“We miss the noise in the house, particularly the way you play those songs on weekends from your playlist”. These were my elder daughter’s words. At least my younger daughter was seemingly nice. After two weeks, she asked the question, ” When is Dad coming?”. My wife later consoled me that she also missed me during weekends. My way of looking at travel was, ” Travel had always helped me with new songs, movies, and new experiences”. So where did I go? As they said, it’s been a long time…
When I hit home after 17 days these songs became home hits. One was the latest sensation from the East, “Kacha badam” and my favourite Pushpa song and all the songs from the movie “Hridayam.” Today I play all this from Spotify.
Music has had a big place for me since my younger days. Thanks to my father and his brother they used to bring home a lot of Hindi cassettes and I started loving all the Hindi songs. I still recollect “Aap Ki farmayish” on Vivid Bharathi and I would run from wherever to listen to my favourite songs. Today at our home I play a Beethoven symphony in the morning and at my hometown, Alexa plays my mother’s favourite morning sutras. I think we are crazy over songs. Before the smartphone era, my uncle was traveling through a village and he heard a song. He stopped the car, went back, and asked the person in charge of the mike set to play that song again so that he can note it down on a piece of paper. Later he found that song and shared it with me. Such is the level of connection we have with music. In modern times if I heard a song playing on the radio while I was driving, I would stop the car and either take my voice recorder or these days check immediately on Spotify and add it to my playlist.
Recently, I learned that World Radio Day is celebrated on the 13th of February. So this February 13th I was in a park early in the morning and I was hearing Late Latha Mangeshkar’s “Yeh Watan “. I understood at that moment that music is … “A higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy” as told by Ludwig Van Beethoven.
When we travel, we get to know a lot about films as you will see the posters, you will see your fellow passenger watching a movie on his devices and finally you will get to know from your colleagues and your family members. I have had situations in the past when my social index went low for not seeing movies like Baahubali. Call it a kick because of a flick. It took some doing to repair that damage ( I still have not seen it). This time around, the major talk of our town was on these movies ” Pushpa” and “Hridayam”. I saw one of my fellow passengers asking me ” Have you seen the Pushpa dance steps”? Not to be petrified, I told that I have seen some “Tik Tok” videos and I will soon see Allu Arjun doing those steps. Finally, I saw the steps and I liked the songs as well which got into my playlist instantly. On “Hridayam” it was the posters and the curiosity that drove me to register it in my mind. Also, it was by my favourite director. On reaching home, that is the last thing I did . I convinced my wife and elder daughter to give me company for thirty minutes and then you can decide on that movie. The next day, morning to evening we were playing all the songs from the movie and listening to all the reviews and trying to understand more about the movie. The movie experience was spell-binding. There are certain movies that cast a spell on us and this truly was binding us in the truest sense. Like music, I have a special preference for movies of different genres from rom-coms to thrillers. The next challenge is to convince my family to see those movies. In this case, it was easy as it was a musical treat, and the movie name “Hridayam” meant heart.
My sojourn of 17 days has been a long one for some time. I was hopping cities for professional and personal reasons. However, it has been fascinating from many angles as I met a lot of people. As they say, I had a lot of senior moments as well. Moments with my mother and people of her age. One such moment was about a cat that comes to our house regularly. She said that the cat is very sad as it had lost all its children. She made it a point to serve the cat daily twice and I found it very fascinating as I recollected a past incident when she was bitten by a cat in our younger days. I enjoyed having a cappuccino and meat puff with my mother in a newly renovated bakery. I had a realisation suddenly that my mother is getting older as she was finding it difficult to enter the car. This time around, in our house I saw the different ways in which she has arranged plants and that was very interesting. I captured that on my camera and it will come in my future blogs on Plants and Pots. Over the last few months, I have been fascinated by plants. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people in those 17 days and they have all made, in some way or the other, a contribution in my life. One of the poignant moments was how my mother was taking care of my grandmother who is in her late 90’s. Isn’t it true ” Old age is the second childhood”?
As Gustav Flaubert remarked, ” Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world”. I love to travel for its variety. In this case, it was music, movies, and moments. Travel made me like Sufi and Qawwali music which I used to hate a decade back. It made me appreciate movies from different languages, the latest being Telugu. Finally, travel presents moments that transport you to reflect on those senior moments. So the message from Booth Targinton is ” Cherish all your happy moments, they make a fine cushion for old age”.
In the movie “Hridayam” ( spoiler alert), the last scene reminded me of what travel had made me over the years and the experiences that it offers. The scene is about how college has shaped the protagonist. He goes back to his college and writes on the wall, ” Thank you for making me who I am.”
Yesterday my daughter was not getting up for her dance classes. I played the song ” Kacha Badam” and that is when the entire house pounced on me to stop playing that noise. After all, it’s your home that is a sacred space where you will find yourself again and again.