Of the several camping trips that we have taken in the US, one theme has been common… they have all been very musical in nature. They are full of enjoyable singing from the time we reach the camp site until we drive out of there two nights later … NON-STOP!
One by one all the families arrive, welcoming each other like it was their own home. Everyone is eagerly looking forward to spending quality time with each other, making lifetime memories through our common interest in Hindi Film Music. As the camping trip unfolds, we have a theme for every situation, and a song for every theme!
As we wait for all families to arrive, we churn out songs after songs related to the situation, like "Intehaa Ho Gayee Intezaar Kii" and "Aaja Ab to Aaja". While admiring the campsite with enthusiasm with our jigri-dosts, we pick the theme of Dosti – “Salaamat Rahe Dostana Hamara”, “Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahaan” and many others. These dosti songs morph into "Saathi Haath Badhana" while we are busy pitching tents and cooking/cleaning. As we take a trek to the river we play several rounds of Theme Antakshari, with themes ranging from “Nadi”, “Chalna”, to “Paani”, “Bahaar” … as long as it remains pertinent to the river trek. On our way the singing birds and the rustling leaves give us a natural orchestra backdrop. “Nadiya Chale, Chale Re Dhara”, “Oho Re Taal Mile Nadi Ke Jal Mein”… several beautiful songs come to mind one after the other!
Nighttime is the best after kids are settled with their board games…real fun starts then!! Hawa, Dil, Raat and Chand are very common themes – giving us all a chance to belt out numbers like “Chand Chhupa Badal Mein”, “Chand Phir Nikla”, “Ye Raatein, Ye Mausam”, “Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla”. We stay up into the wee hours of night singing by the bonfire, with no intentions of going to our individual tents.
Golden rays of the sun wake us up and the theme changes to “Sooraj” and “Subah”. Even before we have breakfast we are on again with “Sooraj Hua Maddham”, “Jaise Sooraj Ki Garmi Se”, “Dheere-Dheere Subah Huyee”. We reignite the bonfire and start a new theme Antakshari …now the focus is food and chai! “Shayad Meri Shaadi.. Chai Pe Bulaya Hai”, “Daal Roti Khao, Prabhu Ke Gun Gao”.
During camping, we are “unplugged” from all the electronics and daily worries, and we get several musical moments of peace and contentment. Everyone gets a chance to sing during the camping trip as there is no competition. We hear each other’s songs sung in all kinds of pitches and tunes and we all join in by singing along and motivating each other. We continue round after round of songs, whether trekking, swimming in the river, barbecuing or sitting by the bonfire. We all remind each other of songs, situations, themes and sing numerous old and new Bollywood numbers for several hours. That is the fun of camping with Hindi Film Music lovers!!
Appreciating Bollywood film music is an art that gets practiced and also gets passed down to our younger generations during these camping trips. Looking forward to many such music-filled camping trips!