dear diary...

My Favourite Mode of Transport I.

Whenever I plug in my earphones — on the car, on the subway, on the treadmill, on a stroll, whenever — I’m instantly transported to another place, another era, I become a visitor of my own past, a spectator, sometimes a griever mourning for the bygone days.

Innocence — Avril Lavigne

Waking up, I see that everything is okay
The first time in my life, and now it’s so great
Slowing down, I look around, and I am so amazed
I think about the little things that make life great

I wouldn’t change a thing about it
This is the best feeling

A throwback song to when I took my first steps into the realm of sports — my first track meet and my first game of table tennis. A breach of innocence, I suppose, as the title of the song suggests, a boundary, a line that has prevented me from trying new things, a line that’s reinforced the ludicrous belief that as a girl, I should be more demure, I shouldn’t be out there, in the sun sweating, running, panting. I lost my innocence, but not in that sense of the word. Rather, I lost my fair skin and my “femininity” in the most restricted sense of the word. What have I gained instead? I couldn’t be happier. I gained a nice glowing tan, one that I preferred so much more to the sickly pale skin that screamed of insipidity. Deep down, I knew that I had worked hard for what I wanted to achieve on the field when the gun goes off and having tan skin (because of hours of training under the blisteringly hot sun) doesn’t diminish my femininity, instead, it strengthens my identity as a strong and determined girl on her way to womanhood. This song reminds me not to let social expectations hinder my interests, to continually challenge the boundaries and stay true to my passions.

 

Let It Go — James Bay

I realise that as I grow, my musical taste mature and I gravitate towards songs with an urban touch to it. The calm twanging of a Gibson electric soothes my bristling soul. It’s a song fitting for when I’m on the move, in transit. It’s a song that makes even that hottest day cooling and breezy, a song that somehow harks me back to the same landscape of a rainy winter evening on a nondescript street in London every single time I listen to it.

So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me?
Everything that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me?
And I’ll be me

Bay sings like someone who’s been hurt before. His voice is gilded with a poignant and melancholic edge to it and when he sings and strains his voice with the all the passion in his heart and memory at the climax of the song, the lyrics and its sentiments permeate my entire being and my suffering is no longer a solitary affair. I found sympathy in his songs, I found solace and comfort during an emotionally turbulent and uncertain period. The imagery of rain that Bay evokes in me with his voice is probably more reflective of my inner state than his. He might have been singing about a love lost, a love that he fell out of, but the sotto voce rings of countless attempts to rationalise with a difficult reality with the gradual regression of optimism and patience.

 

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