Music: My best friend

Nothing felt quite great. Life, in general, had hit rock bottom.

I remember battling it out at work everyday. All day, hoping the day would end soon. And when it did – I remember feeling a lump in my throat, as my mind went vacant enough to realize how truly terrible things were. My ride back home was about 30 minutes. But everyday, during that phase, I turned up the music and drove till I felt better. And you know what, it almost always did.

Music has been a dear friend since forever. I know, I know…we all love music. Who doesn’t? But for me – music has always meant much much more.

For me – songs have filled in places that people could never fill…express emotions I didn’t know a thing about…make me realize how beautiful a moment was…add purpose and clarity…and sometimes…fill a void that seemed impossible to overcome. Music has always been my hero. My best friend.

And hey – it isn’t just about the sad moments. Most of the happiest moments in my life so far felt even more magical because of music.

I clearly remember the song that played when we got married. His eyes gleamed as we looked at each other. I remember that it was then that it hit me – “It is all happening!”, I thought.

When we threw Dad a surprise retirement party – we chose some of the best retro music from his college days. It was amazing to see him and his friends enjoy the night with their favourite music. Smiling, laughing, dancing…a side of him I had totally forgotten, given his long workaholic stints with jobs before.

We went to Paris a few years ago, and planned our trip in a way that would ensure we could see one of our favourite bands perform LIVE – Coldplay. After a wide array of ups and downs – we made it. Throughout the concert, we screamed at the top of our lungs as our favourite songs played. One after the other. A beer in one hand, and each others’ hands in the other – life could not get any better.

91df775c0a82ff505926a013a44c7f87

I remember when my daughter was born. She popped out early. Way early. Nothing was ready. Nuh-uh. Not nearly there. And there she was – wanting it out already. I was in early labor, and I distinctly recall Bono mumbling ‘With Or Without You’ in our car stereo as we drove to the hospital ER like a scene out of an action movie. It all happened too quickly. She was born soon after we landed at the hospital. I pinched myself to realize what had happened in a matter of hours – but it still felt like a dream. “I need to wake up”, I thought. A few days later, as we swaddled that tiny baby up and left for home in our car – he turned up the car stereo. It was a perfect drive home with the little one. We both were in love all over again…with the little one, and this thing called life.

Music has always had a therapeutic role to play in my life. It has always found me, and vice versa. And I continue to rely on this companion for the rest of my life…to make things more meaningful and everything bizzarely beautiful. If I could spend all my life doing nothing but listening to music – I’d be in paradise. And THAT’S the plan for years down the line.


 

“Music can change the world, because it can change people” – Bono

Advertisements

We have all gone MAD

It’s official. We are losing it.

MAD-Season-2-Episode-11-Kung-Fu-Blander--Destroy-Bob-the-Builder-Destroy

See that crowded office elevator with eight people in it? Surely you see how six of them are busy tapping away on their cellphones? Oh, then there’s that friends catch up session you had last weekend. Did you manage to put out that Facebook post on “lunch fun” tagging each other alongwith that group selfie? Oh, and let’s not forget how Instagram-worthy your steamed fish looked when it arrived…well…the filters helped. Remember those crucial five seconds you spent on the phone when you halted the car at the signal for 15 seconds? Newspapers are no more our loo companions. Hey the phone is the new kid on the block. Office emails, Whatsapp chats, Twitter chatter, games, and probably a gizillion of other social networking apps out there – they are all a part of our family time today. The dinner table. The TV huddle time. Those last few minutes of the day when you just relax in the bed and do nothing. And God forbid – talk!

Let me table this thought right here: When was the last time you managed to pass five minutes of spare time without touching your cellphone? Think hard.

I realised this sometime back.

I’d got home from work and sat with my baby daughter as she played away. I absolutely love this precious time we spend together after I’m home after a hard day’s work. We hang out, we have fun. Now coming back to that day. She was being typical baby herself and trying to get my attention to give her a hug. Every three seconds. (Yes, more on that later). Next up, she wanted me to hug her bunny. I was busy checking out something on Twitter and unknowingly kept ignoring her. Cut to bedtime. She rushed towards me with her bed time storybook. I, on the other hand, was busy checking office emails. She tried longer – and I was brilliant enough to hand her the teddy she so loves. Genius! She forgot all about the story and went to play. Soon after…she fell asleep. It was just about then that I got done with my phone and notice the ‘us time’ I had just missed. This was a one off incident, but it did get me thinking.

As a working mother, I’m game for being all with my kiddo once I’m home. Sometimes, work continues to drag me even then – but days like these are rare and accommodating your baby to your lifestyle is always a good thing. And there is ofcourse that occasional time when you decide that is is okay to be human and want to check Facebook to check what everyone you know if upto. But – what about the mindless attention the entire world is giving to their phones?

Are cellphones or the internet really the only things left connecting us all? Is there any life beyond?

Sure – it is fun, it is engaging. And in many many ways – a necessity. Technology is a great enabler for the lives that we lead today. But striking a balance is crucial here. On some things, the offline flavour just tastes better. Like what?

As a kid, there were many crazy games we experimented with. Whatever happened to hide and seek? When was the last time you saw a bunch of kids playing hopscotch? Remember the good old newspaper? Or those things called (real) books?

Make no mistake – one needs to move with the times, else suffer from the high probability of going extinct. The TV, the cartoons, the XBOX, real time online news…are all very good. But somewhere…we are trading this all for some great and compelling experiences…experiences that were better the traditional way. And eventually – losing it all.

Hypocritical me. Because I, for one, have multiple email IDs, fairly active Facebook and Twitter accounts etc etc. Am I saying I will switch off? No way. Let’s get real. I just think it is important to give yourself that time out and sometimes – just consciously log off.

Detox drive. Day 7 today. I trying to consciously avoid obsessively checking my phone for notifications, or posting updates, or figuring work emails. Believe it or not – when I pick up the cellphone again after that break – the internet is still there. Patiently waiting for me.

Logging off for now.


Video killed the radio star.
Video killed the radio star.
In my mind and in my car, we can’t rewind we’ve gone too far.

Let’s roll…

It’s been a while since I thought of joining the rambling club.

But it just never happened.

There was never a good time. Well, actually – there’s never ANY time at all! But it’s probably time to deal with that differently now. I realized that even if my days were to be 30 hours long, I would still be whining about never finding enough time. How much is “enough” anyway?

Well, something’s gotta give. And not everyone’s going to get. Between this all – I need to make time for things and people that mean much to me. Trust me – there aren’t too many of those.

It’s funny how years pass by, and suddenly, you find yourself mindlessly steering in a direction. Next up – inconsequential questions. “Did I really find this place on a map and drive towards it?”. The way I see it – there’s nothing to mull over really. As long as one decides to stick their neck out and course correct. Find new routes, and places to be. Hopefully the drive comes with a view to kill.

Guess we’ll know now…

It’s time to roll!

*Turns up the music*


I dig my toes into the sand 
The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds…strewn across a blue blanket
I lean against the wind…pretend that I am weightless. And in this moment I am happy