Saturday, May 26, 2018

Songs and the times


I am currently reading Ruskin Bond’s delightful autobiography ‘Lone Fox dancing’. In it, Bond’s relationship with nature is clearly visible. He has taken inspiration from nature for many of his stories, which he clearly mentions in the memoirs. His heart is with nature. Even though there were enough chances for him to be lost in the hum drum of daily life, thus losing his tryst with nature, he took risky decisions and stayed back where his heart lay. In the process he has produced some memorable stories.

In a way he was lucky to have spent his childhood life in the scenic town of Dehradun and its adjoining areas like Mussoorie and kasauli.  In comparison I spent my life in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, along with a family. This post is neither about Ruskin Bond or my childhood but rather how some things cling to us like a magnet to magnet and become attached to certain memories. The relationship or rather the correlation is permanent. These things remind us always of something from our past. Ruskin Bond’s relationship with nature is something of this sort.

This post is about songs. My father had bought cable TV into our homes pretty early. And what would small children do of cable television: watch serials, movies and songs. Some songs capture our fancy. I remember the first song I got attached to. It goes ‘Hawa hawa ae hawa khushbu loota de’ (It recently got remixed in a movie).  The music was catchy and it was a dance tune in those days. I and my brother danced on it in our colony. Members of the colony were enthralled with it, both with the song and our dance.

To be clear, what I am suggesting is that certain songs, when you hear them make you nostalgic. Not because there is something in the song but because it reminds of one the special times when you would have heard it. It has a relationship with you, and it’s a special relationship. I don’t know if it happens to others but definitely to me.


Whenever I listen to ‘Ek Pal ka Jeena’ from ‘Kaho na pyar hai’, it reminds me of the terrible trouble we took to buy the tickets of the movie after our board exams. In Bokaro, which was in Bihar then, goons had their own ingenious ways of getting tickets.  We were few friends, fresh from appearing from the last exam, excited to watch the latest heartthrob Hrithik Roshan’s dance. I was in the queue for the tickets. The ticket counter was a little enclosure with a tiny hole for our hands to pay the money and get the tickets. All the shows were running houseful so I was worried if the show we were targeting would be houseful before our turn comes. Suddenly, I felt a force on my head. A man was crawling on our heads to reach the counter. Next turn was mine. He had almost reached it. When I put my hands into the little hole and shouted ‘5 balcony ki tickets dena’, he inserted his hand as well and said ‘Ae, 2 ticket de’. There was a man’s neck on my head and anger in my heart. Yet we are timid people in Bihar, the so called good ones. And so we do not protest due to the fear of getting thrashed. My hand was squeezed and it was paining. Yet he persisted and got his tickets first, then crawled back smiling to his friend. I too got the tickets but finally watched the movie sitting on a stool with four more people inside the cinema hall. The song always reminds me of this pain.  

I used to listen to a lot of Hindi songs in my undergraduate days in college, just like everybody else. One particular song reminds me of the times I felt patriotic and wished to do something for my country. It is ‘Yeh jo desh hai tera’ from the movie Swades. Recently I watched Swades again and got reminded of the feeling. A tinge of shame erupted in my body of my inability to do anything of the feelings I had felt.

Then there are the songs of AC/DC which reminds one of the party times. There are songs of romance. There are songs of fear, songs which remind one of the writing times and there are songs of ecstasy. Sometimes one feels lucky to have heard a particular song in a particular time. I am not going to bore you anymore though and let you listen to a song that reminds you of something.

1 comment:

Neeraj Nagi said...

I hate "brazil brazil" song, this was most played songs in kota marriges, always put me in that under-pressure mode. Can't remember same for Devdas songs, again same exam time feeling.