Saturday, September 03, 2011

Amigos Para Siempre

In recent weeks, a particular playlist of favourite music that I've had on loop has brought back a flood of memories, vivid in my mind but softened by nostalgia. Like an out of body experience, the opening bars of particular songs transport me to a different time and place, and remind me of long-forgotten moments and the people (you know who you are) with whom I shared them.

So, people, since there's no earthly way to disassociate you from the music in my head, here's to you, and thanks for all the fish.

Comfortably Numb. Pre-ISC. Debdan, Dodo and I, who have been spending a lot of time "studying" together, are sitting at RadioVoice (in my memory, we're almost always at RadioVoice), across the road from home, waiting for notes to be photocopied. Doom is imminent, and we know it. Whatever happens next, we're hurtling towards some unfamiliar precipice, and life as we know it is over. Debdan perches on the edge of the table, and in an abandon-hope-all-ye kind of tone, sings Comfortably Numb at us (no, not to, at), while Dodo and I laugh uncomfortably.  

Goin' Wild For You Baby. Skiving off college and hanging out at Park Circus, surfing a tidal wave of tea, cigarettes, hilarity and empathy, in the grip of a love affair that has crept up on me sneakily, while I wasn't looking. Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez interspersed with a rare pep talk from Bubu. I've been looking for the Bonnie Raitt version of this song ever since. 

Kiss that Frog. Escaping from college to Tiru's to listen to music, drink tea and smoke on the sly on a balcony shaded by an enormous tree. Exploring his music collection while he pronounces my taste "quite good for a girl," a misogynistic slur that I forgive when I discover a wealth of music I don't have, including Peter Gabriel Live at Modena. It takes me a while to persuade him to loan it to me though. 

Oh, Happy Day. Sunday morning, Park Circus, chai from Aashiq's stall, From Every Stage blasting from the windows. Such fond memories. 

Wish You Were Here. Harmonising with Vittesh through the years, but most weirdly, in that little "literatura y artes" pub in Cusco, where we really were the best singers around! 

Rhinestone Cowboy. Nigel as troubadour, bringing his guitar and voice. Singalongs. And eventually, singalongs at Sonai's kiddie camps, with a whole bunch of kids singing "Sundeep Jain's scooter has a puncture in the tyre." You can't make stuff like this up!

Theme For A Dream. Lawrence Hall during break, Tina, Sherene, Kavi. Singing our way through school. And then, continuing to sing this our way at all kinds of inappropriate places, in front of all kinds of inappropriate audiences, especially to the total mystification of guests at Sherene's wedding. 

The Bear Necessities. Walking down Calcutta roads, arm in arm with Mona, singing and dancing, alternating on the Baloo and Mowgli parts, while our companions pretended not to know us. Happiness!

You've Got A Friend in Me: Toy Story at Nandan, with Sonai. The first of many treks to watch animated films followed by sandwiches at Atrium, or pizza at Rooftop. :) 

The Phantom Of The Opera: Padma and I, in my 7th block home in Bangalore. Phantom on around the clock, while we attempted to hit those high notes, and much abuse and reluctant awe directed at Sarah Brightman each time we failed. Long nights of Russian coffee, conversation and calm. And the occasional Yahoo grin.

Fragile: Dodo introducing me to Sting, oh so many years ago! India A vs. India B, and "what's a differential equation?" on the eve of our ISC Maths exam. Ambling around the military camp, and the horns of Dodo's perpetual dilemma - should he take the Garia mini, or try his luck with the Gariahat-Howrah?

I'm off to listen to more favourites, and revel in some more nostalgia. But as a bonus for reading through this entirely personal post, here's Comfortably Numb to get you started on your own musical associations. Enjoy!

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