The past weekend I was lucky enough to attend two concerts: an indie music fest with Astrid, Lauren and Jon, and an “Arabic Bollywood Music Concert” with Christine and several of her bellydance girls.
I love music because it has the ability to transport you back in time and trigger, whether you like it or not, memories you had long since forgotten. Old flames. Heartbreak. That reckless summer in Italy. The morning you passed out from dehydration while running a half-marathon.
During the concerts, I heard two fairly important songs from the soundtrack of my life.
At the indie music fest I was watching Spin Doctors perform, and as soon as I heard “Two Princes,” I was transported back to my first god-awful year in junior high. That song was played at every dance, on every radio station. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t enjoy junior high. You know, the horrible hair, the outlandish clothes, turning yourself inside and out to make friends, and trying desperately to get that cute boy in the back row to notice you. Being an ugly adolescent/teenager is tough stuff, and I remember wishing endlessly that life would get better.
That evening, hearing the Spin Doctors perform live (backstage, to boot), I was re-living those junior high memories. And I couldn’t help but smile and feel a huge wave of contentment wash over me, because life really did get better. The hair became less unruly, a sense of personal style developed, loving friends were made, the opposite sex finally started to take notice, and to top it all off, I was hanging out backstage with one of my favorite bands from junior high.
On Sunday, at the Arabic/Indian concert, some dancers were performing to a song called “Kajra Re,” a Hindi song from a movie called Bunti aur Bubli. Man alive, did this song bring me back to my stint in India! Each morning, the car radio would blare this song on the way to work and I swear, every mall had this on repeat. India played a fairly instrumental part in my life, because it was the first time I travelled and worked overseas. Alone. I was scared out of my mind, and I remember thinking to myself “I don’t want to be here.” But I’m glad I stuck through it. Yes, rural India can be tough, but it builds character. Had it not been for India, I doubt I’d be the intrepid traveller I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t have met Tugba, one of my dear friends and de facto travel buddy.
Hearing “Kajra Re” for the first time in five years got me all sentimental. I’ve had some of my happiest - and hysterical - moments in India. From watching the sunrise at the Taj Mahal and chillaxing at the Ganges at dawn, to unknowingly hanging out with pimps and accidentally stepping in cow dung on a badly lit path on the way to dinner at a castle.
So, those are a few songs from the soundtrack of my life. What songs would you include in yours?