A Strange Longing

Is it possible to harbour nostalgia for a decade during which I didn’t exist? I often wonder, how it would be to grow up in the 1980s, where every stage of my life would have a background score by Ilayaraja. I would remember the days I spent listening to his songs on the radio, when my love and heartbreak were all underscored by his music. I long for a time when Aagaya Gangai wasn’t a song I discovered on YouTube, but a song that occupied prime space in my growing up memories. Would I be part of a generation that truly argued over who was greater: Rajni or Kamal? I wouldn’t be subject to conversations that discussed the complexity of Vijay’s dance steps and Ajith’s dialogue delivery. I would surreptitiously watch K.Balachander’s movies and marvel at the audacity of his thoughts: I wouldn’t be typing into Google the keywords “Aboorva Ragangal watch online”. I would slowly but surely be seduced by a young A.R.Rahman with his whimsical take on Tamil film music. Would I have defended the sound track of Thiruda Thiruda and then declare smugly “I told you so” after fifteen years? I would discover the joy of technology and will myself to learn it, instead of always having it. I would then find my old friends on all these different platforms, and feel exhilarated at having achieved something previously thought impossible. I wouldn’t just fall out of touch with people I have no reason to be falling out of touch with: maybe communicating becomes that much harder when it is so easily accessed. Is it possible to feel a longing for something I don’t know, driven only by what I see as my limited knowledge of pop culture?

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