I suppose I would like to be called a musicellectual snob. I like to tell myself I listen to good old rock, English, classical Hindi anything as long as it’s not those newfangled-dime-a-dozen-typical Hindi film songs ( and hip-hop and boy-bands and Himesh I have to add for the record) which come and equally quickly fade away – just like item girls.
Well, that’s mostly true I suppose – I don’t really have a clue on most Hindi songs which are churned out these days and haven’t really followed them for many, many years.
But there is this strange vague perverse part of me which gets taken over by ONE particular breed of songs while my brain is weeping in agonized protest. A breed of songs which almost always evokes a WTF reaction the first time you hear it and insidiously grows upon you until you catch yourself tapping your fingers to it (another WTF moment) and then before you know it, you stop flipping the channels and wait for the damn thing to come on to listen to it and watch it with this blissful, idiotic smile on your face , while air-guitaring to “dil mein baje guitar” (by this time you are so past the WTF moments, that WTF is contemplating suicide.)
They have this hugely Machiavellian quotient - I discovered this sometime in school. I was casually humming one of them – “rain is falling chamacham cham ladki ne aankh maari gir gaye hum” next to a friend just before an exam. After the paper she came to yell at me claiming that the song playing in loop-mode in her head, had not left ANY bandwidth for the answers she had so carefully memorized. After that, I made it a point to serenade her and other people before exams. A double edged sword actually - the song would not only take over my mind, but also seemingly mutate and multiply (with different lyrics usually composed of the words from the subject I had been studying for)
To be honest, I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why I have this complete fascination with songs which go “brrrrrr” in between lyrics which just don’t make any comprehensible sense whichever way you listen to them ( backwards or forward, upwards or downwards).
I don’t understand how they have this ability to pop into one’s brains at the most inopportune times and completely take over all coherent thought. When in the midst of important strategic meetings, CXO is sprouting profound gyaan and all you can hear is ‘Babuji zara dheere chalo bijli giri ’ coming out from his mouth. And if you suffer from a hyperactive imagination like I do, there is also great likelihood of it being accompanied by a mental video of the said CXO doing some moves with Yana Gupta. A slightly career limiting move, this.
I have tried all kinds of therapies...
Going for long drives (“Aja meri gadi mein baith ja’)
Sleeping (‘Ankh maari, oh ladki aankh maari’)
Watching movies (“Ticket to Bollywood”)
Thinking deep grave thoughts about world economy (Cash Baby..paisa pheko, tamasha dekho)
P.S. My current favourite is ‘Cash baby’ – it’s such a completely absurd song that I love it. Also it has deep meaningful lyrics – “cash in front, cash at the back, cash on my mind, cash all the time”. In increment season, that’s pretty much ALL I have on my mind - The expectation of cash, the lack of cash and the who-shall-i-kill-if-i-don’t- -get-enough-cash..la la la