What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Guranteed Happiness

Music is truly magical. They say it has amazing healing powers. It is supposed to relieve stress, ease pain, calms the nerves and some claim it even boosts the immune system. Nurseries play music to soothe children. Hospitals claim that music helps their patients. Cognitive and reasoning abilities are also enhanced by music. Many autistic children or elders with Alzheimer's rely on music to learn and function in society.

Now I'm not absolutely sure about the healing power of music, but I like to believe in it. To me music is a prescription for better life. It has the ability to magically transform my moods and put me in an upbeat optimistic state of mind. No matter how depressing my day has been, how miserable my day has been - these tunes lift me up to the top of the world. It is my prescription for instant and guaranteed happiness. The following play list will have me giggling gleefully like a little child.

Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand

Currently this is my favorite song to blast in the car. One blast of this on a dreary morning drive and the Monday blues are chased away. Forget Monday blues, I'm ecstatic and set for the week. This song is a total earworm. The hypnotic "ooohooohooohooooh" of the chorus crawls inside your eardrums and makes itself at home in there. It is the most awesome thing ever. Moreover, how can you ever go wrong when you sample Boney M and loop it through your song. You are transported to happier times in the seventies when disco was not dead and music was groovy like this. What more does one need in life? A Barbravention fixes everything.

Glee Cast - Marry You

The song is originally by Bruno Mars. However, I cannot stand his saccharine laden screechy voice. Bruno Mars might as well catch that grenade and overdose on that morphine and get washed away in the rain for all I care. But the Glee cast version, now that is something different altogether. They take this Bruno Mars song and transform it into delightful frothy fun. The musical arrangement is lighter, poppy and upbeat. The vocal ensemble is fresh, energetic and clean sounding that gives the song a vibrant youthful feel. I'm not a sucker for romance or marriage like some people, but a whirl of this song makes me smile, tap my feet and feel as if I should elope to Vegas and marry the next person I meet.

Ace of Base - Life is a Flower

It is a great travesty that Ace of Base is often unrecognized and unappreciated in the United States. Ace of Base is the quintessential Europop band and what music should be. My firm belief is that the world will be a better place if we replace the garbage on radio these days with good old fashioned Ace of Base. First and foremost the song has that wonderfully upbeat electronic rhythms of Europp and classic Ace of Base that we love. But to add it to it, the song has some inspiring lyrics that give you a much needed pep talk."Life is a flower, the most precious thing you have. Carry on smiling, and the world will smile with you" Even your mom couldn't give better advice. 

Sound of Music (Julie Andrews) - My Favorite Things

No matter how old we get, there is a little child inside all of us. Nothing brings ushers in happiness more than innocent and heartwarming childhood memories. Everyone has delightful fond memories of Sound of Music and tunelessly singing along to the songs. I've watched the movie dozens of times and never get tired of it. Till today I catch myself singing and whistling this tune. It is just one of those truly magical musical pieces that will forever be a classic. Every time I listen to this song, I'm instantaneously transformed to a little child hugging my blanket daydreaming about the wonderful Maria tucking me to bed and singing me songs of my favorite things.

Journey - Don't Stop Believing

A few mysterious cheap shots of whatever that thing was your friend bought. Sticky tables and seedy ambiance of a dimly lit karaoke bar. The blissful joy of belting out God awful sounding karaoke that should probably be classified as acoustic torture by the feds. Truly believing that you can do anything and everything simply because you keep screaming "Don't Stop Believing!". That giddy drunk hysterical euphoria is priceless. Who has not let their hair down and belted out their own personal head banging rendition of this Journey classic. This is what good music ought to be like. This is the real stuff. Thats the magic of this song. You can be completely sober, dressed in your prim and proper uptight best, diligently engrossed in the daily grind - but a few notes of this song can get you happily drunk on life in an instant and put you in that serene feeling of believing whatever you want to.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam - Dholi Taaro Dhol Baaje

This song totally brings out the half Good Jew (Gujju) in me. Anyone who is a true blooded Bombayite knows how to really party. Discotheques, Raves, Gay dance bars they all are good, but they have nothing on Navratri (a festival celebrating Goddess Durga). If you really want to dance the night away and have a fabulously awesome time, then you have to enjoy the festivities at Navratri by playing Dandiya raas. Raas is a traditional folk dance form Vrindavan in Gujarat (where my half Good Jew comes from). The roots go back to Lord Krishna's youth in Vrindavan. Dandiya raas a raas form using two decorative sticks (representing swords) is the festival dance of navratri. It originated as a devotional dance, but over the times has transformed into a socio-cultural dance event of Navratri. For nine nights you go to a huge arena or hall and dance dandiya all night. Once you get used to it, dandiya is an energetic, faced paced, high octane dance, danced in groups with elaborate circular patterns and movements. You break a sweat and get a vigorous but fun workout if you lose yourself in the dance. Anyway, coming back to the song - although more of a garba (another raas folk dance) song the beats are totally ideal for dandiya as well - and transport me to a night out with friends playing dandiya.

Remo Fernandez - Ya Ya Maya Ya

If Dholi Taaro appeals to my Good Jew, then Ya Ya Maya Ya appeals to my other half - a Goan Konkani. Ya Ya Maya Ya is a very old old Konkani folk song, and I honestly don't know who first sang the song. As far as I know it has been sung at Goan festivities for generations. My first memories of the song are a school trip to Goa and the music belted out in the bus. Listening to the song means a journey down memory lane to summer vacation as a child. Summers meant a trip to Goa and visiting relatives. What makes me happy about the song is that it evokes fond memories. Goa is a tropical paradise, truly the most beautiful place I have ever known. A lush green state with quirky named villages, the miles and miles of beaches each with their distinct character, the ancient Portuguese architecture, the fresh fish markets, the bakeries and the distinct Latin/Catholic influences in society and culture. I'm one of those people whose hometown is in paradise, and that definitely is a reason to be ecstatic about.

ABBA - Dancing Queen

Abba is the greatest band in the world. Period! Abba is perhaps my favorite band of all times and I have no qualms admitting that I'm a sucker for old school disco. How can anyone not love Abba? I'm not ashamed that Abba is from my parent's generation, to me they are timeless. They had great foot tapping beats, lovely ear pleasing music, melodious vocals and two pretty eye candy girls. They were perfect. In fact if there is a God, then God's gift to man is not the Bible, the Quran or the Gita - it has to be Abba. My version of Genesis goes like this "Then God made man and sang unto him in a fabulously gay choreographed routine - don't go wasting your emotions, lay all your love on me". Dancing Queen is just one of those melodious songs that makes me want to dance and be happy. It makes me grateful that there is a God and he gave us music, disco, Sweden, meatballs, Ikea and Abba. 

Dirty Dancing - Time of My Life

I might shy away from the notions of love and romance, but the magical property of music is that every now and then it can reel in even the most heartless soulless beasts and make their heart skip a beat. Time of my Life from the movie Dirty Dancing is just one of those songs. The movie is a simple boy meets girl story of summer romance, but presented in such a way that it warms your heart and sticks with you in a timeless sort of way. Listening to the song, even I can't help but smile. It makes me want to dance as well and evokes that girly notion of going on a vacation and snaring myself a handsome hunk. It is this power of music of giving us wishful dreams and the notion that it will come true that gives it the ability of bestowing instant happiness. 

Nazia Hassan - Disco Deewane

As you can clearly see by now, I am a total sucker for disco. I simply don't get why some people reject or abhor disco. To me it is the happiest music there can ever be. In the early eighties the Indian subcontinent also contracted disco fever and created their own brand of desi influenced disco. Pioneering the movement was British Indian composer Biddu who discovered the teenage talents of Nazia and Zoheb Hassan. While Nazia's first claim to fame was the Hindi movie hit "Aap Jaisa Koi", she was one of the first subcontinental playback singer to get signed on by EMI for an album. Disco Deewane was that first album that was a hit in India, Pakistan as well as Latin America, Russia and West Indies. Disco Deewane invokes happiness because it evokes an era gone by of some really enjoyable, boogie worthy desi disco - and the unique voice and incredible talent that Nazia Hassan had. Rather than mourn her untimely death, it is the perfect beat to merrily celebrate the heyday of desi disco.

Of course this list is incomplete, there are literally dozens more songs that guarantee happiness. I probably could fill my i-pod with happy music that brings me joy through memory and melody. You just have to find the right beats that get your groove back and then you will never ever be unhappy in your life again. Music does have that superpower.

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