Jeybon mein hum raatein liye ghooma karein.
I don't now if it's possible to adequately translate this line into the English language without destroying its essence. All it says is, “We used to roam about carrying the nights in our pockets.” Something about the way it sounds in Hindi. Something about the trace of an unusual metaphor. Any metaphor that contains a pocket in it brings in me the warmest of feelings. It immediately takes me to a place of childhoodness. Something also about Amit. His voice. Yes, a lot about his voice.
Sometimes I want to drown myself in his voice and call that life. All of life. Let that be a song where he never stops singing. And not just any song. But these songs from Udaan. Again and again, let him tell me of how nights filled all his pockets while he roamed the streets.
Sometimes I feel like Amit’s voice is god. You know, here and there, we find for ourselves traces of godliness. Most of the times, godliness visits us so softly, so subtly, in such small portions, in such tiny pockets of insignificance, that we let it slip by, brooding over life, distressed over life, disappointed by life instead, we miss what could have made life otherwise.
And at times, we are just lucky enough to encounter that godliness in something much more tangible, like the voice of this awe inspiring man inside a whole set of songs that you can play again and again, letting godliness envelope you infinitely.
I knew instantly how close it was to my own private sense of godliness—when you hear his voice, especially in these songs, you realize that they’re coming from the gut, not from the throat, not from the nose. They vibrate through his being, and reverberate in mine. It’s not just a voice, it’s this transference of energies. It’s an exchange souls make. I wonder if he’s aware of it. What it does to the people who listen to his voice. I don’t know if he’d be able to cope with knowing the kind of power he has on others.
It’s halfway between a song and a whisper. I don’t know how he managed to steal this kind of brilliance into Indian cinema. It makes my heart weep while jumping with joy. Maybe this is what bathing in the River Ganga does to pilgrims—something about it cleanses my innermost place, which, on its own, likes to remain murky, unclean. I am engulfed by this sense of purity, beauty, oneness. And I am enchanted by the modest and simple source of this kind of genius.
Yes, definitely godliness, if there exists such a thing. Thank you, Amit. My pockets are full of you.
(from the VENT Magazine of 2011...from those good, old times)