Recently, i updated my Mohammad Rafi collection. I figured I'd play a few songs simply because i used to love this guy when i was a kid.(i could also argue that i didn't have a choice). Anyways here's what happened.
I looked at the names of a few. 'Chaudvi ka chand ho' sounded familiar. So i clicked play and as the first verses played out, i was a different person in the same body. My mind was transported into a parallel world. A world we fraternize with "nostalgia"..
The year was 2001, the summer holidays after school. This was my last visit to Indonesia, the country where i was born, the country that gave me a fabulous childhood, the country that was my home for 12 years. I remember yearning for a mac-burger as soon as we landed. I remember hugging my dad, and yeah, he did have a parcel from mac. These memories are vague. They seem so momentous and meaningful right now, yet i don't know why i don't remember whether my dad bought me a burger or some good old fashioned chicken. I don't remember whether i felt happy or sad. I don't remember the emotions that ran through my besieged adolescent mind, knowing that in few weeks time, I'll be leaving this country for India. Indonesia was home.
All this got me back to reality. For, i realised that something as insignificant as burnt grass may have richness and meaning.
I was sitting on the front seat of the vehicle that was taking the four of us home. As the song played out, I clearly remember seeing grass burning on my left side, beyond the service roads. On the right side, in the opposite lane, a car had met with an accident and a guy was on his cell phone. His expression was frantic.
I don't know why this is still etched onto my mind. I don't remember what i did on my tenth birthday or the day my grandparents died. Why do i give a horse's ass about some random guy or some burning grass??
As the song ended, i was brought back to my senses. Now i realise that sometimes, significance is insignificant, and vice versa. Maybe burnt grass does have significance. Maybe I'll meet the girl I'm to marry standing by the side of the road waiting for a lift, with burning grass behind her. Now does this classify as an insignificant event?:)
One thing is for sure- I'm home now. A home away from home. But the first home was all i wanted, simply because it could invoke such memories.
P:S- Maybe i should write a book titled-burnt grass just like Haruki did with Norwegian wood.