There are two great memory songs which are very close to my heart – 1. Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Raahi Milte Hain Bichhad Jaane Ko, Aur De Jaate Hain Yaadein Tanhaai Mein Tadpaane Ko (co-travellers cross paths in the journey of life only to get separated later, giving memories to the other one to make him / her restless when alone), 2. Na Jaane Kyun Hota Hai Ye Zindagi Ke Saath, Achaanak Ye Mann Kisi Ke Jaane Ke Baad, Kare Phir Uski Yaad Chhoti Chhoti Si Baat (I don’t know why it happens with the life that all of a sudden, the heart reminisces even the most trivial things related to someone once he / she has gone). Both these songs are very close to my heart because I feel the truth hidden in them.
I am not a good singer but I have sung certain songs on the stage during my stint at the atomic power station at Rawatbhata due to the teaching of my music Guru – Pandit Naaradanandji. On 10.12.2002, I was competing in the solo vocal contest under the cultural meet, singing a very delicate and touching Ghazal of Jagjit Singh – Koi Chaudahvin Raat Ka Chaand Bannkar Tumhaare Tasavvur Mein Aaya To Hoga (somebody must have hit your imagination in the form of the moon of the 14th night of the bright fortnight). To be very frank, I sang badly on that day but the thing is that I was singing from heart, missing somebody who despite her ordinary looks, was no less beautiful for my eyes than the moon of the 14th night of the bright fortnight, i.e., Chaudahvin Ka Chaand. And while singing, I was missing another 10th December of the past when I had talked to her for around 6 hours (talking over through the office phone during the day, thereafter talking during the face-to-face meeting in the evening and thereafter talking again over the residential phone at night, combined together). Now I wonder, despite myself being a less-talking person, how could our talks go on for hours. What were those lengthy talks all about ? But ! When two individuals of opposite sexes are in love, the talks may emerge out of nowhere because the topic is never important, only listening to the other’s voice (and making him / her listen to own voice) is the only important issue.
Today is 12th December and I remember that it was a day when I had bunked my office in the afternoon only to see her off at the bus stand when she was on her journey (with her family) to attend some wedding in her relationships. Years have passed, still I remember that day as if it’s something happened yesterday itself. I had rushed like anything from my office and reached her house first only to find a lock at the main door. Thereafter I had rushed again to reach the last bus stop in the locality and caught her at the eleventh hour when the bus was about to depart within a couple of minutes. But I forgot my toil the moment I saw her sitting at the window in the bus with her eyes roaming outside to get a glimpse of me (though I had not made any promise that I would come to see her off). And no sooner did she see me reaching there, then she waved her tender hand towards me and threw a million dollar smile. Within a couple of minutes, the bus started and I kept on looking at her waving fingers. That scene has got its imprint on my heart for the remaining part of my life.
Like the Chhoti Si Baat song, I happen to recall several tiny incidents and her talks on almost every day of the year because (courtesy my extra-strong episodic memory) in the morning itself, it strikes to me that on this day, this event (involving her) had taken place. Those days everyday was eventful for me because of her. I am not sure about my love but she truly loved me. Every moment I feel the fragrance of her love in my memories.
We could not marry and the destiny separated us. Now she, being the better-half of someone else, may not be loving me (and that only is the desirable thing). Today she may not even remember how madly she used to love me years back. But for me, the importance of these memories increase only with time just like the wine getting old. This treasure of her memories is the biggest gift that she could give and has given to me. I had got many cassettes prepared containing songs of our common choice, giving one copy to her and keeping one copy with me. Coincidentally, one such cassette contained the song – Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Raahi Milte Hain Bichhad Jaane Ko also.
Decades back, I had read a story of Ruskin Bond – Love is a Sad Song whose subject-matter was the memories of a male regarding his separated sweetheart in the form of a diary addressed by him to her. The last line of that story was – I can stop loving you but I can never stop loving the days I loved you. In my context, let me change this line as follows – You can stop loving me but I can never stop loving the days you loved me.