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Songs that Helped Me Be…Hopeful

The soundtrack to Apurva Paithane's adolescence!

I was 16 in 2011 and I used to listen to the songs on my phone and on MTV.
Honestly, I feel a little old at the moment while writing this, because it was 10 years ago when I was 16! It was 10 years ago that I started my college life and being a big time Bollywood lover, songs were, are and will always be something close to my heart. I remember tuning in to either MTV or 9XM or FM radio to listen to these  amazing songs — that was one of my daily rituals back then. Here are some of the songs that helped me survive my post-school years. 
Sadda Haq
When this song was released, I remember I used to sing it loudly in front of my mother, practically every day, to ask her for pretty much anything. I still remember how annoyed she used to get. This song for me depicts the rebellion of the teenage years — when all you want to do is to explore, go out with friends, stay outside because it’s the cool thing to do, but unfortunately family restrictions make all this difficult because in a country like ours, family values and log kya kahenge is far superior to individual liberty. This song used to help me to voice my anger or disagreement in a musical way (which was comparatively peaceful and creative than being rude to my mother). 
Tum ho
This song is magical and gave me instant hope whenever I felt alone. It still gives me strength and an assurance that someone special is there with me, beside me all the time. No matter how much some people love us or we love them, sometimes it is difficult to maintain relationships. Communication can become difficult for different reasons, but at that moment, when you know there are multiple responsibilities and priorities before you, you also understand who really loves and cares about you. This song is all about that connection for me. 
Kun Faya Rockstar
Kun Faya is pure magic created by that insane magician, music director A R Rehman. The song feels so powerful and it’s full of positive vibes. I remember listening to it quite often during exam periods, for obvious reasons. *wink wink* By the way, I still haven't actually watched the movie Rockstar.
Lag Jaa Gale
I think it’s next to impossible to find people who do not love this song (of course I am talking about those who have heard it and who understand Hindi). It is one of the most iconic songs from Bollywood and for me, it speaks to all kinds of bonds of mutual love. You don’t have to dedicate this song to the only love of your life. Listen to it for yourself or sing it for all those people who make up the main cast of characters in the play of your life. 
Kyu Main Jaagoon
 School was an amazing time for me and I was fortunate to have some wonderful friends and teachers. I was a very active student in my school. I took part in almost every activity there was — sports, drama, dance, debates, singing, etc. With a lot of my friends, this song hit us differently as it was released after we left our school and everyone got scattered here and there. That lyric
"राहें ऐसी जिनकी मंज़िल ही नहीं
दूँढो मुझे �
ब मैं रहता हूँ वहीं"
still gives me goosebumps.
Abhi kuch dino se
I guess this song is like the background score to my life because of this lyric:
"है दिल पे शक मेरा, इसे प्यार हो गया"
This happens to me at least 5 times a day. But back at age 16, I loved this movie for two reasons — the beautiful depiction of friendship and how it helped so many of us figure out ways of coping with challenges. The film taught us that not everyone is always lucky when it comes to love, but that is no reason to give up. We should keep trying and most importantly, we shouldn’t ever lose our close buddies. In later years, I would go through difficult periods and I don’t think I would have been able to overcome them if not for my friends. For me, it’s always friends over academic grades, and friendship over romantic relationships. Always.
Apurva Paithane is the Research Coordinator at The QKnit, an LGBTQIA+ collective. She is also a co-owner of Café Guftagu, an open and inclusive dialogue café. She is currently preparing for her PhD and she cares passionately about the betterment of minority communities in India. 
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