As I travel the long journey of life, every day is filled with so many incidents, some worth remembering, that remains with me as pleasant memories, some I am forced to remember by its sheer unpleasantness, that turns out to be those bad memories and finally, of course those mundane happenings which easily fades away very soon. I wonder whether it is common with everyone, but I am certain for myself that, there are some objects which connect with some particular memories. That could be a material object like a painting or memorabilia or a photograph or any such physical stuff, which when I see, I travel back in time to relive them in my mind. But what amazes me are these abstract things like some fragrance or some songs associated with a particular memory that profoundly and instantly transforms me to to those past memories and the experience is more deep and palpable compared to those transformation by say a photo or a painting! I continue to stay there only to crash back from that utopia into the real world.
To talk in particular, I can easily recount some songs which, when I listen to, automatically makes me leap into my past, a new universe that’s so familiar, where I am just a spectator of a drama in which I am also the hero. Like this album of Byran Adams “MTV Unplugged”. Whenever I play this CD, I just fly back to Harsil and Gangotri, a paradise on earth, where I was on my mountaineering training camp before my first expedition. Everything would run like a movie trailer. Me, in my small two man tent, snuggled into the sleeping bag braving the cold, eyes filled with wonder, dreaming, where I would summit the peak a hundred times.
And then there is this album by Bombay Jayshree called “ Shravanam”. I would never play this album in my lifetime, because this was one album which reverberated in my drawing rooms continously, when I was in search of some emotional solace during those periods of intense personal trauma I faced during the latter part of 2004. The songs of this album have somehow become associated with that trauma so intensely that once when my dad played that song, my mind and body suffered the same trauma in complete totality and within seconds the experience became unbearable that I screamed to stop the music.
But the song “ Suno Na” from Jhankar Beats reminds me of my glorious days in Indore, when I used to ride my Pulsar, with the helmet on, and loudly singing though only a couple of lines from this song, repeatedly, may be a thousand times, bothering about nothing, not the past and definitely not the future. Those were the time of my life.
The song “Am leaving on a Jet Plane” by John Denver , just takes me on board the flight I used to catch to Leh, back to work after every holiday, literally leaving behind my loved ones, never knowing whether I will be back at all, leave aside when. After I would land at the Leh airport, I would repeatedly hear this song, throughout my long and arduous journey to Eastern Ladakh. This song still makes me feel terribly lonely.
The song “Woh Lamhe” from Zeher has its own pleasant memories associated with it. The moment I play this song, I fly back to that wonderful day I spent with someone close to my heart in my ford car, with this song beating in sync with our hearts. Sometimes, it does feel nice to live life!
There are umpteen such objects, both abstract and physical, that I can count, which associates itself with great many memories of my past. Its not just songs, but many other things, thats equally magical in taking me back in time. They are like shortcuts placed on the desktop for memory files stored deep down in my mind, most of them by default. They are wonders of the human brain, and its myraid capabilities to store and retrive information, which the scientific world has just started to grasp.