Saturday, February 25, 2006

Musical Meanderings and Other Arbit Stuff

>There was this time when I used to listen to Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Westlife and, don’t judge me yet, Britney Spears. Boyzone was definitely my favourite. I was greatly disappointed (I was going to use heartbroken when I realized how gay this whole thing already sounds) when I learnt of their breaking up. I thought All That I Need was the greatest song ever recorded since As Long As You Love Me. I remember agreeing wholeheartedly with Mom that rock and metal were just so much noise. I used to pity the tortured souls who needed to listen to the likes of Metallica and Slipknot to get their kicks. The closest I came to listening to rock was Bryan Adams. College changed all of that. I was met with agonized cries of “Please tell me you have heard of GnR?”, or “What the f**k do you mean you like As Long As You Love Me? Haven’t you listened to Stairway to Heaven?”, when I proudly declared my musical preferences while giving my intro during ragging.

I was nonplussed. Soon, Bryan Adams became my favourite. While I was still met with the afore-mentioned agonized cries, the intensity had lessened somewhat. It resembled the tone one adopts when one finds out that a young one in the fold has strayed, but not so far that all is lost. There was still hope for me. The seniors decided to initiate me one step at a time. First, they told me to check out GnR. I did, and nothing happened. Typically, I liked Sweet Child of Mine, but not enough to displace the hallowed place Boyzone occupied. No, I told them frankly, for I was young and foolish then, I didn’t like November Rain. Nope, not Estranged either. His voice wasn’t melodious enough, I said. That was when I had my first near-death experience.

The second one followed soon after, when I, with painful experience having done nothing to temper my reckless zeal to speak the truth, told them that the only thing Du Hast did to me was give me a headache. I think I became something of a challenge for the seniors, a chance for them to prove that, yes, ragging was indeed beneficial. I suppose this is how the Missionaries felt when they encountered their first savages. Finally, one fateful day in the second semester, I came back to my room after a particularly frustrating session, grabbed the first tape I could get my hands on and plunked it into my walkman. Must’ve been my mood, I guess, but as the angry opening chords of Unforgiven broke over me, I found my head moving in a manner that could only be described as head-banging. I listened to the song six times in a row.

Now, of course, Metallica is my favourite band. Knopfler and Hetfield are my musical Gods. I pity the needy souls who need to listen to the likes of Westlife and Britney in order to appreciate music. It pains me to listen to the Backstreet Boys and music being mentioned in the same sentence. Blasphemy, I say.

Don't tell anybody, but I still retain something of a soft corner for Boyzone. On warm summer nights, when it is too hot to sleep in the room, I take my Greatest Hits tape, put it in a Metallica/Straits cover, borrow good quality headphones (very important) and fall asleep to Ronan Keating & Co on the hostel terrace. If anyone asks, I'm listening to Nothing Else Matters.