Thursday, July 07, 2005

Notes from the past

Was listening to 'Nights in White Satin' from one of my fav albums 'pure movies', driving back home from work. It calmed my stressed nerves and by the time I reached home, I was ready to face the world all over again. There are countless songs that have that soothing effect. And they also help connect to certain incidents, events in the past.

And then I remembered this post from blurty a long time back. Some of you might've read it back then.

*******

They say songs are therapeutic. You know, cows giving more milk, plants growing better and beautiful and blah blah blah. But with me, some songs are like time transporters. They are associated with a certain place, a certain time, a certain moment in your life. Could be anytime – a month ago, six, a year. Maybe 15 years back. But these songs are like connectors. The moment you hear them, a spark lights up a million cells in your brain and you are immediately reminded of a particular place back in time. A particular moment. Ah, but for these songs life would’ve been such a boring journey.

My association with the fine arts is on an almost ancestral level. My great great grandfather was a vocalist. So was my great grandfather. My grand father as well (mother’s father), my mother, me, my sister. Though after my grand father no one pursued it professionally. My sister is a classical dancer and my mother sings folk songs. I *used* to sing. Now it’s confined to, no, not the bathroom. Singing lullabies to my daughter. Even that will stop one day.

So, what’s the big point that I’m trying to make here? Nothing. Something I was listening to last evening, made me remember a certain time in my childhood so vividly, it was scary. I remembered every single minute of that moment, like I were actually living it again. And all ‘cuz this song was playing in the background back then too.

I think I’m gonna need a lot of tapes / CDs / LP discs if I plan to write my autobiography some day. Speaking of which, that is another thing that reminds me of the past. LP discs, or long playing discs. Those black plastic ‘CD’ like things big as pizzas, that need a special micro-needle to stick on ‘em to play. And boy, would I enjoy it when the needle got stuck. Was fun to listen to the same line playing over and over again like an autistic singing. (An example from an old Doris Day LP: When I was just a li’l girl, a li’l girl, a li’l girl, a li’l girl….)

My father used to travel a lot around the globe back then. And he’d make sure he got back with him heaps of LPs. He has a huge collection – from the 50s slow moving love songs, Doris Day, the classic western themes by James Goldsmith, classic bands like the ‘Puppets’, Indian classical music to just about every thing. I used to love listening to them. But more than that, the entire process of pulling out an LP lovingly from it’s paper case, wiping it carefully, looking at it longingly, placing it on the turntable and then slowly placing the needle on it, sitting back on the couch and closing the eyes as the music began; the soft ‘ruffle’ of sound bites due to small scratches. Ah! Lilting.

Was planning to digitize the entire collection some day. But on second thoughts…nah! They’re too precious to be tampered with. Que sera, sera.

17 comments:

shub said...

>:D< >:D< >:D< wonderful post ramana, nostalgia is so sweet!

for th record (no pun intended) I've never listened to an LP :((
only the expression "like a stuick needle" all the time! :)

shub said...

again, i must say...lovely post! :)u must be a nice man to know!

phatichar said...

shub: thanx shub, u must listen to an LP some day; the feeling is entirely different. :)

Prerona said...

reminds me of the scene in hi fidelity where he decides to reorg his whole collection in terms of when the bought the tape / heard the song ... remember?

GratisGab said...

my hubby talks of these LPs too...!!! "Nights in White Satin" is an old fav too....

good post..., as usual.

Anonymous said...

love Nights In White Satin. beautiful song

the LPs reminds me of my childhood in a place which i have not visited in about two decades. Sunday afternoons, chicken curry and the LP playing with Di and me dancing :)

Parna

lemongrass.blogdrive.com

Ash said...

Ramana, noone tackles nostalgia quite like you do :) !

I love my dad's LP collection...Beatles, Abba, Boney M !!

phatichar said...

ricer: Hey, now that u mention it...yeah, i do remember that one.. :)

gabby: i think mr. gabby & I should hook up some lazy afternoon. thanx.. :)

parna: hmmm, sounded nice, the 'chicken curry' on a sunday aft'noon thing..

ash: thanx...yeah, dads like ours sure know how to rekindle nostalgia :)

Kahini said...

What a lovely post.

phatichar said...

kahini: thanx...hey, this was the post about LPs that I was talking about, remember???

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PeeVee™ said...

I feel the exact same way about smell. I associate smells with memories.

And you sing, I would never have guessed:)

phatichar said...

PV: How did you miss this one, then? :)

http://imsri.blogspot.com/2005_04_01_archive.html

Or, maybe you didn't...

The Meditating Lion said...

They are called Auditory Anchors in terms of NLP.
You must be highly Auditory :)

phatichar said...

TML: Really? wow..that's news