When I first came to India in 2006, one of the first things I noticed was the music. Not the old movie soundtracks that the rickshaw wallahs play (which I absolutely love, by the way). No, I’m talking about the pop music. Of the 1990s. Still being played in every single coffee shop. Every day. In 2006, Bryan Adams was the hottest act on the music scene. For your ringtone, Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On was the number one choice – 9 years after Titanic was released.
Celine Dion’s popularity may have faded somewhat (I’ve only heard that ringtone once or twice this time around), but Bryan Adams’ star never fades. I’m pretty sure playing Summer of ’69 on an hourly basis is required to obtain a liquor license in Delhi.
There’s a restaurant bar that serves decent western fare just a short walk from our house. Unfortunately we cannot dine there. The 10 songs on loop, which include Summer of ’69 of course, also includes hits by the Village People and Baha Men (I dare you to guess which ones). Their cheesecake is served with a side of boybands,
You see, the Backstreet Boys and Boyzone never grew old in India, but followed their fans (all 1 billion of them) as they grew up to become adults – who should know better! I can’t tell you what the top pop songs of 2012 were, but I can sing you ‘As long as you love me’, word by word. Thank you, Cafe Coffee Day.
This is the essence of India, I tell you. India is the country where grown men in suits and ties keep Boyzone albums in their car, and pump up the volume for ‘Words’.