Currently tripping

On a lot of rain music. I wasn’t joking when I said rain love would be followed by rain food and eventually rain music. It’s that time of year and right on cue, the select few tracks of the season find their way back to me. Every monsoon has one new appearance — the track of that year. It rarely has anything specifically rainy about it, but for the fact that it comes into my life around the time the monsoon begins and subsequently goes on to forever be associated with the rain, specifically with the monsoon of that year means its fate is sealed and will forever be clubbed into “the monsoon playlist” of my mind.

And this is what its looking like at the mo.

TOTAL ear-worm and the new entrant for the year. I have to listen to this song a minimum of three times a day. Preferably on loop. Or my day feels a bit askew.

I wear songs like security blankets. Thick and wrapped snug when I need them. Playing all the time, over and over, refusing to go anywhere without having it close at hand.

It is totally not unnatural for me to get out of bed at an unearthly hour, after a few hours of tossing and turning because a song wont stop haunting me. I have on many accounts pulled out my laptop/iPod and listened to the track on loop to get it out of my system till I can go back to sleep in peace again.

Every single track in the abyss that is my list of musical favourites has a specific memory attached to it. And listening to Coldplay just screams monsoon in my mind. Does music do that to you too? Forever remind you of a time and place that once was? No matter how many years and life-altering situations come and go, listening to Coldplay is like falling into a manhole. It’s bright one moment, and the next you’re in the pitch black, suddenly the lights come on and its 2003 all over again — a few years of repeated heartache and love/growth-pains. Of wearing out the CD by listening to this CD (which I still think they are yet to surpass) on repeat, dragging a clunky discman on the bus to college, hiding the damn thing under my sweatshirt or in my backpack, thin wires creeping out, leading to my ears, and hidden beneath my wild and frizzy hair – earphones that cut the miserable world out and took me to a world where brooding like a melancholic chicken on her last living day seemed okay.

Coldplay takes me back to those years of rebellion. I’d listen to Shiver on loop, because it spoke to me. Oh the insurmountable pain and difficulties of college life I now associate only with Coldplay. Trudging 20 km across town to college, wading through traffic, being shoved around by sweaty swelling crowds, swapping buses, and doing it all so mechanically like none of it mattered. All the while cursing under my breath about how nobody got how hard and bloody unnecessary it was to go through this effort for a substandard education. I had the woes of the world on my shoulders, and I zoned it out by sticking my earphones deep into my ears, stretching the sleeves of my sweater over my wrists, grabbing them in my thumbs and feeling very rainy and cold inside.

Many of those morning bus rides happened in rainy weather. Rather apt for the rainy music. Pissing down melancholy and bleeding it into my ears. I was a quite the broody, pensive person back them. Everything made me contemplative — raging hormones, with a healthy dollop of rebellion and misguided anger. It reminds me of the days of a newly acquired drivers license, loud music in the car and a reckless sense of abandon every time I took the wheel. A boyfriend who lived 25 kilometres away from me was just the perfect twist in the tale and I’ve spent too many days and nights driving that route listening to Coldplay. And so even today, if I listen to Parachutes and close my eyes, I go right back to that point in time. And I smile. Such a good album. Such a fabulous few years.

Apparently can still listen to an album that’s a decade old (and isn’t considered classic) and still enjoy it much the same way I did a decade ago. My sister is perennially chiding me about how my tastes in music have just not grown. She’s right, my criteria for enjoying music is still the same, but I have become slightly more open to exploring other genres, and in recent years tend to obsess over the music I like, soaking myself in it, like pickle that soaks it in and just gets better over time. It’s like looking at old pictures, when you’re all grown up. So much has changed, and yet looking at those pictures briefly makes it seem like nothing has.

And since music has such strong associations with memory, phases of my life, sometimes even very specific events and instances, I outgrow some music as much as hang on to some older music, which never seems to get old. Its how I feel about most Coke Studio – which I now cannot separate from our monsoon screening nights. Even if I listen to it on the hottest day in summer, vivid memories of watching those 40-odd videos in a darkened room as we passed around sausages and pao, listening to our pick of the top 40 best Coke Studio videos over the din of the torrential rain, come to mind. There was something fantastic about being huddled in that room at Joy and Shashank’s place, a projector “borrowed” from the office, a potluck of sorts, endless beers and the music. It was an event to remember.

It’s this track in particular that reminds me of that night, because it was one of those overlooked tracks in the gigantic sea of Coke Studio songs. the one track that you always gloss over, hit next the moments the beginning bits start to play. For some reason I had never given it a listen, until it came on out of the blue that night. And now I cannot undo it.

Surprisingly, I haven’t started on my annual Zero7 trip as yet. It comes on during the monsoon, too. So predictable, I know. But maybe its because most of my music is stashed away on the hard disk which isn’t always easily accessible. So I’m forced to listen to what I have here, on loop. And sometimes I remember to check out youtube.

I loved this track even before I watched the movie. In fact I loved the song so much I was convinced I wouldn’t like the movie. Because that’s how it works these days — mindblowing music = shite movie. Long after the movie was watched and remembered for a short while and eventually forgotten, the song remains the same. I’m a massive fan of ARR’s music, and his phenomenal ability to compose the most surprising melodies, but I’m not such a fan of his ability to sing in Hindi. But this is one rare case where I can’t think of any other voice that would do this song justice.

Mood music is a very done thing around here. Sometimes the hugsband comes home to high-pitched, fast-paced Bollywood remixes, jigging about in the kitchen as I make dinner, and he knows its been a good day (and he doesn’t hesitate to sneakily film it). If there’s George Harrison or playing softly and I’ve forgotten to turn on the lights even though its past 7pm, and I’m lying in a pile on the beanbag, staring lifelessly into the glow of my laptop he ought to know I’m either pissed, upset or just not feeling quite like myself. This song has been my “evening song” for the last few weeks. Every day, really loud with a deliberate disregard for who is around me. The hugsband included.

Stuff like this is not meant to be played in a soft, mellow volume!

I accidentally discovered it on the radio, and on first hearing it I was convinced it was a George Michael track that I had completely missed. It has that distinct 80s feel to it. But Shazam confirmed that it was Muse, a little bit of google and youtube scoping has made me fall a little bit in love with them. I have a few other favourites, but Madness plays everyday.

It’s that season again, when a rainy, happy, trippy track drips into my ears, just as the drizzles begin. For no apparent reason, I feel happy. And this is one such song. Come get it bae is now going to be filed under the rain-music category forever.Simply because I discovered it on youtube one day, when I was song-hopping and there was a more than heavy drizzle happening. SUddenly the shun came out, big and bright, white and yellow shiny, with sparkly droplets of rain blurring the view.

It goes without saying that it will be used, abused and overused across the next few months, till it reaches a point where I can no longer tell if repeatedly listening to it triggers the showers or the showers trigger the need to repeatedly listen to the song. On loop, over and over, until I’m done. Or the rain is done. Whichever comes first.

6 thoughts on “Currently tripping

  1. Pingback: Through the years – haathi time

  2. Pingback: Day 210: 2016 monsoon earworms | hAAthi Time

    1. Thanks for stopping by Swathi, and for leaving a comment too! Coldplay is slowly making its way to the “evergreen” section of my music. I dont seem to tire of it..


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