old photo albums I found, while packing last night.

As of this morning, I’m a bit nostalgic and listening to songs that are not quite helping my situation to concentrate on the present task at hand.

While I listen to my playlist, I realize, there are quite a few songs that are so intertwined with a specific person or memory I have. So much so, it seems like it was just the other day.

Whenever I hear the song “Bahon ki Darmiya”, I cannot help but think of my “boyfriend” from 11th grade. All the lame excuses to run out of the house to see him, hold hands and feel like we were in “love”. I almost killed my best friend of a heart attack when she realized I was dating this guy. It all went downhill after I saw his dad in a “lungi” smoking “bidi”.

Songs from the movie “Pukar” most definitely remind me of my dating days in Bahrain. With hopes of a romantic evening, I had trotted along with my date to the theater, to watch said movie, hand-in-hand, head resting in his shoulder. Eventually his head ended up in my shoulder, his loud snores muffling the filmy dialogues. He had made a request prior to dozing off - to wake him up when Madhuri Dixit came on the big screen, clad in her blue chiffon saree, standing on the glaciers somewhere in Alaska and for just that  tiny moment, there was romance in the air. I cannot help smile to this date when I hear the song “Kismat se tum”

The women of Bollywood should protest to this nonsense. While women are expected to be skimpily clad in the snow, the men are cuddled up in warm clothes AND gets to snuggle with the actress. In olden days they made babies this way in movies such as “Aradhana”.  Another movie with great songs. But I digress.

The song, “Jab koi baat bigar jaye”, I think has the same effect on women of my generation, no matter which state or school you come from. This song just reminds me of my group of friends and all things school.

“Tum aye to aya mujhe yaad” takes me back to my friend’s flat in Jodhpur park. The endless adda sessions while sipping Old Monk and Coke and smoking packets of Wills, trying to forget my battles with dad at home. My induction to Bangla Band music was at this very sanctuary of the Sen residence. The red cover of Mohiner Ghoraguli’s audio cassette will never leave my memory. Amidst the endless cups of chai, some random Presidency students, and swirls of smoke, we would blast “Prithibi” and feel one with the universe.

Going back even farther, songs from “Qyamant se Qyamat Tak” takes me back to that day that went down in the history of Gokhale hostel - we had coerced our Matron to take us on a field trip to watch this movie in a theater. Watching Aamir’s sweet face light up the big screen lit up our tiny hearts and made it the best day of our lives, in times when all we had was a lousy radio to keep us entertained.

“Dil hai Chota Sa” transports me back to the Ambassador Taxi that held ten of us girls. We had the driver take us to Esplanade to watch that year’s biggest Bollywood blockbuster - “Roja”. Since we decided to bunk Madhyamik PT practice, we were in our school uniforms - probably the dumbest thing we ever did. The school got a call from someone of authority at the theater, notifying them ten of their schoolgirls were missing. The icecream we shared that day was the best icecream I will ever taste. I just wish I could savor it more - thanks to you - Sapto - our’s was the first one to be gone. Learned life’s biggest lesson that very day -NEVER to share my food.

“Que Sera, Sera,” will always remind me of you - Sapto. You were the ONLY crazy person in school who wanted to hear me sing, that too this song of all songs. Sumana - every time I hear Cliff Richards or Carpenters, even WHAM, I think of you and those weekend afternoons of “Band Box” on the radio - the segment that would play English songs. I knew, if not anyone, you would be listening with me. And I would feel very “cool” the next day in class when I could join in with your English music conversations.

Gone are those days. But the songs still remain with these special memories etched into each one of them, never to leave my heart. And in this day and age of gadgets and electronics, whenever I see clouds, my mind still wanders back to that junior dorm black box radio and its sounds. Little did I know then, that the music coming out of it would shape my life forever.