Funky town

Just the other day, my brother called from Mangalore, to find out if I had brought that cassette containing our favourite number of yesteryears, ‘Funky Town.’ I said, “Of course, I have. I had listened to the cassette, may be 2-3 years ago. Lemme once again check today, if it is in working condition.” That cassette is like a treasure for us and my brother was intended to be turned into a CD.

While playing the song in my pet all-in-one Aiwa music system, memories went back to the early 80s when we were residing at Vittla, a small town, 40 km from Mangalore.
Those were the days when we used to enjoy each and every good humming song, understanding the lyrics or language not being a barrier at all. Whether it was Rajkumar’s melodious duets with S Janaki or Jesudas’ devotional songs or lovely tracks from BoneyM or Donna Summer or ‘Yennadi Meenakshi’ from Tamil, each song was something unique to us.

When Ilayaraja, the great music director from South, gave music to Shankar Nag’s magnum ‘Geetha,’ he tried various permutations and combinations to provide us several musical hits including the lovely track, ‘Joteyali, Jote Joteyali...’  Recently I heard similar rhyming song in Hindi, ‘Jane do na, Jane jane do na...’

I once again switched on my Aiwa and eagerly waited for the turn of the song of ‘Funky Town’ by Lipps Inc in the cassette. Even after 30 years, the cassette is as good as it was when we bought it. The song brings all those memories which are still fresh, like the fresh air in the evergreen Western Ghats. Then we used to get up at 6 o’clock just to listen to that song which used to be aired between 6 am and 6.30 am from a particular radio station. It was like Suprabhata for us to begin the day on a high note. Also, in the evenings we used to take such cassettes to a hotel and give them to the hotel owner requesting him to play them.  With a smile on his face, he used to love to play them for us in his tape recorder placed near the cash table.

We had absolutely no responsibilities, then. Just completing our graduation and catch hold of some jobs. No great expectations from anybody from any quarters. Then we had the broad shoulders of our parents, who were all supporting us for whatever we did.  Now, again when the beats of that song comes out of the speaker, memories galore, flashback continues. Only difference is, now we have more responsibilities or on second thoughts, is it only a feeling of having more responsibilities?

Well, let me get back to ‘Funky Town.’ It is for sure that, I rate this as one of my top 10 all time favourite numbers alongside BoneyM’s ‘By the rivers of Babylon’, or ‘Ra Ra Rasputin lover of the Russian queen’ or Michael Jackson’s ‘Just beat it’. Memories linger in our minds just as the ‘dream girl’ of yesteryears still hogging the limelight even in her 60s after re-entering the Rajya Sabha.

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