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The Muse

November 23, 2005

Music and the Muse

I was off jogging the other day, and for some inexplicable reason, switched to the songs of Saajan. Now, Dekha Hai Pehli Baar is hardly the song you want to hear when you are building up a sweat, but all the same, it got me thinking about what that song meant to me...

Haven't you been amazed when a certain song suddently evokes strong memories of something in you? There is a reason for it, and it comes from cognitive science. Our memory has two major components - the short term memory [STM] and the long term memory [LTM]. Everything available in your STM is available for instant recall - your phone number, your house number, content for tomorrow's exam, stuff that is either temporary or things that you use a lot. Stuff in the LTM is comprised of more complicated thought patterns. But everything here is cataloged and tagged, but is available only when certain cues or triggers occur. Think of it like a library catalog, your memories are evoked when the correct card number is pulled. Music is a strong cue, and when you hear a certain song or listen to a specific piece of music, that tag is pulled. Mind you, all this is done automatically and you probably have little control over the process, and there is a lot of scientific debate going on about it.

I just thought it would be fun writing about what a few songs mean to me, and what thoughts they trigger.

[Jeeyein to Jeeyein Kaise - Saajan]: I was in Unnao, a city near Kanpur and one of my class mates sung this in our music class in the VII grade. I was amazed when I heard her sing, and it kind of changed my whole perception of her, her voice was so beautiful. We became very good friends. Somehow hearing that song always takes me back to that school, those friends and that specific period in my life.

[Chura Ke Dil Mera - Main Khiladi Tu Anari]: That's right - Superhit Muqabla on DD Metro in Delhi! Man, I went crazy seeing Akshay jump from outside the screen and land near Shilpa's feet. Reminds me of days without cable TV, when DD was all we had. This was when it was cool to be fans of heroes rather than heroines...and Akshay was the man. My cousin was a big Sunil Shetty fan, and we used to rib her whenever Akshay came on the telly. [you reading this Manj? :)]

[Maye Ni Maye - Hum Aapke Hain Kaun]: Our gang in Delhi had gone to this movie together, and we were all unofficially "paired up", but as soon as Madhuri came on the screen, well, that was that. I don't think any of the guys took their eyes off the screen the whole time. What should have been a fun, noisy outing with friends turned into an intense and serious three hour appreciation of Madhuri. I guess the girls were very pissed, but hey, it was Madhuri!

[Ankhiyaan Milaye - Raja]: Oh, there was Madhuri rocking and making all those awesome moves, and poor Sanjay Kapoor looked shell shocked, and was making all these google-eyed faces. This was sometime near the end of my X grade. I was with my two cousins in Delhi and this song was a regular on the morning radio - Times FM. All three of us had enrolled for 6:00 AM typewriting classes [typewriting?], so this song immediately reminds me of early mornings and those classes.

[Musthafa Musthafa - Kaadhal Dhesam]: This song reminds me of my first year hostel room. The songs were just released and we got the tapes through one of the day scholars. A lot of people congregated near my room, and the song was on full blast, and people started dancing and stuff. My first real memory of "fun" in the first year.

[Akila Akila - Nerukku Ner ]: I saw this movie, and the song, during our II year tour. I think the whole class went for the movie. It was such a torture that the only time we got interested was when they showed Stefi Graf [or some female] playing tennis in the movie! But the tour was fun, and whenever I hear this song all those memories come flooding back.

[Azhagiye Theeye - Minnale]: I used to travel almost every weekend to Chennai from Bangalore when I was working there. It was always a late night KSRTC bus, and this song used to be on my walkman a lot. I'm always taken back to those five hour trips to Chennai, reaching home at 4:30 in the morning, then leaving Sunday night back for Bangalore.

Life was pretty simple back then.


  • I dunno where u were leading us with the LTM and STM whatever!!! but abt the songs... one song you missed out

    Kuch Kuch hota hai... oh well I guess the relevance was supposed to be a secret???? Oh well You know me !!!! ha ha.....

    By Blogger prosaicblabber, at 2:21 AM  

  • Prosaicbalbber: SShhhhhhh, nuff said about KKHH

    By Blogger Ram, at 10:02 AM  

  • Ah! the reflections of a retrospective mind :)

    By Blogger prasanna, at 6:31 PM  

  • that rekindled some of my memories... nice one... and the typewriting classes were funny :-)... and as u say, the songs are more associated with the ambience and friends you were with... good post ram...

    By Blogger NaiKutti, at 8:33 PM  

  • Thanks Prasanna

    Typewriting was great Karthik. I can type 'qwert asdfgh' without looking:)

    By Blogger Ram, at 11:47 AM  

  • the more i read the more interesting it get. i am in the process of setting up a blog. then i wont be anon all the time. when it does get set up, pls drop in. SA indian ppl arent as bad as you may think.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:17 AM  

  • Hey Anonymous, thanks for your comments. Will wait for you to set up your account. SA people are awesome, I can make that out from your writing itself! :)


    By Blogger Ram, at 11:32 PM  

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