Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why I sing the blues

When I was about to graduate from college, my dad had one of his contacts help me draft my resume. After projects, work experience (zero at the time) were discussed, I was expecting questions/suggestions about "extra-curricular activities". I had won a few debate and elocution competitions, nothing earth-shattering. More than anything else, I was proud of my craze for music (mostly heavy metal at the time). She cut all that flat "You know, most kids write about song and dance in their resumes. All useless bullshit, we're skipping that". Gulp.

I was thinking of that line today, some 5 years later. Talking about my love for music may not give me an edge in an interview about compiler optimization, linked lists and sorting algorithms. But it is a big part of my life. Not just the present, but of the past. When I hear a song now, it's not just for the lyrics or the tune, but it's for some specific memory it brings. They say some indolent odors can bring back vivid memories. For me, it's the songs I listen to.

Bon Jovi - It's my life
In my first year of college, I had started swimming. I executed a dive rather badly, and hurt my neck severly. I was confined to bedrest for a week, and had to wear a collar, no pillows allowed. The TV was moved to my room for entertainment. There were 2 music channels then - MTV and Channel V. MTV played the Bon Jovi song in heavy rotation and V played some Britney Spears song. No questions which song won. I can picture what the roof of my room looked like when I hear the solo.

Air - Surfing on a Rocket
I had downloaded gigs upon gigs of legal music through a college program. I spent hours reorganizing my folders, shuffling drive capacities, tagging songs, adding artwork to the files. Every few days, the software would decide I didn't have authorization to listen to the songs. I had to start all over, and I played that song to test if it worked. The start of the song was disorienting and yet reassuring - the latter since it meant that the software was now working.

Metallica - Unforgiven II
I was in high school. 12th grade was one of the most important exams I had to write. I had studied all day, and was tired as hell. I was nodding off with the song in my earphones. When the song reached the line "but now I see the sun" I had a dream I was near dead but was standing up to greet the dawn. Later, I studied all night.

The Doors - L.A Woman
It was a crowded pub in Bangalore. Me and my friends had just got in. The group was new, and we were all finding out slowly, and to a great deal of excitement how similar we all were. Someone ordered tequila shots, someone else broke a glass. I ordered Vodka, I too broke my glass. Then the girl in the video dove into the pool naked. We hooted and high-fived, the girls glared.We're in 3 different countries now.

Nightwish - Nemo
I came home after some 2 back-to-back night outs at grad school. It was snowing, I was cold, wet and hungry. The bedroom smelt bad because it was small and my roomie was a human cockroach. I didn't want to turn the heat on since the power bill would spike up. I was hungry and in no mood to cook. I passed out on the bed, the song playing in my headphones. I fell asleep as the music reached a crescendo, trying not to feel sorry for myself.

I like the songs I like, because I love the life I've lived so far. There are several more songs, tons of other memories. Perhaps living in the past is a drag for some, not so for me.

My life, in a 4/4 beat.

How about you? Songs? Memories?


a million different people said...

Pink Floyd - Coming back to life.

One of the first "English songs" I heard, while I was hiding under my brother's bed so I could snoop on him.

PS: I like it when you tell stories.

Thanatos said...

When did you find out that was the song? Does he know you snooped on him? :P

PS : You're super adorable.