And another memory, Mi.  Memories, in fact! This morning, when I woke up, I had the song Take me home by Phil Collins playing in a loop in my head, alternating with “I wish it would rain down“. Pleasant enough, you’d say. I would agree. With the song, however, rushed in a particular memory from almost a couple of decades ago, taking me back in time as my hands busily grated carrots, chopped up coriander, added the various taste-makers and flour and kneaded the dough for the veg rotis for lunch. My train of thought was a veritable express, refusing to halt at any station and insisting on running full speed along a parallel track in my head.

As I rolled out the rotis on auto pilot, I let my mind wander.

“I love those random memories that make me smile no matter what is going on in my life right now”

​1991
A new city
Gorgeous weather
A spray of rain every morning
Lovely residential area
Pleasant house
A job I loved
Great colleagues
Wonderful friends

Remember that day I went out on a walk to explore the area, Mi? You were worried I’d get lost since we had been there barely a couple of days. We were familiar with the BDA complex in III block, but didn’t know anything beyond that. Ever curious, I wanted to stroll past the complex and see where that road led.

I crossed the 100 feet road to the other side. Asked another pedestrian where the road going to the right went. Bethany’s he said. Thinking that it was a good landmark, I decided to walk to the school and back.

Barely mid-way to my destination, my ears picked up the strains of one of my favorite music artists, Phil Collins. I quickened my step, eager to get to the source. As the notes became more audible, I knew I was heading the right way.

As the song “Do you remember” drew me like a magnet I found myself standing in front of a single storey place.

coffee with mi memories

Neat, no frills, recently white-washed. After a moment’s hesitation at the doorway, I stepped in. My eyes adjusted to the lighting in the room. Even as Phil Collins’ voice held me spellbound I looked around to find myself in a massive room, bereft of any furniture, save the strategically spaced and placed Bosch speakers. At the far end I saw a music system quite like the boombox street artists use in the movies I’ve seen. And coveted.

At the far end of the room were a couple of young guys, dressed in faded blue jeans and white T-shirts. Irrelevant detail, but I also remember they were clean-shaven. I can’t help noticing these things! As I walked in, they looked up, alerted by the sound of my shoes on the floor. Courteously, they came over and asked how they could help me.

It turned out they were a recording studio, as in making music tapes for a fee. I remember saying how fascinated I was that Phil Collins’ sound was always unique, each musical note crystal clear.  Both guys broke into wide smiles — obviously it was a mutual feeling and we chatted, sharing our love for music.

Then, one of the guys excused himself and went and shut the doors. When I asked him why, he said the only way to listen to the next song was in this sound proof room, shutting out all the external noises. “Do you remember” drew to a close, and after a pause, segued into one of my all-time favorite songs by Phil Collins “Take me home”.

But it wasn’t just the song that blew me away. It was that moment. In that room. With absolutely no other sounds, my senses were completely enchanted. What an experience it was!

One of the guys — his name was Sunny, offered to record it for me on an audio cassette.

Do you remember how excited I was when I returned home, Mi? You laughed when I walked in as Peggy as I had stopped at the commercial complex on the way back home. But my real treasure was nestled in the inside pocket of my jacket – the Phil Collins cassette.I still have it, Mi and am always gratified to find that it plays just as beautifully as the first time.

What an amazing artist!

And what a wonderful memory!

And I, I am smiling, thinking of how you always found it amusing that I remembered every minor detail about meeting people.

This song sounds great with the volume all cranked up!

Take me home” by Phil Collins from the album No Jacket Required

And yes, the rotis came out just fine.

coffee wtih mi

Rotis ready to roll!