A Playlist named Home

The whir of my dad’s car pulling into the driveway at the end of a long day. Gales of laughter around the dinner table. The renderings of Kishore Kumar singing in the background. The annoyingly shrill cries of the hordes of peacocks parading around town. The soft tap-tap of a tennis ball hitting the walls, interspersed with thwacks as it is caught by my brother’s ready hands. The drone of the water cooler as it fights to beat the summer heat. The hum of the washing machine. The tinkling sound of my mother’s laugh, warm and delighted.

Advertisements

Seven thousand, six hundred, and forty five miles. Here, in my NYC apartment, I am approximately seven thousand, six hundred, and forty five miles away from home. So very far away – more than twelve thousand kilometers,  a whopping 9.5 hour difference in time zones, and over sixty six hundred nautical miles. It’s a long way to home by any means of (feasible!) transport. I put on my headphones, close my eyes and listen …

The whir of my dad’s car pulling into the driveway at the end of a long day. Gales of laughter around the dinner table. The renderings of Kishore Kumar singing in the background. The annoyingly shrill cries of the hordes of peacocks parading around town. The soft tap-tap of a tennis ball hitting the walls, interspersed with thwacks as it is caught by my brother’s ready hands. The drone of the water cooler as it fights to beat the summer heat. The hum of the washing machine. The tinkling sound of my mother’s laugh, warm and delighted. The snip of the secateurs as the rose bushes in the garden are trimmed. The cheerful babble of school children on their way home. The characteristic jangle of the landline telephone. My mother’s voice, so like mine, talking to a friend. The static-y old Bollywood music trilling out of the radio in the kitchen. The piercing whistle of the pressure cooker. The rhythmic creak of the canopy swing set in the garden. The soft click of the front gate signaling my parents’ return from their evening walk, sending my brother and I scurrying over to more respectable activities. The jarringly loud flap-flap of a peacock’s wings as it flies up a few feet to rest upon the leaves of the bottle palm tree in my front yard – the peacock with two left tail feathers slightly crooked, who has made our garden his home, and now co-exists with us in not-so-peaceful harmony.

Back in my NYC apartment, I close my eyes and listen to all these sounds – these discordant, unrelated sounds, which somehow all come together seamlessly and blend into nostalgic melody: the soundtrack to what I call Home. And as my melody plays on, those seven thousand, six hundred and forty five miles steadily fade away into nothingness, and in a blink of an eye, I am home.

Yes, magic really works!

“Magic Works”

Performed by The Weird Sisters in the Yule Ball scene … from the original soundtrack of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

This song is – there is simply no other word – magical. It’s gentle, it’s sweet, it’s promising … and by the time the chorus comes around, I’m completely swept away on a tide of swelling emotion, I’m falling into a nameless abyss, and yet I’m soaring as well. Rising, higher and higher, oh-so-gently. It makes me … believe. It makes me hope for something better … it makes me imagine I’m slowly swaying in this tiny universe of my own, and there are little sparkly stars swirling around me in slow motion … and it’s just me, and the deepest shade of blue merging with inky black, and the silvery spots of light. And that’s the whole world. It begins and ends right there. Time ceases to exist, all constraints released, all bonds slashed open … and all that’s left is truth and hope. And love, at least the promise of it. And if I keep dancing in the stars, well, I can achieve everything I’ve ever wanted.

I tried sketching this ‘feeling’ … my pencil couldn’t really capture the essence of it, but just to give you an idea :

Looks like Cinderella?

 

The tiny white dots are supposed to be stars, and they’re slowly swirling around. And the girl is supposed to represent me – I’ve got the curly hair right, but I only hope I’ll get to wear a floaty gown like this someday. 😛

It’s amazing how much a song can do to you!