Three songs, Three Memories

Life is a big canvas with different shades of color – each color painting its own emotions and feelings thus shaping the experiences of those moments, so we can cherish them later as memories.  brings back those memories.

Late in a winter night, seating in a room lit only by the moonlight descending through an open window, the two souls although miles apart were connected to each other by the song. Listening to the common song – the song that they shared on radio, they were singing to each other, just loud enough to be heard but not too loud to wake up others. The song might not have been popular then but it means a lot more now than ever. It was as if the song was written only for these two souls, every word of it. Every time this song played, it reminded of an era when going to a movie was more important than a meeting in office, the big discounts on shopping brought more happiness than annual bonus and laughter not sadness brought tears to one’s eyes.

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The song begins. Past takes over present thoughts in mind as darkness shadows a city after sunset. Each word of the song, like a thorn, inches deeper into the body inflicting wounds. The pain so powerful that it makes one forget any other pain in the world. A song that reminds what it feels like to lose someone, the feeling of regret followed by bitterness for oneself. The only thing that had mattered in life and everything else had become so negligible, almost non-existing. Although that someone was re-bestowed, one cannot bury those bitter feelings but only avoid those thoughts so as not to allow the pain to reappear. Time heals everything, may be yes but sometimes it just forms a layer of new memories over the old ones deep inside your mind, only to let those old memories to re-emerge in some form, causing more pain. No matter what you do, there are certain memories you just cannot let go. They remain the very part of who you are today, why you are and what you will be tomorrow. The burdening old memories start to loosen the grip as the tempo of the song slows down before coming to an end. The city emerges from the darkness as the sun rises. Feelings of remorse slowly get replaced by those of gratefulness, for having re-bestowed the lost one. The song ended few minutes back but not the thoughts and bitter-sweet memories. They will remain. They must, as a reminder.

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While growing up, no other song had so much impact than the one we used to listen on National Day and many such special occasions. Even today it brings those fond memories no mater which part of the world one resides. In school, on a national day, everyone would be lined up in perfect rows, nicely dressed with oiled hair neatly combed and parted and the polished shoes that will no longer remain same at the end of the ceremony. Even in such perfect picture, one could spot mischievous smiles on their faces, just before the song was to begin. The staff would be busy setting up the stage and the microphone for the selected group of boys and girls who would sing the national anthem, perhaps they were encouraged to pursue a career in singing. With a loud thud, the music fills the air in the playground putting an end to every gossip and giggle among the students. As the tempo picks up, the spirit of pride takes over that of fun and innocence. It was difficult to put a finger on it, but it somehow always made me feel different. It made me feel as if I was more than an individual. I belonged to that country, like other countrymen. Childhood was the time when dreams were not burdened with the weight of wealth, fame or others’ expectations about living the life. Those were the days when one would dream to be a fighter pilot, an actor, a doctor or a musician. Even today, whenever the anthem is being played it reminds of an era when one was truly free to dream and believe that everything is possible.

Image by Leticia Chamorro

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