I consider myself to have a great understanding of music and can feel the various ebb and flow of it. I have been a reticent amateur beat box-er(ess) for past few years of my life and feel a certain pride in the ability to do so. I have no idea when exactly was the first time that I heard music or how did I took that glorious moment/ turning point in my life, but I do have certain vague memories. I am one of those few people that come in the very very uncommon subset of those who came to know music due to the corrupt company (just kidding).
My siblings are the first people I blame who actually introduced me to music because both of them were music junkies. My sister was more into English music due to the influence of my cousins and my brother was into Indian and Pakistani music. Despite their differences, they would both co-operate with each other and contribute pocket money for buying music cassettes (some audio story cassettes for me if I was lucky enough because I loved them). TDK cassettes were bought so that music could be taken from others and saved and various playlists were created according to choices. The whole process used to take so long and no one was allowed near the recording device near which my sister sat like a much experienced mouse trap, and one move of the lips could cause caustic burns (she always had long nails).
At this point in time, I think Michael Jackson can be said to bring siblings and families all around the world together, to very sociable and bearable courteous behavior or maybe it was just at my home. Both my elder siblings were a huge fan of him and loved his music. My father’s eldest brother was requested again and again for bringing the newest and the best walkman, which was second only to chocolates, so that my siblings could listen to music without judgments and obstructions. My sister got her first true taste of heartache when she lost her much beloved walkman while we were traveling and it slipped through the window and embraced death under the cruel wheels of the fast paced train, with a tiny parting yelp. Many of my favorite songs are the ones from the old tapes of my sister which include:
- Last Christmas by WHAM!
- Careless whisper by George Michael
- You look wonderful tonight by Eric Clapton
- Say a little prayer for you by Aretha Franklin
- One way ticket (which I used to sing as one way ticket to the Zoo ooo ooo o o)
Our first real breakthrough in listening to music without interruptions (since the only music player in the home belonged to my parents so there were always problems) came when my youngest paternal uncle decided to pass on his DVD player to us. It meant hours and hours of uninterrupted music for my siblings.
When I was young, I was clever enough and knew that certain songs were only for certain situations or ambiances. For example it was common knowledge that Sha la la la la la by VengaBoys was only for a rainy day and had to be listened to and sung while walking in the rain. My era of listening to music due to corrupt influence took it downturn when my sister got married. Before getting married, she destroyed huge bags upon bags of cassettes (in which I took part because it was so much fun) because she has to start a new life in a very pious monk like way (do monks give up music?) My brother listened much of the music in washroom while bathing, which tooks hours and hours because it was so therapeutic, a habit he picked up from my paternal aunt’s husband much to my mom’s chagrin.
I was brought back to listening to music in high school whereby it was one of the frequently discussed topics and I listened to few tapes lent to me by my best friend. Later I almost renounced music when I came to college however I discovered some great songs till then, so I can say that I wasn’t totally a follower, Hey there Delilah by Plain white t’s is one of them.
These days my connection is only to natural or binaural sounds from the time I discovered them on soundcloud and they are so peaceful and help as much as ice cream or coffee, leaving you unruffled and in your best zone.
He holds onto her hand, either out of the fear of losing her or maybe that is what he has seen so often, and this last fleeting gesture of seeking comfort in the nearness of beloved, repeated countless times, is etched in his mind. He doesn’t know how much more time he has and it is impossible not to think of the looming doom upon his head. He looks at her and tries to keep his composure, so as not to hurt her any further and rather calm her down. ‘I want to be your strength, my love’ he thinks and traces his thumb gently over her delicate face.
She lies on the bed, pale, shrunken and like a ghost of the past already. Every breath she takes, make it sound like an effort pulling at the very core of her heart. The only part of her which still feels alive is her eyes. The deep blue of her eyes seems restless, as if a fish after being caught in a net. The very last of her strength is draining slowly and she opens her mouth to whisper some inaudible words.
He comes closer to her and puts his ears near to her mouth. She sighs ever so slightly, so patient even in her last moments. “Take care of Amile and …” she pauses and rests her hand on his head, “gain strength and grow well for the both of us, while….” He couldn’t hear the rest of it because he felt a sensation like an electrical shock crushing his very soul and he slips away from her.
He couldn’t stand the misery and disbelieve her words causes him, and does she not know? “Gain strength?” he sputters and looks at her incredulously, “How could you even ask that of me?”He stands rigid and decides that he can’t face her anymore; it’s too much to ask of any mortal.
He feels angry beyond comprehension and realizes that lava of burning hot fire is seething inside him. Something shifts inside the room, a very imperceptible turn but they both feel it because he hears her pleading for him to come to her and hold her. He doesn’t hesitate for a second and she is in his arms in a swift movement and he can feel strange wetness on his face. He feels silent tremors and is not sure which of them is shaking. “Sing me our song”, she says.
In a scratchy voice barely audible to anyone he starts to sing tonelessly but starts to make his way into the soft melody:
‘A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they’ve got planes and trains and cars
I’d walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we’ll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you’re to blame’
He can see she is smiling that warm loving smile that made him mad the very first time he saw her and he was besotted from the word go. His family thought she was very plain and his friends, who knew the mystery behind her presence in the lands, openly condemned it as illegal and thought that he was a fool for following an ‘emagrati’ (a common word for immigrant in our part) and that they were destined to be star crossed lovers, and nothing more from the start.
He never cared much for her status as an immigrant or considered her plain because he was in love for the first time and whenever she was around he felt a strong magical pull towards her. A long forgotten elaborate poem by Yeats came to his mind whenever she was around and he still remembered the glimmer in her shining eyes the first time he recited it to her:
To Ada, my love:
‘Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Inwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams’.
They had danced all night long and the poem in itself has been a way to ask her to marry him and thus as was the cosmic plan, they eloped within a month of meeting each other, quietly with attendance of few close friends. They never even consider the danger that her illegal immigrant status might pose to their relationship or the terrible circumstances that now inflicted themselves upon them. They were young and naïve and thought that nothing could stand in the way of their eternal love, which obviously was foolish of them and he is amazed at how long they still got to be together without any suspicions from authorities. However, it ended one fateful day and all the others like her, who were considered nothing more than mere filth crowding this sacred land, were suddenly being specially sought after, so that they could be removed. He remembers how for months they felt a tight scrutiny around themselves and felt a paralyzing fear whenever anyone in official looking attire stared at them for a tad too long.
He feels a pressure on his shoulder and it’s Amile. They stare at each other and then he feels her shifting in his arms, fluttering like a bird, to hold her baby. She hugs him tightly and I can see fear and confusion in his eyes.
He feels as if his insides have turned to ice and the very prospect of Amile growing up without Ada is pure heart wrenching to him. Kevin, his brother, enters the room and nod slightly towards him and then says softly that it is time to let go. He opens his mouth but nothing comes out and he feels weak and thinks his legs will not support him to the place of execution. However, he puts up a last brave attempt and moves her bed slowly until they reach the place of execution. He can hear faint screams and sobs, while a strong smell of dying souls emanate from the place. From here on the moments stretching beyond take a dreamy or more like nightmarish quality and he loses count of time and remembers only faintly the dark reaching out and sucking his beloved Ada forever into an abyss, from where no living soul ever escaped.
Samuel can feel a hollow feeling as he comes around and looks at the doctor worriedly. The doctor, however, smiles kindly at him and says that his liposuction procedure has been done safely and he can now live a more fit and happy life.
Samuel had gained a lot of fat over years of eating greasy food and living a stagnant life, leading to a massive weight gain. He tried to lose as much as he could but then the stubborn fat cells in his body refused to budge and a liposuction was suggested. He feels a calm settle over him and a drunken sense of optimism swell inside him with the idea of beginning a new, improved life from right this moment.
My earliest memories of dancing…Ah!
I remember my cousins and sister were preparing for my eldest cousin’s (on maternal side of the family) wedding and I got really excited about all the music and steps that they were choreographing for the pre-wedding ceremony of Mehndi. I wanted to be a part of it, but since I was around 10 to 12 years younger to all those big girls, I was thoroughly ignored as a young kid often is. But I was watching, and rehearsing all of those steps in my mind, practically all the time. I was obsessed with that particular dance and those different steps like moving in circles, changing places with partners etc. All this time, while they were busy rehearsing, I was busy planning how could I get a chance at some spotlight so I could show the world I was way better dancer. My chance came when my cousin came home after the wedding day, along with her husband, as is the custom in our family, when the bride comes to visit the family (this is also an innocent pretext to get some money and blessings). Everyone was sitting in the spacious sitting room and my mind was busy in finding a place empty enough where I could get ample space to dance. Somehow, my memory fails me in remembering how, I got my big chance and I twirled and whirled as if my life depended on it. When the song finally ended, I just didn’t want to stop at all, because the feeling of being in middle of all that attention and dancing with such perfection had some addiction to it. As my mind was spinning from all that twirling, I was barely able to get the expressions of the family members but when it all came in focus everyone was laughing like crazy and there was some sort of standing ovation thing going on as well. At that moment in time, I felt like the most happiest and content person in life, and I got my first shot at fame and I felt a little drunk with all that attention to be honest.
I remember doing the same dance in another wedding couple of years later, which was formally the end of my wedding dancer career, but I remember how happy dancing made me and what fun it was, and when the song used to end, I felt like the stereo system has committed some great offense against me. I remember getting into a serious altercation (which later became an interesting party joke on my behalf) that the song should be played again because the first time around, someone has stopped it before my last great step. That song is still in my memory and I chuckle at that little-girl memory of dancing and how confident I was at that time to dance in front of anyone and everyone and how much it meant to me. If asked to dance any of these days publicly, I would run away in another direction altogether and return only and when the ceremony is over.
P.S. : Between me, and my two legs, I managed to dance a dance which was originally choreographed for four people, if I say so myself 😀 (Boasting much?)
Memories are intricate puzzling combination of inter related moments of past, that both bring about a strong wave of nostalgia and overwhelming joy that you are past some particularly difficult time in life. But what of memories that bring both these factors together, because then it is surely quite strange. Mostly for me, I hardly have any large collection of memories from anything before age of 12, which often makes me feel like a MPD patient or a geriatric living backwards, only one with Alzheimer’s. However, all the memories I do have are either, too pleasant or just plainly the ones, which I keep so that I can supply myself a huge amount of self pity, to keep myself happy and superiors like all the self-help books advice, only not this way maybe, but beggars can’t be chooser right? (Oh well, now we are talking of a geriatric with Alzheimer’s and narcissism). Well, yeah, so the earliest memory is of both a loss and friendship. A friendship always demand a sacrifice, and a ritual where you have to do something to prove you are cool enough and I did pay a heavy price and that too at the age of 5. I tried to lie and escape, hide and change my timings or be fast enough to drink from my feeder, but then the neighborhood guys were always laughing behind closed doors, smirking and joking how I was still such a baby. It was a tie between the magical feeder and the boys, and ironically food lost. I guess for that reason, I am cursed and become the fat person I now am. So there were two brothers, let’s for ease sake, name them Z and H. In time, I realized, Z was more my kind, the most suitable image for both me and my parents as my first play date. I was the worst racer ever, I couldn’t run more than 1oo meters to save myself and thus the most easy target for kidnapping since I keep no mace (Oh damn me, I am like on a secret spilling spree or something, I just didn’t say that, forget it ). Z was a totally calm person, while H was the typical running and always-in-kind-of –a-hurry type of a person. So of course very soon H chose the older boys in the neighborhood to play with and I chose Z and Z chose to just sit at home and draw Disney princesses. Actually our friendship solidified because Z’s aunt was kind of my tutor as my mother was always too busy in house chores and my elder sister in ignoring me like she was supposed to and thus I was in dire need of tuitions. Z was very sweet, kind and helpful kind of a boy and I loved going over to his house and following him around or talking to him. I discovered this whole new creative side to the world, whenever he used to talk or show me something. I discovered something known as Disney princesses and have been obsessed about them ever since and the sketches of them dressed up in scrumptious silk and lustrous gems. We often used to go through the junk on my roof and for the first time I got to know about boomerang through him. The whole idea of a thing going whizzing by in air and coming back was just absolutely mind-blowing for me. We once came upon a stone shaped peculiarly and according to Z it looked almost like a boomerang and we tried throwing it and believing that it would bring some precious things on its way back, but the fat stone gathered no moss at all. We had hundred different conversations about building things and waiting for the rain to come so that it could fill up the deep pit type thing on my roof and we could jump and splash all we want in summer, with a swimming pool kind of experience. At that age, it was all so magical, to actually have a person to yourself because there were so many things to be shared and talked about. I can never forget the absolutely delicious noodles soup I used to have, made by his mother often, right in the kitchen on the small blue table especially for us kids, which was the highlight of the day and something I adored about her. We used to watch Indian horror shows, which I never actually saw without a pillow in case I could hide whenever an evil clown’s abduction or shrill piercing scream broke the silence and tension in the room, which was another reason to be called a baby, but I hugged the pillow closer because I didn’t want to die at that tender age of heart attack. This lead to a big scandal whereby my brother accused me of going to neighbor’s house for the sole purpose of watching cable TV which till that time was banned on me due to age factor, as I was the youngest, the baby of the family so every fun thing was off limit. This lead to a ban for some time, but then I convinced my mother that education could never be compromised on basis of mere jealous scandals. This friendship went on for some time and was strengthen as we three stood our ground against another neighborhood girl by forming a barrier against her and her brothers by holding hands while they were cycling and stopping them from coming in our portion of the street for some ludicrous reason I don’t even remember one sunny afternoon. At some point, my parents realized that I was too old to be friend with guys and the friendship came to an end and it was easier to drift apart because Z made no effort to hold onto it. He was quite happy in his magical world and it was enough for him I suppose, at that age. The last indirect contact with him consisted of a weird drawing in my garage throw from somewhere above, slipped through the window that connected our house which was probably some rite to give us both a way to finally move on.
So I was getting really awfully bored and I thought, Let’s think of a blog post! And here it is!!!!!
Well we all have our moments of glory when we get lost and when found, it is like we are the most loved person ever on the face of the Earth with all the crying and hugging going on (but the glory is short lived, so enjoy it while it lasts :D).
So my first time as a lost child came at the time when I was quite young and thus have no account of it, however my family, like all families, has repeated this story in front of family and friends so many times, offered like a piece of snack, but it never loses its crunch, because Dad always acts it out along while narrating it.
So it happened at Dad’s friend’s son wedding, whereby the responsibility of looking after all the three kids was solely on my Mom’s shoulder. It was sometime before my mom noticed along with my sister, that I was missing. They started searching for me but I was nowhere to be found and it was precisely at this time, when food was announced to be served. There was a mass movement towards the nearest food tables and the job of searching for a child amidst this huge crowd became even more excruciating. It was at this time that my Mom, sister and brother ran, almost in hysterics towards my dad. My dad at this point in time, had decked his plate to enormous length with his favourite Sheekh kababs and had a difficult time deserting it.
All these four people went to the guard who confirmed that no child could escape the marriage lawn under his watchful eyes and that they should go and check the fountain. It was precisely by the fountain they found me,( I always knew I had sharp eyes for aesthetics) and thus I was hugged and passed along and then kissed some more, while I was totally ignorant to what havoc I caused.
Unfortunately, after this episode, my parents just deserted the food, and everyone came back home 😀
Aside Posted on
So it all started and typically ended on the same date, but let’s start with the first thing first.
Let me tell you that I’m the least brand conscious person ever on the face of Earth and I guess the fright and challenge for the most advertising companies out there, because its people like us, I am not sure we are the majority or minority yet, who remain unaffected and almost aloof from all those advertisements and marketing campaigns to woo the hearts of the target market.
Well, this one day (fateful or not) I went shopping( a big pain for me really as I don’t like shopping much) with my mom. Now my mom and I like almost opposite prints and clothes and I have to thus convince my mom, sometimes subtly and other wise not so subtly (My tactic is to keep silent and not respond and act as if I am extremely down, which works often) to buy a dress.
I don’t know what came over me, but there was this sharp effervescent zing inside me, and I just knew that I had to get this dress immediately. It felt like the balance of this whole universe dependent upon me buying and wearing this dress and that nothing would ever be the same or make sense if I couldn’t buy the dress. I felt this huge pressure inside me, and thus I had no other option but to ask my mom to let me buy it.
The price was a little ridiculous for just a long shirt( albeit a very artistic one at that) and my mom just said “NO”. The pressure was mounting and I could already visualize myself wearing the dress, the cheering from a hypothetical crowd, the runways I would walk on with this dress and how everything will be perfect and how beautiful the dress would make me look. Well, my mom was very adamant that she would never give me the money for this dress and thus I had to ask her to let me buy the dress with my own savings (JUST IMAGINE!!!!) I was lucky that my dad was there with us and he usually humor all my little whims and he let me have the dress.
But imagine my horror, when I at last wore the dress, the charm was GONE! I felt a heavy weight on my heart, and I wonder what made me buy the dress in the first place. How could I have been so ridiculous to buy such an expensive dress. It looked extremely unflattering and stupid on me. The magic that had spell bounded and mesmerized me, was gone, taking with it my hypothetical assumptions of fame as well as a portion of my much protected savings!!!
Has this ever happened to you? That short lived feeling of infatuation that makes one breathless, both when it comes and goes so swiftly.
“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.”
― Vladimir Nabokov
You know that one moment, when you lock eyes with your very first love, and it leaves you all breathless, and you feel this…….Oh wait, wait, wait, I don’t think this is any respectful way to start a story about my first love, Let’s start it a proper way with a nice “Once upon a time” beginning and a “Lived happily after” ending.
So let’s go back into this bright summer noon, when i was busy and totally unaware of what awaited me in just very near future. I was quite young, almost in like 5th grade or something and was busy doing what the kids usually do then (this will do as a filler) and then the bell rang! I was trying my level best to ignore it until my mom, through her unvarying screaming, made it almost impossible to do it.
So well, I went to the door to inquire who it was. On the other side of the door, was a saleswoman who had the most brilliant and absolute beauty in her hand.
Lo and behold! It was a 12 stories set with a beautiful illustration that made my heart skipped a beat and I could just feel that it belonged with me, right that instant. I was totally speechless and it was then that mom showed up to see what was going on. She saw the saleswoman and the object of my love, but like all the famous villains that ever existed, she shooed away this kind lady and totally stopped me from closing the deal, while I stood there utterly nonplussed and sad.
I remain sad and forlorn for quite sometime but then as they say: This too, shall pass!
Well after sometime we were visiting my aunt and GUESS WHATTTTTTTTTTT? She told me she had a surprise gift for me, because as I loved to read, she immediately thought of me when she saw the thing! And it was none other than : MY FIRST LOVE!!!! And never had I loved her more than how much I loved her that instant and I totally threw a very sarcastic ( O.o) and self satisfactory glance at my mom !! 😀