You see, my Dad moved a lot when we were kids, so I ended up going to some 7 schools in 12 years. I conditioned myself not to get too close to my classmates, because it was too heartbreaking to have to move two years later. But this was the group that I was the longest with - four years. That too, when we were in the 15-18 age range. So obviously, this is the group that knows me the best, the group that I remember the most, and connect the most to. So I got a warm welcome, and within half a day, someone shot this question at me.
"So Sayesha, do you still like toota-phoota ("broken") songs?"
"You know, the dukhi aatma ("sad soul") kind of songs?"
"What?! When did I like dukhi aatma kind of songs??"
Before I could even protest properly, they were all nodding in WhatsApp unison. Seriously? That's how they remembered me? That's how they ALL remembered me?
And then I tried to remember. It's true that I used to sing a lot of songs back then. On demand. In competitions. Anywhere and everywhere. I tried to jog my memory and think of the songs they had heard me sing - 'Tere bina zindagi se koi', 'Tere dar par sanam...', 'Rulaake gaya sapna mera', 'Dil kehta hai chal unse mil', 'Saare sapne kahin kho gaye', etc. etc. And I had to admit that most of the songs I sang were sad, or at least kinda romantic, but sad. But it was not because I was a dukhi aatma. It was because these songs had the most amazing, heart-touching lyrics.
So I decided to stand up for myself.
"Heyyyyyy! I liked songs with meaningful lyrics, okay??? I did not sing random toota-phoota songs like 'Tum toh thehre pardesi' and all that!" I protested.
I could sense their amused smiles in WhatsApp unison.
And then it struck me. Sometimes, it's your school friends who really know you the best, who can sum you up in a way that no one else, not even you yourself, can. And sometimes, it's okay to just accept it graciously.
So yes. I like toota-phoota songs. What can you do?
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and put my latest toota-phoota discovery called 'Tu hai ki nahin' from Roy on loop. 34798236948327043280 times.