I could start this piece in a very vague way, or by directly listing the three songs that are important to me and writing why. I’m going to run around a bit, playing hide and seek, or like the children in here play the ‘rumal lukayera khelne’ (the game where you hide the handkerchief, and try to find out who has it) with it. In the last 22 years of life, I have heard many songs and many of them have left a deep impact on me. Although I listen to soft romantic songs most of the time, I’ve noticed that over the years, the pattern has changed a number of times. Pattern, as in, the genres.
Being considerably influenced by Bollywood movies and their melodious songs, I remember myself listening and singing (in a childish way) to them. Old songs, especially by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishor Kumar were preferred. Then there was Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik. Some of them, I still listen to, while the others have been forgotten. Now, when I happen to listen to them, it is hard to believe that i used to like listening to them.
In this context, I remember a nepali song, I don’t remember which film it was, but it goes like this – ‘chitthi ayena, chitthi ayena, mero mayaluko malai chitthi ayena…’ (My love’s letter never reached me). My mom used to say that when I was a mere 4 year old, I’d sit on the cold cemented staircase outside the second floor and sing it alone. I try to imagine a 4-year-old me singing this song and it makes me laugh. I don’t even remember the words of that song! Here, I feel amazed at my mom’s acute memory, always telling us stories about ourselves about our past. I usually complain about this habit of my mom’s how she can’t let go of some painful things and embraces them, like holding the thorns close to her heart and letting it pierce it until she is bleeding. Nevertheless, I admire her for the person that she is. Her stories of the past, sometimes painful to listen to, and at other times, are the lullabies of the time that I can’t ever remember.
In my teen years, when I started getting conscious of myself, my inclination towards the songs I listened to changed as well. It was the time when I started listening to radio, 24/7. I’d wake up in the morning and tune in to my favorite radio station, and wait for good songs to come. Good songs, as in, English Pop songs – Green Day, Rascal Flatts, Jason Mraz, James Blunt, etc. Because the radio stations early morning put up devotional songs, I used to sit by the radio, wait for the commercials to end to find out which one was playing the songs I liked. Every 5 minutes, I changed the station and it was annoying. As I had no phone or internet, I didn’t have any choice but to put up with it. And I did. Can you believe, that I’d wait for my favorite songs to play with a pen and some papers to write down the lyrics and sing it later? Whenever I think about it now, a strange feeling overwhelms me. I somehow miss doing that. I almost had this feeling of devotion towards the songs I liked, and waited all day, changing the stations frequently, to track them.
With the accessibility of the internet and mobiles, though, a little of that is still done. Nothing like that, however. But I don’t complain. There wasn’t a particular song that used to be important, but playlists that varied according to my mood. I categorized songs according to my impression of them, and changed the lists in regard with my moods. They were a temporary escape from the troubling time, teenage turmoils and my tenacity of breaking down at every word that came my way. Now that I’ve been transported to a bit calmer days, I wander around to look for music that will carry me away to a better place. Hence I can’t really list out three important songs, (I was never going to), but certain songs will remind me of those times and will walk me down the memory lane. Always.
(Writing 101, Day Three: Three Most Important Songs in my Life)