We all have our songs, our default songs which we end up singing without thinking about it and when nothing else comes to our minds. And we also have them because they save us in ways nothing else can. And so as Hey Jude‘s birthday comes up on the 26th of August, I remember my song in the way only I can.
It was three years ago, I think, and yet it feels like a different lifetime. Raindrops pelting down as I started wriggling into my favourite yellow raincoat and looked outside the window, still, like a three year old, willing the rain to turn into snow. I sneaked in my music player, put it in the inside pocket and zipped the coat up.
“The bicycle needs repair”, I lied, knowing that the only way I could get the extra ten minutes away from the regular and inevitable human contact was if I walked to school. I walked out quickly before the predictable flow of arguments and closed the gate and then realised that I had begun running. And then suddenly in a time which seemed quite definitely lesser than ten minutes, I reached school.
Within those walls, everyday seemed like a horrible movie that I was compelled to watch without letting a single scene register in my mind. The rain made me afraid to bring my novels, lest they somehow got wet through some tear in the waterproof cover of the bag (notebooks, I couldn’t care less about).
So I simply sat in my seat, almost at the back, as always, and passed my occasional smiles and comments (not unlike an automaton) while completely ignoring the persons sitting beside and behind me (again, as always, but that is a story for another time).
And then I quietly slipped my hand into the inside of my raincoat hanging on the side of my chair and pulled out the little, black music player with the headphones carefully wrapped around it (meticulous habits that I still, quite amusing to myself, cannot shake off). Then with a “tap tap tap” of the buttons I got to the song I wanted and put it on repeat.
I wasn’t as crazy about the band as everybody else in the whole world has always been. I hadn’t even listened to all their songs. But this…this was my song, had been from the first time I had heard it when my thirteen year old self danced happily while “na na na na na na”-ing along side Paul McCartney.
And for seven minutes and four seconds, there was still some love in this world. Because against all the pain, all the void, against all evidence of a disappeared joy, there was still someone who could make me believe that I could take a sad song and make it better.
By: Antara Chakrabarti
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