From Ipanema, With Love

Oh, but he watches so sadly
How can he tell her he loves her?
Yes, he would give his heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead not at he…

Experience of Noel Sengupta.

(Noel is an established theatre artist in the Delhi University circuit; he was a member of Shunya, DramSoc of Ramjas College; and had graduated from the college with a degree in Botany.)

Song: ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz

The song is the creation in the Brazilian New Wave, the ‘Bossa Nova’, a fusion of Samba and Jazz popularised in the 50s and the 60s; way too evident are these elements in the comforting gloom of the song ‘The Girl From Ipanema’, with the calm tone of Astrud Gilberto and the saxophone pockets of Stan Getz. The song has been covered later by Frank Sinatra himself; some say that the gloom in the song was better sheltered by the musical ambience created by Gilberto and Getz.

Here’s what Noel has to say: 

“Girl from Ipanema by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz was very recently introduced to me by one of my friends. This song suddenly invokes a recurring dream where I fall in love with a girl who dies every day. She has no idea about my existence though. One of the things that really intrigues me about this version which I don’t find in the Sinatra version is the darkness with which this song progresses. I could never figure out or remember what the girl looked like. She remains faceless for me. All I can say about the woman is that she noelwears a sundress and a big hat. I can very vaguely remember that the weather is always Sunny and cool. I can’t say after hearing this song what actually happens in my dream and what my subconscious instinctively imagines. The song works it’s magic like that. It moves those versions of me which I thought doesn’t even exist. The part which echoes with me most is “But he watches her so sadly, how can he tell her he loves her”. I thought I could go on and on writing about this song but I feel can’t.”



Once a friend, Once a lover.

Harr khushi badh si gayi hai
Saath hain jo hum sabhi
Ek doosre ke beech raheke
Kho gayein hain ghum sabhi

And I’m thinking ’bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe just the touch of a hand
Oh me I fall in love with you every single day
And I just wanna tell you I am

Prateek Jain is currently an Economics student in Deshbandhu College. A fun-loving, happy-go-lucky bloke, who earnestly participates in social service activities; Prateek shares his experience with two songs close to his heart: The first a rendition of an early 2000s Disney Musical, and the other an Ed Sheeran ballad that took breaths away in global proportions.

Here’s what Prateek has to say:

“The first song is  ‘Pyaari Yaari’ from the series ‘Ishaan’.

It’s one of the best songs that I have heard in my entire life. So when I heard this song recently, almost like after 5 years; to my surprise I remembered all the lyrics by heart. While listening to the song, I suddenly had these  reminiscent flashes of all my friends and all the happy, not so happy and bittersweet memories that I had shared with them.

The second song is ‘Thinking out loud’ by Ed Sheeran.

prateekI don’t know what exactly in the song touches my heart. It’s so freaking beautiful. The way this song describes love, how beautifully Ed Sheeran visually describes himself falling in love and above all how he urges the lover to stay with him forever. For someone who hold his friends dear and is afraid of losing people he love, the song along with the previous one, which is an ode to friendship; strike a chord within my heart. Listen to these songs, maybe you will relate to them the way I do. And maybe, just maybe you would come to adore these songs as much as I adore them.”

Beginning Again

God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young
It’s hunting season and the lambs are on the run
Searching for meaning
But are we all lost stars, trying to light up the dark?

Anasuya Borah is currently a Botany student in Hansraj College. A bookworm, a passionate debater, and an artist; a vessel for infinite wanderlust; Anasuya shares her experience with an Adam Levine classic, making its mark after the release of the movie ‘Begin Again’.

Song: Lost Stars

Artist: Adam Levine/ Maroon 5

Here’s what Anasuya has to say: 
“This song is what I hum 24×7 without any conscious effort. I was introduced to it at a time when everything was a mess. I met new people and I was dying for people to look past my usual all smiles, very reserved, (a little mysterious kind?) views they had of me. A lot of times I wasn’t approached for conversations and I wanted people to know I could be their crazy doze of intoxication to last through a star lit night, I was trying hard to be someone’s light. “Best laid plans sometimes are just a one night stand”, I wanted to run away, even if for a day and this song made me realize somehow, I was all I needed for that crazy adventure. I can be my own star, lighting up my own way. I survived because of this one song.”

The Local Train and an Armenian Bird

Aaoge Tum Kabhi
Meri Jaan Keh Rahi
Gayega Ye Sama
Gayegi Ye Zameen

Paras Singh is currently studying in Hansraj College. Adept quizzer and a music enthusiast, Paras shares her experience with two songs; one a popular  number by one of the pioneers of Indian indie-rock scene; and the other a soulful instrumental jazz rendition by a genius of an Armenian artist.

Songs: Aaoge Tum Kabhi by The Local Train; and The Apple Orchard in Saghmosavanq by Tigran Hamasyan

Here’s what Paras has to say: 

“The first song is “Aaoge Tum Kabhi” by The Local Train. I first heard this song when TLT came to perform at IIMA, where I stay. I didn’t know the band and I hadn’t heard any of their songs, then. About a month ago, I discovered this song on Saavn and the lyrics couldn’t be any more beautiful. This song is upbeat and sad at the same time, surprisingly. There’s this sadness in the singer’s voice, yet the lyrics are so confident and happy! It’s this irony that makes me listen to this song on repeat. It’s one of those rare Bollywood rock songs that actually do justice to the genre.          paras       

The second song is “The Apple Orchard in Saghmosavanq” by Tigran Hamasyan. A Music Society member got me into this, and I’m never going back. One of the most beautiful piano pieces ever. Each segment of the song tells a story. I was mesmerised the first time I heard this song, and I remember, I had to repeat it, because I couldn’t believe this masterpiece was actually real?! I’m generally a metal/punk/rock enthusiast, always listening to Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, AC/DC, but this is the song that got me into jazz. I think one thing I’ve observed is that this song tells different stories for everybody, yet, it connects everyone with a common story, if that makes sense.”

The Aeonian Khusro

Zehaal-e-miskeen makun taghaful,
Duraye naina banaye batiyan.
Do not overlook my misery,
by blandishing your eyes and weaving tales,
Ke taab-e-hijran nadaram ay jaan,
Na leho kahe lagaye chatiyan.
My patience has over-brimmed, O sweetheart!
why do you not take me to your bosom.

Rushnae Kabir is currently a student of History in Ramjas College. An avid reader and an eloquent debater, Rushnae shares her experience with the ageless classic of Amir Khusro, which has been immortalized by legends with the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Ghulam Ali.

Song (Qawwali) : Zehaal-E-Miskeen Makun Taghaful

Originally composed by Amir Khusro

Here’s what Rushnae has to say:

rushnae“I know that it might be an unconventional choice, but the reason I chose this song is because of how it reminds me of my Nana. Everyone called him a Sufi. It’s difficult to explain why (apart from him really knowing a lot about Sufi thought) but if anyone met him, they’d probably understand. It’s been two years since he left us, and almost every day I miss him. He’s the reason I decided to do history and I really hate that he’s not here for me to talk to him about the things that I learn. 

The cool thing about the poem is that it’s got alternating lines in Persian and Braj Bhasha. So it’s basically a representation of the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb my Nana also came from. He’d discussed it with me once and I’d been really really fascinated. It’s hard to go through life without his calming presence beside me but sometimes this song does help me think about the talks that we had (and the ones we could’ve had).”

This song is truly a testimony to the amalgam of vivid cultures and faiths in the aesthetic potpourri of North India. Older generations of families, like that of Rushnae; hark back to these cultures as they form such quintessential part of their proud identities.

This song saved my life.

“…My wounds have healed because of this song; it truly has saved my life…and continues to give me the strength when I feel weak and unloved…”

Meghna Gogoi is a student of Political Science in Ramjas College, Delhi University; she shares her story of redemption by the means of a song that inspired her to live by invoking the beauty of life.

Song: Last Hope (2013)

Artist: Paramore (US)

Genre: Alternative, Pop, Punk Rock.

Here’s Meghna’s story:

“From the age of 6 to the age of 20, my taste in music has gone through considerable changes, yet in this period none of the songs I loved could carve out a special place in my heart.

The last two years had been the worst years of my life. As clichèd as it sounds, my fragile little heart had to suffer a horrible heartbreak, which was unexpected and brutal. I was an absolute mess; I couldn’t handle the pain, and eventually had to undergo counseling and therapy in order to win my war against chronic depression. Throughout the ordeal I was advised to listen to songs that spoke about positivity and hope and happiness and so, as fate would have it, I stumbled upon the song “Last hope” by this insanely amazing band called Paramore. There were times of unfathomable pain when I felt like I should just jump off the roof but then at the very last moment, I put on this song and it always calmed me down and helped me gain perspective.

“And the salt in my wounds isn’t burning anymore than it used to

It’s not that I don’t feel the pain it’s just I’m not afraid of hurting anymore

And the blood of these veins isn’t pumping any less than it ever has

And that’s the hope I have the only thing I know that’s keeping me alive…”


These lyrics resonate within me. ‘Last hope’ is the song which became my home. My place to escape. My little palace of positivity and love and happiness. It’s a beautiful song about feeling helpless and defeated but still not giving up and clinging on to that last ray of hope and praying for a better tomorrow. Listening to that song every day, gave me immense peace and comfort, and I held onto those words that urged to hope for a better tomorrow. My wounds have healed because of this song; it truly has saved my life and continues to give me the strength when i feel weak and unloved.

I could go on and on about this song but it still would not be enough. I do not think I can express just how much this song means to me in mere words.

I am forever grateful to Hayley Williams who wrote this masterpiece. This song saved me. Paramore saved me.”

The Unconventional Floyd Psychedelia

“A cloud of eiderdown
Draws around me
Softening a sound
Sleepy time, and I lie
With my love by my side
And she’s breathing low…”

Sanchayan Joarder is currently doing English Hons. in Ramjas College. A literature enthusiast adept in Indian Classical Music; Sanchayan briefly shares his experience with a song hiding in the satchel of underrated renditions of the band oft associated with the zenith of psychedelic music and considered to be one of the most prominent game-changers in the global rock scene- Pink Floyd.

Song: The Pillow of Winds (1971)

Artist: Pink Floyd

Genre: Psychedelic Rock, Progressive Rock

Here’s Sanchayan’s take on the song:

“It’s a soothing acoustic number from their album ‘Meddle’. I listen to it almost every nightsanchayan before falling asleep, unknowingly.

It’s like a lullaby and when I listen to it, I can visualize a distant meadow with the indolent touch of soft winds on my face and my lover’s as I see her smiling face, her tresses flying carelessly and her friendly eyes reading my love.

She brings with her an aroma of forgetfulness like the harmless intoxication of alcohol and I feel as if I’m sleeping in the winds.”