My 90s memory and other embarrassing things

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Out of sheer nostalgia, I played 'Poovukkul Olinthirukkum' from Jeans on YouTube while having dinner. I nearly choked on the dry roti when I realised I remembered every step, every outfit, every change of scene in the song. And then went on to 'Hai Ra Hai Rabba'. Repeat. By the time I came to 'Anbe Anbe Kollathey', I knew I wouldn't be surprised. Of course I remembered it all - her clothes, the colours, the steps, the way Prashanth bloody lip-syncs along.

It was hilarious... and embarrassing. How was it that I had so much time on my hands - and why was my memory working overtime as a child?! Yes, I was going through a phase of Ash-crazy and Shankar made her look gorgeous in the songs (thankfully compensating for the ridiculous clothes she wore in her regular scenes)... but this was just unreasonable.

I went through a series of Shankar's movie songs, and realised that until Mudhalvan I could broadly remember all. Watching 'Akkada' from Indian, then my 'favourite' song (for two months probably!) i realised Urmila was hot. And I liked her even then, compared to the boring beauty that Manisha Koirala was in the movie. I remembered this scene in which Manisha draws a blue 'plus' on her palm, to indicate she's a Blue Cross member; it's the scene where this little bit from 'Maya Machindra' plays as background score, a tune that I love. As for Kadhalan, I remember when Sun TV played the video of 'Ennavale' all the way until the end of the first stanza, and I ran up to my sister and boasted that I got to see it first, not she.

By the time Boys released, class 12 had taken over, and while I can still dutifully sing the songs with all the correct lyrics even if you wake me up from deep sleep, the steps in the songs aren't etched in my mind. And ever since, it's been downhill. I recollected songs from recent movies that I really enjoyed - a few after 2004 but practically nothing after 2008, and I barely remember the lyrics, much less the scenes, steps, or the clothes.

Song videos mean nothing these days, and the fact that they are readily available makes them so... uninteresting. I can't think of a new song, even from a Mani Ratnam movie, that I would run out of my room to watch, like I did as a teenager, for Pacchai Nirame or Chaiyya Chaiyya or Yaro Yarodi. Funnily enough, despite them being on YouTube, it would be all malarum-ninaivugal for me if I caught any of these songs online, than any of the newer ones. I do miss the role that fate, chance and probability had in my favourite song being played on TV. Despite watching a song a few times - and once (or twice!) on the cinema screen - I'd know enough to secretly dance to them as a kid (for I was a bad dancer).

Sadly, this seems to be the theme for life. I derive hardly any excitement from a Rahman release (have barely listened to Mohenjo Daro tracks and heard not one song from 24 or 'I'). I do long for those times when these simple things could make me want to go on long walks and forget silly troubles like assignments and project teammates.