A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Sounds of the past

Posted by Pepper on January 11, 2013

It is just another evening at home. We’re all busy doing our own thing. The song ‘Yeh hai reshmi, zulfo ka andhera na ghabraiyei‘, plays in the background. Every now and then, we sing along. I wonder, how is it that we choose the same lines to sing? Ah, music makes you bond. In that moment, we’re all involved with different chores. We are seemingly disconnected. There is no conversation. But there is that one connecting melody that we are all tuned to. That one common moment in which we all pitch in and sing along. I smile as I think of it. Music is a shared connection.

My phone rings and I turn down the volume. A friend is aghast. She has never heard of the song we are listening to. She asks me why I am listening to such ‘old and boring’ songs?

Well, I have grown up on a staple diet of old Hindi songs. I started listening to English music only during my early teens. My early childhood memories are full of old Hindi melodies. Perhaps, it is the obvious consequence of being born to parents who swoon over Mohammad Rafi and other such legends.

Visiting family and relatives was an integral part of our childhood. The family was spread across the city and it would invariably be night, by the time we would leave from their home. My parents always carried night clothes for the sister and I. Many times we would fall asleep at the said relative’s home. We would then be carried to the car, and carefully laid on the back seat. I have hazy memories of the sister and I, lying bundled in the backseat of our Maruti 800.

It is during these night drives back home, when soft old music would be played. The music always seemed calming. Listening to it over the years, made it seep deep into our young, half asleep and subconscious psyche. Now we love it.

Most of my friends have not heard many of the songs I have grown up with. The sister was telling me the other day that a classmate of hers borrowed her iPod. It had a lot of old Hindi songs.  On seeing her playlist, she made a face and asked her, ‘Is this your mom’s iPod?’. I don’t know what the implication was. If we listen to that music, perhaps we are too uncool. Oh, never mind.


35 Responses to “Sounds of the past”

  1. Instead of Liking this post I want to fill this space with love signs! I think my kids will also grow up loving old hindi songs as that is what plays in our home 24/7 🙂

  2. Titaxy said

    I so get this. I have a compilation of old Tamil songs that’s etched in my memory. And my sisters too, I’m sure. We grew up listening to Dad sing these songs around the house. Listening to one of these songs now definitely does take the mind back to childhood years. Bliss!

  3. Grammar Nazi said

    …its staple not stable!

  4. Anusha said

    Hey Mint first time delurking and I had to…. I love old Hindi songs too…My dad would sing them always…and I would enjoy seeing him sing all those songs…today with him not with me physically…I feel I connect to him only by these memories that I have…

    very rightly said…these are memories from the childhood that you just cant erase ….and I am sure noone that hasnt had these childhood memories can understand 🙂

  5. The other extreme is: The other day we were discussing about old songs at work and I was naming a few oldies I loved, when a group mate commented that he is surprised to see that I like and know all these songs :/ Didnt know what to make of it!
    My love for old songs (and music in general, of all sorts) blossomed when I came for studies to the US. All my friends were really into music and it cought up with me too. That is when I actually started enjoying the lyrics, and started looking up for translations of urdu songs. Plus, having a classical singer in the family, the younger sister and I get to know all the musical nuances of most songs!

    • Pepper said

      Lol! I actually do feel surprised when I find out my friends know certain old songs too. Because most of them don’t. So when I do come across people who do, I am pleasantly surprised and happy.

      Didn’t know you were so much into music!

  6. Saanjh said

    Even I don’t mind being tagged in that ‘uncool’ category…;)
    Love old music… And new too…:P

  7. Shweta said

    touche.. 😀

    My brothers laugh at me for having such a choice in music … we share an age gap of 6 years and there taste in music is as diverse as it can be.. i won’t even know the type of music they are listening to.. Scottish is one of those am sure…

    But play an old Hindi song and I would know the lyrics… and hum along… I might not be aware of the actor/actress on whom the song must have been pictured.. Those were the days of AM and FM.. my Dad has a HUGE collection of Ghazals which am sure my brothers won’t recognize… but I have listened to them in my sleep before waking up or on a Sunday morning lazying around in the house.. 😉

  8. Jazz said

    You are right, the old hindi songs are really melodious and calming. Even I have some memories of road trips in India where we 5 siblings would fight in the back seat of our Maruti 800, now hardly 3 of us fit in there, Dad has been planning to get a new car since forever, I guess he will miss his first car and is making excuses. 😀

    • Pepper said

      Such sweet memories. We had to let go of our Maruti 800 many years ago. We’ve changed cars several times after that, but that Maruti will always be special. I don’t blame your dad for not wanting to buy a new one 😀

  9. Very true! What the kids grow up listening to, is what they have a palate for.
    My experience –


  10. Bubblegum said

    🙂 My dad often travel with Manna De classics! Mom goes crazy for Rafi- Kishore songs! Obvious enough I still find tough to connect to English songs! :/

    • Pepper said

      I can actually connect to English songs. I love so many bands. But they all came into my life a lot after Hindi music had made it’s special place in my heart.

  11. I love love old hindi songs. I have memories of mim listening to bhoole bisre geet on radio in the mornings while she cooked for yhe day and got us ready. Thats how i know so msny really old hindi songs that most people of today wouldnt even have heard. And the other day on radio they were playing 90s songs and calling them retro!!made me feel old…

  12. Smita said

    Ah!!! We too i.e. me n bro have a legacy of old songs. Our parents loved them and they used to be played quite often and thus we too developed a taste or rather liking…have lost few phones & chnaged few but what remains constant in the new ones is a folder “old songs” & also that of Dev Anand songs….& like you I too have memories associated to the songs….

  13. R's Mom said

    loved loved loved the post Pepper…all the more reason I am going to come to your house for sure..next time after warning you in advance 🙂

  14. metherebel said

    You too…I love Kishore Kumar and Rafi songs. My favorite pastime is to watch B4U music late in the night where they play all the old classics. To be honest I don’t listen much to English music!

  15. Ashwathy said

    Haha you too? Me three!! 😀 😀

    In fact I love malayalam movie songs as well… particularly the ones I grew up with. I m sure one day my kids are going to wonder what planet I came from. But the memories associated with these songs are what make you feel so good. Reminds you of your childhood and the good ol’ days…

  16. Childwoman said

    I love old songs. Everyone in our home has different taste. But we all share common love for old songs. Rafi saab, Kishore da, Mukheshji Geeta dutt etc are our favorites. Every sunday morning, my dad used to play old songs on our rickety player. We grew up listening to them. Even now when any channel is playing these songs, odds are we will all drop our chores and listen to them. My dad is a classical singer, so our home always has music playing or someone singing. We all have our own personal favorite genres, but old songs binds us. My best friends family listens to old english songs by Cliff Richards, Carpenters. Buddy Holly etc.I have mostly spent my school vacations at her place,and hence I love old english songs as well..I have such good memories with these songs….that can be played again and again…

  17. Reema said

    Oh I simply love old songs and have so many of them in my phone. All these new songs ..one hears and then forgets!

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