Melodic memories

As I sat on my chair near the window in my room, one rainy evening, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. How much more time did I have? How much longer? In the little time I had left, would I accomplish everything I hoped to? It was all so unfair. I was studying for my board exam then and the final exams were only a few months away.

The programme Sa Re Ga Ma Pa hosted by Sonu Nigam on Zee TV was a great hit at that time and my family used to watch all the episodes regularly. A female participant had just finished singing “Woh toh chale aye dil, yaad se unki pyaar kar..” by Lata Mangeshkar from Sangdil. Though the participant had not got all the notes correct, as I came to know only later after listening to Lata’s original, I was hooked onto it nevertheless. It was a milestone in my life because it was the first time I experienced how music could uncover emotions that I never knew I had in me even-more, emotions I didn’t understand myself.

That night also marked the begining of my study of old hindi movie songs specially Lata’s songs. It was the first song that I had studied, its nuances, its depth, the tones, the rendering, the background score, the musical pieces in between. From that moment forward, music became my favourite allay. I depended on it to cope, to motivate, to laugh, to cry and to hide my emotions. It also reminded me of special people, incidences and places. As I got older and life became more complicated, I used it to manipulate my emotions, to suck out painful feelings I had buried so I could (in theory) spend some more time with them and then hopefully move on.

It was the time before the iPod existed, I had a walk-man then and many cassettes. My cassettes mostly consisted of old songs by Lata Mangeshkar specially sad ones. My father had got me customised cassettes which had compiled songs of different music directors. To suit my moods, I had to do a lot of fast-forwarding and rewinding to listen to certain songs that well expressed the emotions I was going through at that time. But now with the iPod, you can just create a play-list and mine consists of labels such as “depressed, overjoyed, rebellious, all is not lost, such is life” and so on. But my most trusty play-list is still “good cry”. Because sometimes I just don’t want to move on or cheer up. I want to wallow in self-pity that only Lata’s songs can evoke. I even remember, playing songs on my computer all night long when I thought if it wasn’t playing, it would just kill me…yea.. real dark and depressing times those…!

I remember, I carried my walk-man to college for all five years and listened to songs during my 15 minute bus ride to college. Another funny thing, I did my college assignments while playing songs in the background. I used to put the player in the random mode and had built up this superstition that if a certain song came up while working on the particular assignment, then I would get good marks for it. 🙂

I don’t really know how to end this post because I can go on and on about all small incidences that really meant a lot and how certain songs are associated with them. The current song playing in my head since yesterday is “Dil dhoondta hai phir wahi fursat ke raat din..” from Mausam. This song reminds me of my best friend and I always picturise this friend and I traversing through the hills leaving all troubles behind and having the time of our lives.


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