Love, a mixtape
This boy I liked sent me 'Sledgehammer' by Peter Gabriel because of which I never spoke to him again. I read into every word of the lyrics and (over) analysed the song because I really liked him. But this particular paragraph doomed our blossoming romance forever;
Show me round your fruit cage
'Cause I will be your honey bee
Open up your fruit cage
Where the fruit is as sweet as can be.
Many months later, someone else made me a CD of songs by Télépopmusik. The songs had no lyrics. But the music sounded like light and air. I couldn't analyse him, but I knew I liked him. We've exchanged a hundred or more songs and a few vows, since then.
I have always felt that the songs of your relationship are the most beautiful way to describe the love you shared. The song you heard when you first met, the song you made love to, the song you danced to at your wedding, the song he sent you after a particularly awful fight, the song you heard when it was raining outside and the one that makes you dance no matter how old and tired your bones are. Put those songs together and you have put together your entire relationship.
It isn't always happiness though. Love is also pain, anger and heartbreak. Nick Cave and PJ Harvey's murder ballad on betrayal is in my opinion, the most perfect break up song for anyone seething with anger. But like me, I am sure everyone has just about fifteen such recommendations of their own. Break up songs are that intimate genre of music where everything seems to have been written especially for you. And while those songs won't fix your broken heart, they might just tape it together momentarily.
And although break ups have anger and passion, the intensity of feeling fades. Loss is what puts your love for someone in perspective. Some songs remind you of people, times you shared and love that will never come back again. You might have moved on, but the song and it's memory can take you back to where you were once and fill you with a strange sort of longing. Or even leave you with the trace of a fond memory, turning back time for all of three minutes.
It is truly incredible how music can make you feel. I watched this video of a quiet old man suffering from Alzheimer's become animated and alive when his favourite song is played for him. "What does music do to you?," someone asks the old man. "It gives me the feeling of love and romance," he replies.
For our latest story, Soup interviewed people in different stages of love, from being together, to being single, to reminiscing about old and forgotten lovers. We asked these people to share a defining song from their relationship with us. And with those songs, we have attempted to measure love, with music.
Carol Humtsoe Love is pain, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Priya Singh, The Fall, Rhye
Shweta Kaushik and Vinay Venkatesh, Music sounds better with you, Stardust
Mithun Vehra Becoming Insane, Infected Mushroom
Bhavna Kher Sabse peeche hum khade, Mohit Chauhan
Jai Bhadgaonkar Tum se hi
Hemant and Cheryl Hum aapki aankhon mein, Mohammed Rafi
Sandeep Madhavan In spite of me, Morphine
Samrat X, Tum pukaar lo, Hemant Kumar
Rifat Jahan and Javeed Ahmed, Chaudvin ka chaand, Mohammed Rafi
Photographed by Anish Sarai
Written and compiled by Meera Ganapathi