Everything is better with a song playing in the background.
When you're driving with your shades on (in Chennai, we call it 'coolers', machi) and listening to Moby, it's a heist movie.
When it's 'Bad' by U2, your life is changing. This is the plot point before the climax, the moment when epiphany arrives, when you, the protagonist set forth on the path that opens up in tune to this song.
When it's 'Agatha' by Rachid Taha, you see cherry blossoms and late winter smells and sights befitting a hilltop town (even when you're on Nungambakkam High Road on a desert-hot Tuesday forenoon.)
When it's 'Summer Moon' by Bob Sinclair, it's the most magical nightclub, neon pinks and purples amidst tropical flowers and all the glamour in the world even if you're dancing in the privacy of your room. Sure, it helps if you're eyes are closed. 'Forever' by Chris Brown takes that moment to the next level.
When it's 'Bittersweet Symphony' (OH when it's 'Bittersweet Symphony') by The Verve, you are the coolest dude(ette) on the planet, your walk a rockstar's, the world succumbing to your nonchalant magnetism as you stride through traffic.
When an A.R Rahman song plays, it's raining in Chennai and you're back in your first year of college when college love was something you knew would happen because the trees, the flowers, the breeze were all rooting for your heart (even though history proved otherwise).
When it's 'Don't Cha' by the Pussycat Dolls, you and your best friend are panthers, marching down the sidewalk and the whole world wants us or wants to be us.
A song on my 'Therapy' playlist (Beck's 'Timebomb' is guaranteed to pump me up. I'm a rockstar screaming into an imaginary microphone. I'm a superstar (Michael's 'The Way You Make Me Feel'-oh this one is an instant-feel good factor). I'm the star of an action flick ('Alice' by Moby or 'Deep' by Nine Inch Nails). I'm a head bopping, hip hop devotee ('Jump Around' by House of Pain). I'm a clown, belting out 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen at the top of my lungs.
For those of us (me?) who think life is a movie, the movie is incomplete without and made to order, perfectly fitting song playing in our heads, if not in the background. A crush becomes a love song that when listened to years later, will evoke exactly the same wave of feelings and the same smell of that season when it happened. Any song or album for that matter. 'Made in Medina' will remind me of my drawing room where I walked around while learning chemical equations during my tenth standard board exams. 'La Valse' and other Faudel songs will take my back to the stories and characters I spun from my imagination during a pure, precious time in my adolescence which I wish I could relive, when I lived my creations, allowing myself to be wrapped in a surreal world that was so real to me.
Well, I guess things haven't changed that much. Reality still deserves a background score, according to me. Thank you, Ipod. Thank you, musicians and artistes all over the world, for giving me music for moments.