Tickets, maps, cash - check. But aren't you forgetting the most important thing? Your travel playlist. No impending adventure can be complete without a set of songs to accompany every moment, irrespective of whether you're hitching it by plane, train or automobile. Siddharth Dasgupta from Tripzuki has just the playlist for you!
Adventuring through India demands a special bunch of songs, something bristling with magic, with periodic dips into the fabric of the land. Some of these tunes have an obvious wanderlust-bent to them, others have been chosen because they contain an innate rhythm that lends itself to moving on, while a few special gems have India coursing through their veins. Enjoy the trip.
1. Love Demons - Peter Cat Recording Company
Channeling a trippy blend of Pink Floyd, Beirut and Pink Martini, this psychedelic love-child of dreams and desire from the Delhi natives is well nigh perfect for both all-night discourses on life in Manali and midnight beach dalliances in Ashvem and Morjim alike. Dive in with abandon. Just watch out for those high tides.
2. Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz/Astrud Gilberto
Falling in love on a foreign, distant shore is one of the magical uncertainties of travel... sometimes elusive, always unpredictable. This track encapsulates the rush of that instance, bathing it in a soft swirl of whimsy and Latin American longing. Perfect for when you do stumble across a glimpse of forever, be it in Ipanema, Casablanca, or simply Costa Goa.
3. Rearviewmirror - Pearl Jam
A relentless ride, this song is the sound of shackles being broken, of caution being thrown to the wild wind. Building up to a thrilling climax of crunching guitar chords and raging vocals,
Rearviewmirror delivers a little four-minute Zen dose of wisdom: that in moving forward it's often best to completely leave the past behind.
4. Free - Rahul Sharma
The prodigiously gifted Sharma brings all the cosmic perfection, melodic lucidity and searing spirituality of the Santoor to play on this, the standout track from 'The Rebel'. In the meditative bliss of those rare strings, you'll find yourself awakened in Rishikesh. In the haunting resonance of its melodies, you'll find yourself stirred in Varanasi. Consider yourself warned.
5. Scar Tissue - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Maybe it's the squalling lead guitar spiralling out of control towards the end. Or maybe it's the lingering memory of that video with the beat-up Camaro staggering along on an endless road to nowhere. Whatever the reason, Scar Tissue makes you want to jump in, rev up, escape and never look back.
6. Weather with you - Crowded House
Dappled in sunshine. The Kiwi troubadours mix plaintive vocals about finding the sleep but not the dream, irresistible guitar plucking and a joyous sing-along chorus in this charming soundtrack to weekend wanderlust. Oh for every journey to be this much of a simple pleasure. Everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you. Touché.
7. For What II - Nicholson
The Pune native comes good on this heart-wrenching ode to love gone awry. Every haunting moment of For What compels you to seek shelter, be it in a desolate coastal retreat or in an anonymous north Indian hill-station. Every wailing plea in here is a call to arms for the wounded heart. And what better way to ease the restlessness within you than by simply taking off.
8. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
Leavin' on a southern train, and gradually winding its way through a mythic landscape littered with broken promises, half-hearted goodbyes and nothing towns with anonymous faces, Interstate Love Song is part road-film homage / part letter of longing for the unattainable. Nearly perfect for those endless drives from Manali to Leh, or all along NH7.
9. Sun is Shining - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Marley at his laziest, most addictive best. He wants you to know that you're a rainbow too; and who's to argue with him? Try stopping that montage of chilled White Russians, hammocks and drowsy palm trees from filtering through into your head once you've hit 'Play'. Reach beach. Rent coastal retreat. Dive into sea. Repeat.
10. Dark Escape - Midival Punditz
The night brims with desire and cities beckon you with their hidden charms, because the Punditz are at play and there really can be no escape. Throbbing with the pulse of life itself, Dark Escape is your soundtrack to the divine pleasures of Delhi, your soundtrack to the life you always thought you knew... but actually never really knew at all.
11. Stay (Far Away, So Close) - U2
Further proof, if any were needed, that the Irishmen are at their most persuasive when not trying to save the world. Possibly their finest hour, Stay documents the frailty of a relationship amidst satellite television that can take you anywhere - "London, Belfast and Berlin." Replace London with Delhi and Berlin with Bombay and the song feels right at home. Soaring yet heartbreakingly chained to this earth, Stay demands that you leave... for anywhere.
12. Begum - Chinbien
This little-known Delhi band deserves to go big. No wait. They deserve to stay small. Very small actually, in your earphones, in your memories, no more. On this near-perfect collage of bliss and melody the road and its assorted medley of love, hope, prayer, and ecstasy stretches out before you like a mirage. Salvation can only be a heartbeat away.
To help you enjoy our choices, we've created a Spotify playlist - you can listen here.
What's on your playlist for travels around India? Let us know in the comments and we'll update our playlist...
Or drop by the Tripzuki page and we can help plan the whole trip, not just the music!