Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 17, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Music Music from your hometown: Songs for Repair

Music from your hometown: Songs for Repair

Reflecting on her first week in Exeter, Aditi Sandhya presents how music can be a key comfort in a new place.
5 mins read
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Image: Mic JohnsonLP via Flickr

Home is where the heart is, and my heart was, or still is, in my hometown. I feel that I travelled ten hours across the globe via my astral body and that physically and mentally, I still am sitting in my home, on my bed curled up in my mother’s arms, while she is busy sewing the torn zip of my dress for the fifth time in a row.

I would lie if I said that I enjoyed and vividly remember the journey from my home to university. No. I don’t. I don’t remember a speck. I don’t remember how many hours it took me to come to my dorm, but I do remember that I had exhausted all the ten playlists I had formed in my Spotify, symbolising my ten different moods of the day. The music made me feel all the motions and jitters I wanted to and should have felt as an international student travelling overseas to university for the first time, but it also made me feel the loss of separation, the sorrow of leaving loved ones behind, and the heavy burden of loneliness. My music was the only constant during my first week at the university.

I had exhausted all the ten playlists I had formed in my Spotify, symbolising my ten different moods of the day

I have encountered a new place, new faces and an extremely murmurous accent, so it was but natural that my only refuge during those days was shutting my doors and blaring my room with music, so that my neighbours would be weirded out, and not dare to knock on my door, to initiate any kind of freshers’ conversation. I didn’t want to know where anyone came from, or what everybody was studying, I only wanted to go back home.

I am an Indian, and if there is one thing we Indians know how to do best is to have a gala time. My playlist is full of classical Hindustani music, in the form of poetic verses, Bollywood Hits, and Multilingual Preposterity. My favourite genre of music is Soul and Indie, so the whole week, my room looked like an old countryside, and my bed was my abandoned castle, which was interrupted by the slow humming of a youngling, trying to occupy and make sense of the bricks and concrete around her, by silently trying to call it her new abode; her new home.

My playlist is full of classical Hindustani music, in the form of poetic verses, Bollywood Hits, and Multilingual Preposterity

Back home, my family loves to have Bollywood Sufi and Vintage Bollywood music sprayed across the house, in the form of quaint whispers playing through the whopping speakers, whilst they are busy doing and completing their daily chores. Music for me has always been a side character aiding and understanding its main character, i.e my dilemmas, trauma and situations, by supporting my feelings and poetically cradling them, to only appear less claustrophobic. Music undeniably helped me get through my first week in Exeter.

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