Once more I soak myself in that soothing melody…..
Bekarar karke hame …yun na jaaiye………
a voice trickles down my ears, stirring long sedimented memories to the surface. I play the song in the loop. “Please don’t go away like this making me restless……..” but the song always left me restless. Not sure of what I seek in the song, I nestle in the couch and blurred images play in my mind. No…. not the visuals from the song …these are my own….
A quaint rectangular red stereo player positioned rather precariously in nook of a shelf comes to a halt with a distinct cluck sound. I hear my dad asking me to get up and the turn the sides of the cassette. We lay side by side waiting patiently for the song to begin. The rich baritone of Hemant Kumar’s voice reverberates in that rather small room. It is one of my dad’s favorite songs. His personal favorites were a motley mix of old Hindi songs, Tamil numbers and English country music. He played them every night before going to sleep. I don’t recall him listening to music any other time …not in the mornings while getting ready to college…. not while eating …No, not any other time…..only in the nights before he went to sleep.
I now wondered why …were the songs played merely to lull him to sleep …why was it always the same songs played again and again. What was it that he sought then….Like me now. The songs he played were already old ones in those days. Years later I had googled to realize they were released during the years my father was in his teens and early adult hood. Did they kindle the memories of his youth, the way it kindles my memories of him now? Did it remind him of his carefree days, football fields, first love and forgotten friends…. ?Did it offer him a momentary trance to relive those days in his mind? …..Did it leave him with an aching pain when the sedation of the memory faded and he woke up into the reality?
The sound sinks into silence……a strange stillness surrounds…..seconds later ….the song starts again. Stirred….my thoughts tread in a loop.