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During my last visit to Hyderabad, I was in a cab with the Second Born and his friend, returning home after watching a late night show (and it was a really late, the time being 1-30 a.m.), when I heard one of my favorite songs, Duur by Strings, playing. I sat back contentedly, enjoying the song as the night scenery whizzed past.

My eyes lit up when another favorite followed, Ab mujhe raat din by Sonu Nigam. I knew it wasn’t the radio because there was no blah-blahs from chatty RJs in between to cut in on the enjoyment of music. I concluded that the cabbie was playing some collection of music of his own. How nice!

Ye dhuan dhuan sa rehne do came next. Oh wow, another of the ones I like. This was beginning to feel rather strange. Uncanny, how my favorites were playing one after the other. But what the heck, let me just enjoy the music, I thought. I turned to the Second Born and smiled happily.

“They are all ones I have in my own collection!” I said.

He nodded absentmindedly. His Mom is excited about a 1001 things at any particular point of time. Besides he had his own music plugged into his ears and nodding seemed to be the easiest reply to give.

Next came the song by Colonial Cousins. I hummed along, Sa Ni Dha Pa, and abruptly stopped. This just could not be happening! No bleddy way!

I turned to the son and asked doubtfully,

“Is that the radio playing?”

The Colonial Cousins song was in English and not even a new song. It is not as if the cab driver could not have it in his collection of course, but it seemed highly unlikely. It surely had to be the radio playing?! I repeated my question to the son,

“Is it the radio playing?”

The son unplugged his ears to hear me better and asked,


“All my favorite songs are playing! Is the radio of the cab on?”

“What song are you talking about?! There is no song playing!”

“There is too! Listen!”

I was a little anxious now, wondering whether I had started *hearing* things, you know as in hearing non-existent voices. How soon before I was politely asked to step into that padded room? I swear all these thoughts passed through my head in a flash before I heard my son say,

“There is no radio playing in the cab!”

“But I can hear music playing! Listen!” I insisted.

Whatever irrational thoughts might flash through his imaginative mom’s head, the son knows his Mom to be a very practical and rational-to-the-core woman. She does not ‘hear’ things, not yet anyway. So he cocked his head and listened intently as requested. Suddenly he  lunged for my handbag, held it close to his ears for a while, and then gave me a look of exasperation.

“Amma! It is your iPod or phone playing the music!”

I have never looked so sheepish in my life, I tell you, especially since this was the second time it was happening.

The first time around (you can read of it here), I told my sis and brother-in-law with whom I was travelling in the monorail in Kuala Lumpur at the time, that I could hear someone playing a Jagjit Singh song. “Listen!” I had told them too, “can you hear?” They had shaken their heads in the negative. Sigh and yes, you guessed right. Jagjit Singh had been playing from inside my own handbag. You bet this is not going to happen a third time, my very credibility is at stake!

NaBloPoMo January 2014