I’ve been relatively inactive for some time now. So, as in such times of solitude, I have resorted to chewing the cud of memories and flashbacks from the past.
I’m listening to music on my phone. My playlist has not grown by so much over the years though. Doesn’t mean I don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world of modern music. I don’t usually get around to downloading a lot of stuff to my phone, seeing as I’m not so tech savvy. OK. Enough said.
I’m going through my playlist and remembering some of the memories that the songs evoke. If you’re game, I could share some of them with you.
So, here it goes, in no particular order. This is obviously not an exhaustive list… and it’s mostly old songs, pardon me.
1. Brandy- True
This tune takes me back to my time preparing for the Nigerian Council Licensing exams. I was living in a small village close to the Teaching Hospital where we’d been posted for a 3 month remedial course prior. Many evenings, I would stick my earphones in my ears and take a walk along the dusty winding path that went from our house to the market square and from there to the various nooks and crannies of the village. Totally mundane. But filled with refreshing sights, sounds and smells of ordinary, rustic simple village life. Strangely, it calmed me down and helped to take the edge off and relieve a bit of pressure. Not to mention, it has also helped me put a face, smiles, frowns and other human emotions on the numerous patient files that have passed through me all this while.
2. Cobhams Asuquo- Ordinary people
This takes me back to my time as an intern, not so long ago. On free Saturdays- a rare enough occurrence, some of my colleagues used to play football in the mornings to keep fit, so I’d join them occasionally. The first time I did though, I was thoroughly beat after just 5 minutes. It was so funny, I was in such respiratory distress that my friends seriously considered supplemental oxygenation- although half-jokingly. It was so embarrassing. The high school me would have laughed so hard at me then. However, I had gone through medical school, countless exams, licensing in two different countries, a volunteer job, a regular job, many interviews and then this internship. Nowhere in all of the nearly ten years that intervened between high school and then did I have the time or desire to work on my cardiovascular fitness. I looked trim and fit as a fiddle and assumed that was evidence that I was still in shape. Well, after the embarrassment of that first day, I decided to start slow and jog on those Saturday mornings before hitting the field. This song made my feeble attempt at regaining cardiovascular staus quo, more tolerable.
3. Emeli Sande ft. Labrinth- Beneath your Beautiful
Reminds me of my time as a college student. I must have been somewhere in the middle, around halfway through perhaps. My mind goes back to chill evenings and hot chocolate, thick blankets and soft pillows, snacking away on some nuts as I surveyed pages from the sprawling pile of books around me, while the snow piled on relentlessly in the street. Why am I smiling? Isn’t it supposed to be some sort of sad song?
4. Styl Plus- Run Away
Real gold- vintage Nigerian RnB. Reminds me of the gap year I took after high school, before university. Was generally a goofy time. Took my first job- as a photographer. The song was always on the radio then. When it came on, I would think of my high school sweetheart, who was living more than 500 kilometers away. Did I love her enough to want to run away with her? Certainly, I thought so then… Don’t worry, the first year of college (in a different continent nonetheless) put an end to my naivety.
5. The Tokens- The Lion Sleeps Tonight
I’m instantly transported to summer 2011 when I made the odd decision that I wanted to learn to play the guitar. No tutor, no guitar of my own or guidebook of some sort – just a banged up guitar that someone left in my friend’s room for the holidays and YouTube. This was one of the songs that inspired my decision and one of those I tried to learn when I started. At least by the end of that summer I could boast of a couple of chords, after chaffing and blistering all the fingers on my left hand. I still play, not as well as I think I should be able to. But frankly speaking, cut this guy some slack. There really wasn’t time to properly learn or practice. There hasn’t been much since then either.
6. David Guetta ft Sia- Titanium
Makes me remember when I’d just come back- after graduating from medical school. I had attempted to get my license to practice here that same year. Well, long story short, it was not to be. I started working as a volunteer. My 23rd birthday was approaching. Somehow, all my siblings and many of my other cousins came to live with me in my uncle’s house during that time. We’d chill in the evenings when I came back from work and on the weekends. My younger brother plays guitar too, as well as piano and saxophone and drums and a couple of other instruments. We’d take turns on the guitar (since that was the only thing we had at hand) and the rest of us would sing along. This was one of our favorite songs. Beautiful memories! Especially significant, considering that none of them is home now. We are all scattered in different directions across the globe. It was so wonderful- culminating in a surprise birthday party they put together for me, when I came back from work that day. The biggest and best birthday ever in my short life. One of the highest points of my life- surrounded by my family- everyone of whom I loved without reservation and who loved me back as fiercely, living life and loving it.
7. Passenger- Let her go
This song takes me back to my final summer in school. The summer I graduated. I was already looking back at college with nostalgia. I was slowly realizing that my time in Europe as at then, was winding slowly to an end. This song was hot that summer. As I’d walk with my friends through the outdoor pubs and shopping malls, cobblestone streets and clocktowers, I’d take it all in a little differently- slowly, somberly perhaps, this song droning on somewhere in the background. I was just starting to realize that my life was finally underway. I was right. I haven’t been back to Europe since I returned home. I miss her sometimes.