My life in five songs


Courtsey of Ridhima Kodali

Ridhima Kodali at her 7th Hannah Montana themed birthday party.

Ridhima L. Kodali, Managing Editor

1. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen 

At six years old, I would always study, maybe watch some television here and there. But the funny thing is I never listened to any English-language music. At this age, I have never even turned on the radio to listen to 98.7 FM or 95.5 FM, although I have listened to hundreds of Indian songs. 

“Call Me Maybe” was the first (English) song I  think I might’ve listened to. Crazy. I know.   

The first time I listened to it was when I went to my cousin’s house for some reason. I was in a dimly lit room with two leathered black sofas, a fish tank, a table. 

“So basically there’s this interesting and quite surprising music video that I think you should watch, and the song is super catchy,” my cousin said. 

“Umm, sure,” I replied hesitantly. 

She begins the music video on a black, iPhone 4. 

“Ok, woahh, barely in the first 10 seconds and there’s a guy with his shirt off. Seriously. ” I start to think.

Two minutes into the video, I was confused about what was going on. First she was pining after the guy and now she fainted. Like what was going on? 

As the song ended, I was about to stand up and leave. 

“Wait, wait, just keep watching till the end,” my cousin begged – “Stay. You’ll want to see this. Trust me.”

She was right. The ending was so surprising. I was belly-laughing.  


2. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol 

“We’ll do it all. Everything. On our own.” 

These phrases were etched and engraved into my brain after watching a tragic incident on an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It was the first time I almost cried watching. Two doctors got into a car accident and were about to die. As the doctors were taken into the hospital, about to be operated on by their friends, they were all singing this song, “Chasing Cars.” 

The melody and the slow piano music make this song so moving. It hurts when you see someone you love in the hospital, knowing they aren’t doing so well. So I listen to this song and remind myself to stay strong. Like those surgeons in Grey’s Anatomy. 

I realize it’s only a TV  show, but it certainly influenced me to be stronger. Who would’ve thought that a song recorded in 2006, a year after I was born, would be one of my favorite songs to listen to. Although I was too little — only 11 —  to understand the meaning of this song, it still had an emotional touch. And the show definitely had an influence. It’ll remain imprinted in my brain, forever. forever. 


3. New Romantics – Taylor Swift

I am a huge swiftie. Taylor’s music got me through a lot of things, especially when it came to Mock Trial Nationals. 

Our first round of nationals was over, and I was positive we’d lost. Although it wasn’t my turn to participate in that round, I was going to be in the next round. With the 20-minute break I had,  I was walking around the house wearing a black blazer, white shirt with black pants.

 I couldn’t think at all, except,  “What if I fail? What if I let everyone down?” 

“Listen to some music,” my brother had suggested. “Or eat some fries. Drink some water.”

I stormed out of our kitchen,  bopped upstairs to my room and played New Romantics.  And as Christina or Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy would say,  I danced it out. The nerves slowly and slowly left my body. With every second, with every minute I listened to New Romantics. I felt alive. The beat and the chorus just lifted up my mood. It was like people cheering for me. And I became more confident. I wasn’t scared. We ended up winning that round. 


4. In My Blood – Shawn Mendes

I’m a worrier. I am a big ball of anxiety. 

At my darkest moments, I listen to “In my blood.” This song helps me to realize that lots of people — almost everyone — suffers from anxiety at some point, so it’s OK so long as you find a way to deal with it. multiple people go through or deal with anxiety. And it’s okay to have anxiety. It’s nice to listen to something relatable.  Knowing someone out there is going through the same thing as you are. And everything will be okay. 

 In this song for instance, “Help me it’s like the walls are caving in, sometimes I feel like giving up, but I just can’t.” 

As I put my AirPods in, I sing this song and I let out everything. I like the anticipation the song builds up to. It makes the song that much better to sing your heart out. Especially when  I’m anxious.  There’s just something about singing or screaming to a lyrical song like this in the car or shower, and  I end up feeling calmer.  It just makes me feel good. So don’t be surprised, if you hear me singing “It isn’t in my blood” so passionately to the point where I  would almost scream it. 


5. Traitor – Olivia Rodrigo

A 50th Indian birthday party. Alcohol. Four girls singing “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo. 

A deadly combination. 

It was roughly around 10:45 pm, and my friends and I were forced to sing. We all just wanted to finish watching “Twilight” and sleep. That’s all. 

But why were we forced to sing? 

I have no idea. 

“Come on.  It won’t be that bad, let’s all sing a 2-minute song and it’ll be fine,” I said. “The aunties won’t annoy us anymore.”

Slowly that changed to,

“I don’t want to sing, we are all bad. Just let us finish our movie. ” 

See here’s the thing, none of us can actually sing. We all went outside, as that’s where everyone was and some uncle was singing Hindi songs. There was a mic, someone’s matte black iPhone 11 to read the lyrics off. 

After quite a lot of persuasion from the aunties and uncles, we ended up singing “Traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo. We all knew the entire song.  Backwards and forwards. 

As the background music had started, the words just flew from each one of us.  Although we sounded really out of tune, we all were very passionate. We felt the heartbreak. Line by line word by word. That’s what made it such a fun moment.