I was listening to the old hit 'Seasons In The Sun'. It brought back to me old reveries, and the past in a very hard hitting manner.
The song very popular, in yester-years, when I just entered college, is a recapitulation of memories, and sentimentalism. However it did fit into an ethos of nostalgia. Those days, were in many ways at least for me, halcyon days. We had just finished school, and college was supposed to give us some unexpected freedom. On the surface of it, there were no social tensions, no warring; caste with caste, community with community. My home town Shillong lay nestled among supine hills and trees somnolent- now things are for a heady, drastic change.
Shillong is undergoing the process of rapid urbanization, although the hills encompassing it still look beautifully virgin. However ugly high rise buildings punctuate its silence, with the traffic. As for social tensions, the town is peaceful, but now thanks to all the news explosion, internet, television channels render living life in quietude, an enormous difficulty.
But songs are songs, and listening to the melodic rhythm of 'Seasons In The Sun' I ruminate on the use of metaphor in the title and relate it to childhood, school, college and memories. Recapitulation of past gives the sense of personal history, relates past to present, in ways more than stunning. It is not only the question of reminiscing, but that of recollection of the vast store house of memories. After all, as Russell once said, it is the past which shapes the present.
At a more personal level, it is a reflection of personal histories, the give and take of life, reminiscing with wonder on childhood and adolescence. Do these survive, or do they vanish in ethereal stupor with passage of time? How do we combat the onslaught of time and age? These very times, the present; will be the past to a much younger generation.
Philosophies, but the actuality of the present, is in refurbishing memories of the past, the grand insignia, the archetypal myth. We create myths out of past. So, as I continue listening to the song, it remains strangely haunting, and largely anonymous, because I do not remember who sang it, or composed its lyrics. 'We had joy, we had fun/ We had seasons in the sun...' these words drown in the ceaseless noise and outpouring of traffic. These words take one to a destination, a halting point, where like the tired traveller one rests in outhouses of tepid summer. I hummed the tune, and Shillong with all its pristine beauty came back to me with wonder.