I drive 23 miles one way to work. After the fair amount of hints blatant and otherwise this fact isn’t hush anymore. So, to keep my mind from working overdrive, I listen to music, just like any of us who go on long drives. The various options I have are:
Desi Bollywood Music
Not-so desi music
MSS and the likes
I tried books on tape but soon realized I preferred to read them. One can hardly focus on the story never mind the words. Then there was this incident when I drove off the road in boredom, but that’s another blog post for later.
Coming back to music, I am in a fortunate place where, without me asking I tend to find songs in my inbox. Of course I send requests out too occasionally and folks are real nice to me. Gone are the days when I go searching for music. The zeal to go search, download, fight pop-ups and create logins has died a silent slow death over the months. I originally had an Ipod. The husband in a rare bout of indulgent cozy love, got me one. For quite some time I didnt believe that I was the recipient and I eyed it a few days cautiousness mingled with suspicion as one eyes a mirage, or even a lottery ticket. The excitement on owning one yet not wanting to burst into happiness in case you jinx it.
I have a feeling I eyed it too long. Coz, one day it really did disappear.
On seeing my puzzled face, the daughter said “hey, you didn’t load a single song in it! Couldn’t let that go to waste now can I?” So, the iTunes got downloaded and songs kept flying in. In a 70’s black n white movie style flashback I remembered my mom’s expression of distaste when she heard any BoneyM or ABBA music. “Ghosts” she’d scream “It’s devil’s music. How can that even be qualified as music? Listen to Balamurali, Ghantasala, how about SPB. All that convent education, and we get such side-effects! I told your father to send you to nice Hindu Sarada Vidyalaya, but would he listen, noooo, he wanted to make Britishers out of you both sending you to the convent school, and now I have to hear such torture.”
Ultimately, I am told, we all turn into our moms.
I don’t get what they listen to despite my keen monitoring on what they download and makes its way into their heads and they in turn scoff at what we hear. The relief is that it is equal opportunity. I roll my eyes at their music and they shrink their noses at mine.
So, with the now elusive iPod confiscated by the tween, I was relegated to listening to music the good old way. On those bright shiny discs that Best Buy still sells. So I’d burn the CD’s with various music pieces, and tuck them away into the car’s originally 5-slot-but-yet-only-3-of-them-play music system, and spend my time on the road. Since I don’t qualify for the most organized person on earth, occasionally I tend to get repeats and random collection. Hindi, Telugu, Tamil get mixed, and these days with ARR’s foray into the languages, it’s perfectly alright for me to hear Guru’s one song in Hindi and then Telugu (though in this movie, hindi rocks personally) and Gajini’s song is heard in telugu and tamil. Kuchipudi dance items and English however I have maintained separately, and it seemed the natural thing to do. So yes, its a fine smorgasbord if you will. In fact, I like it that way, being pleasantly surprised when the system’s on random works wonders keeping you awake in the wee hours.
I recently discovered that pleasantly surprised and rudely shocked are on either side of a very thin line. Mainly drawn by the one who plays a pivotal role in deciding the order of songs.
Ever so often my CD’s shrink in number. One day the CD pack is brimming with 20 shiny discs and the next week, it’s down to a paltry 2. Apparently, they make good play things for the munchkin, son uses them as instant frizbee while he waits for the school bus, the daughter uses them as tracing mechanisms and the husband just throws them out once he sees a miniscule scratch on them, or if they get in his way, anywhere.
As a result, burning music onto brand new CD’s is like a constant almost-therapeutic action every few days. One rushed morning, on realizing I would have to listen to the silence or the voices in my head – either of which didn’t sound tremendously beneficial to my already fragile state of mind, I figured in the time it took for me to shower and get dressed, 2 discs could be burnt. Since moms love to totally send the underlings scurrying as assistants for any kind of job however small it may be, I asked the daughter if she could slip the discs in while she chewed on her cereal. She nodded. I showed her the 2 separate playlists and ran.
We drive off with at least 1 fresh new set of songs. She says “Yes, ma’am, the Jodha thingy and the cuckoo ones too!”. Feeling happy I’d have some ARR for company, I slide it in and as “Azeem O-Shaan” picks up, grin broadly as I hear a soft voice sing along with the tape. I pull into the kiss n ride line at her school and the track changes.
HUH? What the hey!?!
Did the CD change? No, we still on the same one. Track no. 2 is THIS?
Daughter “What? You asked me to burn them right?”
Me: “Yes, I did, but.. . Okay, what’s track 3? ”
Daughter: “See, nice nice music again, just for you. Actually it’s for me, but never mind that.”
Me: “This is insane girl!”
Daughter: “haha. Mom, I am the only one who drives with you. It isn’t fair asking me to listen to your cuckoo songs continuously. So, yea. Ok, bye”
She hops off, leaving me to stare at the back of her swishing pony tail and wonder at the incredulous ways a tween’s brain can and will work.
So you ask on the songs and the order? It goes like this.
Track 1: Azeem O Shaan
Track 2: If I were a flower growing wild and free – Juno
Track 3: In Lamhon ki daaman
Track 4: Layla – Eric Clapton
Track 5: Jashn-e-bahara
Track 6: Anyone else but you – Juno
..and so on.
Imagine relishing and savoring the last nuances of tangy Bhel, and a delicious idli lump soaked in a combination of sambar and coconut chutney is thrust down your throat, while you are still licking your lips on that leftover sev tucked between the spaces between your teeth?