Music has always played a big part of my life. Growing up, I do not remember one car ride without the music blaring and us dancing to it in the backseat. But some songs can just turn back time and emotionally transport me to moments that are etched in memory. And of course, take me back to those special people I spent those moments with.
My uncle was a huge part of my childhood. He’s the guy who picked me up from school on his motorbike, both of us rocking similar orange helmets. And he’s the guy who let me make his hair, twisting his short curls into multiple ponies while he studied undistracted for exams. But the one song that I associate most with him is this one. I remember his waking us up by blasting this song from the speakers of an old boom box (you know the one with 2 cassette players and a CD player on top). He would then proceed to work out in our room while we tried to go back to sleep. Slowly however, the beats would bring us out of bed and onto the dance floor in a few minutes. Oh! the good ol’ days.
My sister was one of the cutest babies ever. She had just the right amount of chub on rosy cheeks and was overall a huge personality, even as a toddler. She was eager to get into every conversation and was looking for any opportunity to perform, sing, twirl her pretty frill dress for you or just say some Urdu ‘shair’, very dramatically and with the correct emphasis. We had great fun opening up lyrics books (you know the ones that had George Michael, wearing a star shaped earring staring intently, on it) and loudly sing along to the song playing from the same cassette player. We always sang really loud to make sure we muted the singer’s voice, after all what does Madonna know about singing, right? Well, my sister wanted to take her talent to the next level. She wasn’t happy just singing over the singer’s voice, she wanted the singer’s voice to be muted out. So she discovered the tool to get stardom, the ‘record’ button. And it began. Every song she could figure out some lyrics to (mostly made up lyrics and a lot of babbling), she would press the record button and sing over the song.
So you can imagine, a lot of our cassettes from the late 80’s have her voice booming through. And one of her favourites was this song I guess the lyrics were easy enough for a toddler to understand (appropriate enough I’m not sure!). Now imagine, every time the words ‘Just get a taxiiiiii’ came on, it would get muted out and you’ll hear a 3 year old singing just ‘taaaxiiiii’ over and over and over.
So every time that comes on the radio, I can’t help but think of my baby sister hitting the high notes, standing tippy-toe on the bed, pressing the record button.
Studying in America was a life changing event for me. Coming from a protective family and moving halfway across the world was daunting but very exciting. And it proved to be the best 6 and a half years of my life. But what is it about college that makes it fun? Friends of course! And one of the first ones I made was someone I still call one of my best friends. We spent days cruising up and down highways, laughing all night, looking for dual meanings in literary works, debating the true meaning of Disney fairytales and of course, sharing music from both our countries with each other. But we didn’t just share the music, we had to feel it, to think about it, to dance to it and to hear it on repeat. One such music piece was ‘Montilla all night’, a DJ mix from the islands of Greece. To most it may just seem like a dance track, but to us it marked our college times, growing up, the ups and downs, and friendship.
Change – Weekend Players
I met three crazies in my first job when I moved back. They made my time there so fun that leaving was almost unbearable. And for some reason we were very fond of being together in my friend’s car, driving from one restaurant to the next and doing just random things. But one song reminds me of this crew all the time and makes me grateful that I met each and every one of them and of course, the music we shared and the brownies we consumed between the four of us.
I will always love you – Whitney Houston
Like I mentioned, being from a protective family, some movies were off limits when I was a young teenager. So my mom and grandma would watch movies but bar us from the room. And those movies would then become the holy grail for us. What exactly was this fascinating movie that was denied to us?
So we would plot and plan, try and sneak out the video tape so we could watch it. One such movie was Bodyguard. I don’t exactly remember how and when we did watch it, but I do remember that we did and this particular song stuck out as the song of this time, reminding me always of rebellion (how odd huh?) and days spent trying to watch what the adults were watching.
I do wish now I had never watched the movie though, it was quite corny and useless.