How will you forget my name
How will you forget my name
I like listening to music when I am working on my computer. I nod my head with the beat, tap my foot and do all sorts of crazy hand movements as if I was playing the drums (or some other instrument). But there are a few ways that people listen to music. They either have a playlist of the songs or artists they like and keep shuffling between them or the select a song and listen to it for a long time. I fall in the second category, playing one song until I know every word. While playing the same songs over and over again for the past month, I was bored. I was tired of listening to the same songs, even if I really like them (and will always like them). So I went searching for something older, that I had not played for a while, just to add some flavour to what I was listening. That is when I rediscovered the song called ‘Kaise bhulegi mera naam’ (roughly translated, ‘how will you forget my name’) by a Hindi band called Euphoria. Following my habit, I kept listening to the same song for a while and then moved on to some of their other songs. I liked the band, they were different yet simple and interesting. Most importantly, I felt like they really enjoyed what they did, which in turn enhanced my hearing experience. I don’t think it can be explained in words, but sometimes you can feel that the singer has thoroughly enjoyed the song himself. It makes the creation more special.
I started thinking about this song again, ‘how will you forget my name’. It was about a man trying to tell the woman he loves, that she wont be able to forget his name. At first glance, it feels like a simple love song with the man telling the woman how much he loves her and all that jazz. The video is also about him and his group of friends doing crazy things like singing and dancing in buses and streets to impress her. All of us have heard or seen people doing outrageous (also hilarious) things when they are in love, but this song was different (ever so slightly). It was not just for that woman, it was for the whole world. I know it was a love song, and I am probably reading into it too much, but it was like a statement made by that band. ‘How will you forget my name’ they were telling the world. I think they were right. It is difficult to forget their name because of their music, their uniqueness and their bravery. If I am going back after so many years and listening to their songs, I am sure there are many other people doing the same. Not many people, especially their fans, have forgotten their name and their songs. If Steve Jobs were to say it, I think they have put a ding (their ding) in the universe.
I call them brave for another reason. The music industry is almost dead, it was back then too. I am not saying the music is dead, I am saying no one bothers to go and buy music. It appears on one of many websites (thanks to piracy) in just a few days after its release. I won’t argue for or against piracy, I am just saying it is there. I don’t think (I may be wrong) any band can make a living by selling CDs, because very few people want to pay for good music. Sure they will go and download it or go and pay for movies which feature the songs, but they will not “waste” their money on CDs. Again I am not arguing if this is moral or not, I am just saying its human nature and it happens. I am sure Euphoria knew this even before spending the time, effort and money to make and promote their album. They knew they would make very little money (may even lose money), but they recorded their album nonetheless. And that is why they are brave. It was not necessarily about the money. It was about saying we are doing this because we like it, if you want us to keep doing what we do, please support us. They did not sell out to movies or did not change who they were (to the best of my knowledge). They made their ding in the universe and hoped that people would support them. I think this is another reason for us not to forget their name. ‘It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy’ to quote Steve Jobs again.
Two more examples of putting the ding. There was a music video called ‘Mujhe mil jo gaye thoda paisa’ (If I get some money) by a band called Aghosh. They tried the same thing as Euphoria in their own way. The song was funny, and the video was making fun of all the big-company-advertisements at the time. It was fun and people who saw it could not stop talking about it. I don’t think they made any money (especially since I have not heard of them after that song) but making money was not the point. The point was to do what they wanted, in a way they wanted and just being an example to other people. Another example is that of a crocheted rakhi, yes I repeat a crocheted rakhi. Rakhi is a piece of string that sisters tie on their brother’s wrist on a particular day of the year. In today’s world, like everything else, you can buy a rakhi for any price you want. It can start as low as Rs.1 (a basic thread) to something very expensive (a golden rakhi). The rakhi typically stays on the brother’s wrist for a few days after its tied and then gets discoloured and thrown away (expect may be the golden one). But one of my friends did something different, she made a crocheted rakhi for her brother. She put a lot of thought into it, and took something that was simple and made it into something that was extraordinary. The design was beautiful and the time spent weaving clearly showed the love and respect she had (still has) for her brother. I am sure it was worth a lot more than a golden rakhi for him and it has survived past the few days after it was tied. Her brother has preserved it and will never forget the gesture. I am sure I will never forget her name or this different idea. Again its not about making money, its about gaining something much more meaningful. It’s about putting your special ding in the universe and being remembered for it.
As I was writing this, I remembered these lines from a great Marathi poet, named Suresh Bhat:
“एकेक युध्द माझे मी हारलो तरीही
मजला अजिंक्य केले माझ्या पराभवांनी”
Even though I lost every one of my battles,
It’s my defeats that made me invincible.
(Again, my translation does not do justice to his words, I just hope they convey the underlying message.)