Today after having watched and listened to Abhigya - The Band's Himachali folk medley, I felt something that can only be described as a sentimental yearning. Ordinarily, I see shots of Himachal all the time. In movies, videos and pictures posted online. Sometimes I'm up all night on Google Maps trying to locate homes, shops, markets and roads I remember from my childhood. To this day, I tell people to blindfold themselves point a camera in any direction in Himachal Pradesh and they will get something beautiful. A better idea still would be to blindfold oneself and do nothing but listen.
Nothing has come close to capturing what's in my heart and mind the way Abhigya has today. As a young boy, not more than ten, I studied in Dalhousie. Some of the memories I have of those days are still as fresh as they were then while others have faded over time. I remember the wilderness, the endless green valleys, the little towns and their houses, the sun that graces only one side of the mountain, aptly called 'Garam Sadak' (The other side, Thandi Sadak, of course).
But sometimes I yearn for the warmth of the inside of a Himachali home. It's not an emotion that can be captured with words. You'll know when you've felt it. Over long weekends we'd scoot off with friends, who lived in Chamba or Kullu, and stay with their families. They were the most beautiful homes you'd ever see, exactly like the ones in this music video. The stone and slate walls and the wooden interiors coupled with the singers voice gives me goose flesh and the drone footage at the beginning brings to mind something we, in 1989, would have sat atop 'Ganji Pahari' and simply looked at.
For me, to try and review the song is an exercise in futility. As I've mentioned before, there are certain things one can only feel. Such is this folk medley. Abhigya, themselves, describe it best; If music is a place, folk is the wilderness.