Writing 101: Day THREE: Songs and Commit to a Writing Practice

Writing 101: Day Three: Free Writing

Today’s Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

Today, try free writing. To begin, empty your mind onto the page. Don’t censor yourself; don’t think.  Just let go. Let the emotions or memories connected to your three songs carry you.

Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.

“The basic unit of writing practice is the timed exercise” – Natalie Goldberg

Those were the Days: a slice of the 90s

I let my mind loose, allowing it to pick out from memory some favourite songs, and one after the other they showed up, unexpected, almost forgotten but precious still. So here I am with 3 singers, rather than 3 songs 🙂

Karen Carpenter singing Top of the World, Masquerade and Hurting Each Other

Jim Reeves belting out those old, old ‘goldies’ in that crisp, no-nonsense voice. Heartbreak Hotel, I Love You BECAUSE and others with their unmatched quaintness !

And hmmmm . . . 

Kishore Kumar, that eccentric genius of Indian pop, film and light music on whose songs a whole generation of music lovers grew up. Most of the superstars of Bollywood were picturised with his voice in the background.

Though he died in 1987, there aren’t any (in my opinion) among the newer crop of singers to match his versatility even today. Here is a sample of some romantic, nostalgic classics in Hindi ! For those who don’t understand the language, do listen, the melodies and ambience are FANTABULOUS 🙂

Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi (On that Mysterious evening )

Ghungroo ki tarah Bajta hi Raha Hun Mein (Like an anklet, I keep being played and shifted from foot to foot)

Rimjhim Gire Saavan, Sulagh Sulagh Jaaye Mann (Pitter Patter falls the rain, the mind resonates but where from comes this warmth of fire?)

These songs, romantic and somber by turn, take me to a time when life was light and carefree. Still studying,  I was yet to step into the real  world of responsible living, though I had had my fair share of ups and downs. I had finished my undergrad. and for an interim year or so, was doing a Training course for Teaching, called B.Ed in India. This was the decade of the sleepy 90s and the place was the placid and peaceful city of Trivandrum, in picturesque Kerala, the tiny, southernmost coastal state of India

I used to go for classes at the teaching Institute, with two of my friends and on the way back, we would invariably stop at a small books-cum-cassette store called Paico (when I last checked in 2012, the shop was being demolished for a mall, taking with it a part of my carefree life, into the oblivion of dust and time). There were no CDs or computers, pen drives or IPods then, there were just these cassettes that we used to buy with our modest ‘pocket-money’ and jealously guard from borrowers! 

That beautiful, half-empty shop (empty of people) with the room full of the promise of music where a boy would allow you to test the quality of the cassette and the three of us friends, browsing and drooling over the melodies we could not buy — well, you can’t buy a whole shop even if you visited it almost everyday! As you can see, the songs that I listed are heavy on nostalgia. Karen Carpenter’s rich, husky voice crooning lovely, soulful songs with a blend of pain so real, that it used to catch my breath, the hearty baritone of Jim Reeves that uplifts your mood everytime and the evergreen musical genius Kishore Kumar, who could sing any song with aplomb.

When you can speak five languages and read and write four ( a phenomenon common in India), you can’t ever have a list of three favourite songs !! 😉

© Lakshmi S. Menon & SEAMLESS WRITING


  1. Lakshmi!
    I liked the write up. You have done justice. But I could not understand why you said eccentric to Kishore Kumar. If you don’t mind I recommend you to read my post on “The Greatest Musicians and Lyricists of Bollywood”, as you are an ardent fan of Kishore Da and you know much about Bollywood.
    “Yeh Shaam Mastani Madhosh Kiyeja”

    • Well a genius is allowed to be eccentric ! It comes as a package deal and it makes them unique. I will surely read your article. Swamped by posts I have to make on 2 blogs, all of April.

      • Well, I some how accept the package deal of making one unique. Thanks for the assurance, when you read the post, I am sure you will react on that. But, I could not understand making of 2 blogs, what is that all about?

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