Old friends

You didn’t always like them. At times they were too sentimental, too weird, too noisy, too something-or-the-other. Yet, they made you smile on days that you needed it. But as the years pass, you forget — perfections and imperfections both. Until one day, you unexpectedly stumble upon one again. And as you are busy making new memories, a million older ones sneak up on you.

Isn’t it amazing how some songs remain with you for years together? You never think of them during all that time. Yet one day many eons later, you hear a bit of the interlude playing somewhere, or catch someone singing it, and find yourself humming along like it was a tune from yesterday. You remember every variation, every word, every obscure little thing about it that you never heard consciously, even the first time around. And the goosebumps wash over you much like the visiting memories you never knew you had.

Like someone you thought you forgot, but instantly recognize. From the twinkle in their eyes to the crinkle in their smile. From the tum-dee-dum notes in the prelude, to the variations in the rhythm. From the distinct way they laugh to the way a certain word is sung .. all the li’l nuances that turn a forgettable song into an unforgettable memory.

And in that music you search for yourself — the you from yesterday that laid the foundations for the you of today. Breaking up the song into little pieces, you look amongst them for the life you lived — a simpler, worry-free you from the past, frozen in a few moments of a melody.

Some songs are like old friends. They bring back memories. They make you reminisce. Fondly, wistfully. And like silent friends, they stay with you for life, reminding you from time to time, of who you once were.

57 thoughts on “Old friends

  1. twinkletoes

    dat is so true…
    and i think that we tend to associate many of these old songs with the memories attatched to them-the songs my mum and dad used to sing to (try) to get me to go to sleep, when i was a baby, for instance :o) the songs we used to listen to when we would go for long hot drives in our non-a/c white fiat, aeons ago…i could go wan and wan… but lemme first rejoice for being the first commentor(commentist?)

  2. aNTi

    [Megha] I guess its the same with everyone. A lot of times, I find myself humming every single note of a particular song, without actually remembering the words. I am bad with lyrics and I butcher them most of the time. But the tunes stay with me. :) Yes, and they remind of a time long past. Some songs bring me back memories of watching my aunt helping my cousin combing her long hair before catching the bus to college, having heard that song on AIR’s early morning programmes. A couple of songs actually take me to Kodaikanal, since when I first saw the videos of the songs, they reminded me of a school trip to Kodaikanal and thats how those images have stuck to me. A couple of them remind of old roomies and couple, of various crushes. Ahhh.. the joys of music…

    (P.S Actually resent the previously mentioned email with a cc to another of your ids! But I think I found a way to do the same thing I asked you about. In any case, suggestions are still welcome, particularly when it comes from the Queen of Blog Templates…)

  3. gvenum

    More than friends, its the movies , songs and places that remind me of memories associated and makes me think “Hmm! I was weird then too”:). Movies like Aamir’s QSQT and JJWS , Maniratnam’s Geetanjali and some weird and sidey movies, songs bring such memories back to life. Right now with the so called actors like “TussHAAR”"( the name itself screams his loser status ) and Uday Chopra around, its hard to have any memories but nightmares.

  4. Heh Heh

    I know *exactly* what you mean. I am going through a similar phase these days, where I am being reintroduced to the songs that I grew up with. In many cases, I haven’t even heard the songs for, like, fifteen years, leave aside singing them. And yet, when I listen to them, the lyrics and the music come clearly to mind, like it was yesterday when I sat in a balcony back home while music wafted from an old tape player that has probably decayed to nothingness now.
    Anyway, cheers. I think this my first comment on your blog in my new avatar.

  5. raj

    [Megha] Absolutely agreed. Cant add much to what you’v said.These songs bring back a naive life’s beautiful memories. Esp of good old friends.Old friends are like Old wine, their value only increases wid time.:)***priceless***, these songs make us realise how good we could be and where life has taken us.

  6. iyer education

    MnM ji: (my experience)
    i dont know much abt guy friends and their respective old songs coz i dont associate myself too much with guys… guy friends are all upto date (i constantly keep in touch with them)… so they are one of the new songs of bluffmaster, ek ajnabee… all hip hop, rave and trendy et al

    my old friends that reminds me of some old, long forgotten song, happen to be women whom when met after lots of years remind me of one sad song of the old days… especially when the long time old crush of yours is married with a kiddo meets you again and is crushing you again this time… in a diff fashion though… reminds me of

    DOST DOST NAA RAHA, PYAAR PYAAR NAA RAHA
    ZINDAGI HAMEIN TERA, AITBAAR NAA RAHA… AITBAAR NAA RAHA

  7. tony

    That was nice…
    Very Serious for change..
    Like the Bonym songs, even songs from Ashiqui

    No there is a desh bhakti song that I love to hate….
    Hind desh ke niwasi
    Sabhi janna ek hein………

    reminds me of my first days in boarding school.
    When i listen or hum this song, i even rememeber the smell of the hostel dal that I hated as a 10 year old, yet i have so many fond memories of those days…

    Friends,, lots.. suddenly u remember someone and make 6 phone calls to get his contact number.. yes I had those occasions…

  8. D

    Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
    Silently sharing the same fears…

    S & G…

    Na biwi na baccha
    Na baap bada na bhaiyya,
    the whole thing is that
    ke bhaiyya sab se bada rupaiyya…

    Bluffmaster has this old gem set to a mambo kind of beat… Thinking of old songs, this one just returned to haunt my mind today!

  9. Sriram

    Err… but what about the ones you positively wished you don’t wanna see and then stumble upon them? Shall we agree that they are like “stale cheese”. (You don’t wanna smell it and you certainly don’t wanna taste it!) You can thank me later for this brilliant analogy! thankoo :D

  10. karan

    very true! many songs are strongly tied to memories…there are some songs which i absolutely love, but they won’t be special if you critically evaluate them for music/lyrics…its all about the memories they bring back.
    nice analogy b/w songs and friends…and beautifully written as usual!

  11. Kaushik

    Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
    a time of innocence, a time of confidences,
    long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
    Preserve your memories; they’re all that’s left you

    Some songs do give you goosebumps

  12. kusum

    Hey i agree, but there is one more thing, arent there some songs you loved listening to when you grew up but would hate listening to them now, like i used to listen to lots of boy bands in school but now i wont be able to listen to them for 0.2541 seconds now …what do you say to that?

    I personally feel that music kind of evovles itself, i mean as a kid i liked to listen to certain type of songs, then as a teenager lots and lots of mush, and then now the kind of music i listen i more eclectic more evolved, so i belive that as you grow your tastes in music also change… but ya some songs remain in your hearts forever :)

  13. sk

    woah ho!
    That was amazing. What I till now had only felt, you put them in beautiful words.
    I was able to relive the good bumps as I read your post. Thanks!

  14. Raj

    I was abt to write a similar post one of these days cos i recently got in touch with four of my old school friends. It does feel great irrespective of how close friends you were in the past.

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  16. Minal

    Sigh! Megha, what a lovely post.
    The one thing that no one can steal from us is our collection of memories.
    Some good, some bad,
    some happy, some sad.
    Memories ,nevertheless reminding you of what you were. There are some friends you wish never drifted apart, and some tragic incidents that left you regeretting the friendships you made. Life’s like that.
    And then you have the songs that remind of them and some you identify your life with. What would we do without them?
    Tujhse Naraaaz Nahi Zindagi Hairan hoon Main..Mera Kuch Samaan. I swear by these songs and in the modern era the three that come to mind are: Yaaron( Kk form Rockford), Kal Ho Na Ho(What a lovely song, forget the movie and Sharukh, it has lovely lyrics) and now Aashayein from Iqbal.
    There are songs that simply stick with you for life carrying with thm endless memories that never seem to fade away!

  17. Japna

    Best Friends and the music you shared with them…..those kinda things never go away i guess.
    And every time is like reliving thosed cherished moments. Those cold winter mornings and the tiny cups of canteen chai n all that….
    nostalgically…Japna

  18. Pallavi

    thats a nice way of remembering old songs.. reminded me of old friends..I miss those days when we all used to hang out together. now my friends are all scattered but it is always nice to go back down memory lane..

  19. Senthil

    Extremely true. And the song needn’t be good, either: Whenever (which is not very frequently) I hear strains of the old Bappida song ‘habiba’ I’m reminded of the shocked expression on my old school buddy’s face when I sprang this song on him one dark, stormy afternoon… aaah, the memories…

  20. kuffir

    when someone flogs dead horses in this fashion, i am reminded of an old song too .. it questions : mere bhains ko danda kyon maara…
    so please don’t flog dead bhains.. there are several others doing that already..what you do best is tickling us undead creatures.. it’s an unfair world in which one goes to a movie expecting to see om prakash and is greeted by a.k.hangal instead.

  21. Sriram

    Whoa!! such punctuality in replying to comments… hee hee.. btw, did you get lost again in Area 51? Or is it Roswell this time? I dunno why aliens always fancy your brain and keep picking it!! just kidding meghs.. am just bored outta my mind and since you don’t have a shoutbox these days, guess where I’m shouting now?

  22. Megha Post author

    [twinkletoes] From the first song I can recollect having sung, swinging my podgy four-year-old feet from between the balcony railings, to the first song a guy ever sang for me as I fidgeted nervously hoping nobody would notice .. there are so many memories trapped within so many notes. Yeah, the list really could go on and on. And yesh, you are the winner of the first commenter prize! You can now proceed to hug the trophy and dance around with it secretly in your room, while looking at it misty-eyed-ly and calling it ‘myyy precious’.

    [aNTi] I’ve had it happen both ways. I remember lyrics of songs whose tunes I cannot remember, and I remember tunes when the words fail me. And then I sing the wrong words to the wrong tune and mix up the memories in my head as a result of it. Yeah, much fun. But songs do remind us of the most mundane of memories sometimes .. I remember, at exactly 7:58am every morn, while I’d drink my Complan, AIR would play a K L Saigal song. Even today, anytime I listen to Saigal’s voice I am transported back to a pigtailed version of me who craves for strawberry flavored Complan. Sigh.

    ps .. I got the re-sent mail that you don’t resent :) Sorry I haven’t replied. Will do soon!

    [gvenum] QSQT, JJWS and Geetanjali! I have a special memory/story associated with each of those movies! I could write a post about each of them, though I highly doubt anyone would want to read it, so i’ll stay chup. By the way, I’ve never noticed the loser buried in Tusshar’s name, until you pointed it out. Thenkew much for the ammo :)

    [Heh Heh] You too eh? I’m going through one myself, which is what inspired the post. Speaking of old tape players – I had one that had to have the play button scotch-taped down for continuous play :) And yet, the memories got made. Sigh. By the way, I think this is also your first comment on our blog, since the move happened. So welcome and all those assorted civilities.

    [raj] True. But as they often say – we get nostalgic about a lot of things we weren’t so crazy about the first time around. In that sense, nostalgia removes the imperfections that real-life once had.

    [Rumpy] We weren’t talking about friends who remind you of songs, as much as how songs are *like* friends, but interesting info, in any case :) But tell me, if you were in a situation where an ex-crush delivered such a crushing blow, wouldn’t it be a reason to rejoice rather than sing sad songs?

    [TTG] I didn’t guarantee that the said memories would be pleasant, did I now? :)

    [Chetan] :)

    [aklanta] Ah yes. I had forgotten all about that song. Thanks for visiting!

    [Manoj] Good :)

    [Avik] Oh absolutely! I adore Kishore’s voice. But this post isn’t only about songs and singers we like for musical merit. Nor does it need to have any thought-provoking lyrics. For me, even tirchi topi waale brings back a ton of memories. Nice to have you drop in :)

    [Tony] Yessss! Aashiqui was, in fact, one of the soundtracks that prompted this post! :) But hind desh ke nivaasi sabhi jan ek hain is very dear to me. I first discovered it in the NFDC film Ek Anek aur Ekta and it remains one of my all-time favorites to date. So much that I can still recite the audio track for it from start to finish, along with all the associated sounds :) Oh and I performed it on stage once too, but that embarrassing story has been discussed on this blog before, so I won’t go there again :)

    [D] Yes, in Mehmood’s voice no less. From a Basu Manohari soundtrack of the same name as the song. Basu Manohari who were R D Burman’s assistants. Which, in my books, makes them attendants to the loRD. Okie, the customary RD reference is over and done with. Btw, I like sabse bada rupaiyya but the number i’m currently stuck on is AB Jr’s infectious hip hop number – Right Here Right Now and the hard-to-understand-but-very-catchy Boro Boro.

    [Sriram] Nah, even the songs you hope you will never have to hear have memories contained in them :)

    [The one] Glad :)

    [karan] Indeed, the songs become important not cos of musical/lyrical merit, but for entirely emotional reasons. Thanks! Glad you liked!

    [Prerona] Uh oh! It completely slipped my mind! I’ll post the code in a couple of days!

    [Kaushik] Ah, Bookends! Yes, they sure do.

    [Ideasmith] :)

    [kusum] Ah yes, there are those too! But even though the songs themselves have lost value, the memories still remain important, I think. And then of course, there the ones you loved as a kid and still love today, but would never admit to listening to it in public, for fear of being lynched :)

    [sk] Thank you!

    [Raj] Since this post is about songs that become friends, you should still write your intended post about friends, methinks :)

    [Minal] Thank you. And sigh. You went and reminded me of two of my all-time favorite Gulzar for Pancham compositions. Double sigh. Btw, the Kal Ho Na Ho number’s movie name is easy for you to remember. It’s the same name as the song ;)

    [Japna] Little pieces of memories that make us who we are. Thanks for visiting :)

    [Pallavi] Yes .. songs are very much like friends. They both evoke similar emotions when recollected in solitude.

    [RS] Thank you .. glad you liked :)

    [Senthil] Ah yes. Now you’re talking! (Well you aren’t actually talking, or maybe you are, but you know what i meant .. um .. never mind) Those are exactly the kind of memories that prompted this post. Memories of inflicting pain on people and wistfully recollecting their priceless expressions. Hmm, I feel a new post coming. Thankoo :)

    [kuffir] Noooo! *agonized expression on face* Not Om Prakash! I am at the very least an Utpal Dutt, no? Or an Ashok Kumar maybe? I mean, I do like daddu very much, but I am somewhat partial to UD’s achhaa-aaa, so pliss pliss, can I be him? And yes, the point is very much taken :)

    As for flogging dead horses – a wise man once said to usYou might think you have flogged the horse enough, but how can you be sure it’s dead? True words that we console ourselves with every time we overdo something :)

    [Sriram] The aliens don’t love me anymore :( I scared them off with the silver pants, it seems. And not to worry about turning my commentspace into a doodleboard. I turned my blog into a place of mindless nonsense a long time ago, so yours is the much smaller crime of the two.

    [Zz] *raises eyebrow suspiciously* Wot?

  23. Megha Post author

    [aNTi] Yesh yesh! See my response to [D] above :) I can write a whole post gushing about the soundtrack and the movie some more, but am guessing you don’t want that. Suffice it to say, we are very pleased :)

  24. Kusum

    @(aNTI) & (megha) .. even mez loving the soundtrak of bluff master specially the right here right now one a lot so now mornings gayatri mantra has been replaced by right here right now :) another thing… the song say na say na also kind of grows on you just because of the funky voice of the female :)

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  26. aNTi

    [Megha] Ya… Sabse Bada Rupaiya is one of those songs that makes me want to go back and listen to the original itself, cos I haven’t heard the original. As for that Right Here Right Now , thats what got me sit up and notice the album in the first place. I am going through a hip hop phase right now – standard playlist numbers incl. Ja Rule’s New York and Fat Joe’s Lean Back, (older numbers in comparison but am a greenhorn) and this song might fit in there perfectly.

    [D] For a minute, I was wondering who this was. Whats with the micro version of your name :p Hiding from someone who you called a dog and threatened to drink their blood in a drunken stupor? Hehe.. PJ time, this is!

    [Kusum] Funky voice? I hope “say na say na” is not that song that describes an invitation for “high tea” (whatever that means). Ain’t that voice off key most of the time. As a fellow blogger would say, it made me wanna puke. hehe..no offense, j/k!

  27. dM

    What can I say? This completes all the tunes of emotions I go through each time I hear one of “our songs”. It was ours at one point of time when everything was drumming with excitement and today, when everything is pretty much predictable, there is no song or no excitement. This is one of the best write on’s I have come across n looks like I am mesmerised by your blog and dunno how many I will end up reading today…:) :)

  28. Megha Post author

    [Kusum] Ah yes, they play say na say na non-stop in the promos of the movie so it is impossible to miss :) It kinda catches your ear thanks to the newness of the voice though! Sung by Aneela Mirza who is a Brit-bhangra singer, I believe. I noticed you wondered about her being US-based on your blog, hence the extra info for you :)

    [Rumpy] Cosmic justice and all that, I meant. But if you are that shattered, I won’t compel you to rejoice :) Oh and interesting post about jingles and thankoo for the trackback, but I have to register objection – my post was not about old friends that remind me of old songs. It was about old songs that are like old friends. So there :)

    [D] Tsk tsk. Poor [aNTi].

    [aNTi] Ah yes, the original song is rather famous and should surely be given a listen. Sabse Bada Rupaiyya (1976) is one the few Hindi soundtracks that R D’s long time assistants Basu-Manohari (Basu Deo Chakravarty and Manohari Singh) did, the other one being Chatpatee (1983). Both albums had very distinct Pancham touches, IMO. Sabse Bada Rupaiyya has a couple of other numbers that are worth listening to – the Kishore-Lata duets – the catchy dariya kinaare ik bungalo go and the lovely romantic waada karo jaanam. Chatpatee had that absolutely wonderful Kishore-Lata number that’s so completely Pancham-like – aa humsafar pyaar ki raah par. BM also did a couple of movies in Bangla, besides these two in Hindi.

    Btw, what’s this ‘high tea’ song you talk about? And about the incognito D theory – now you know what the movie D was all about :)

    [dM] Glad you liked the post and welcome to the blog! Hope you have fun visiting! :)

  29. iyer education

    :) i am not shattered… just doin some tp around here… secondly a thousand apologies and 500 uthak baithaks (with hands holding ears) for interchanging the subject and the object of your post… and i have clearly mentioned that i am pathetic at expressing ideas (mine or otherwise) but i guess next time onwards i need to make a clear mention about my problem even in understanding those ideas :)

  30. Megha Post author

    [raj] Thanks!

    [Rumpy] Aww darn. If you had been shattered, I was all set to recite the nursery rhyme -

    Rumpy Dumpy had a crush on a gal
    Rumpy Dumpy had a great fall
    And all the songs and all the jingles,
    Could not put Rumpy Dumpy together again

    Oh well. And it is okay, you are forgiven, so you can stop being a chicken. This is exactly why I shouldn’t write these kind of posts. When I wrote about Cushion Kumar, the meaning of my post was as apparent as the fluorescent pink shirt he wore. But I try to do something different – attempt some wistful mumbo-jumbo and put words to my *ahem* .. feelings and all that poetic crap, and this is what happens. Bah. Unfair world.

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