The ShaikhSpear Himachal Diary 2016: “Light My Fire” (Theme song for Koti Tunnel)

Koti, Himachal Pradesh, India, 8 September, 2016, 6.40 am

I’ve been traveling in the Kalka Shimla Railway ever since I was a child. And I was pretty good at listening to all the sounds that the train would make. The rhythmic clatter of the wheels on the rails, passing over the joints, the screech around the corners, the hooting horn. But most of all, I would be amazed by the amount of noise inside tunnels as the diesel engine would roar, the wheels would screech, the horn would blast. And the moment the train would come out of the tunnel, in spite of all sources of noise being the same, the effective sounds at the ear would be much less due to the sudden opening up of the space all around. In the cramped interiors of the tunnel, all noise sources would go into overdrive mode.

Years later, I started listening to The Doors. And the extended 7 minute 8 second version of Light My Fire is the one I prefer listening to. An observation that I made during the first few times I heard the song was:

Towards the end of keyboard lead (starting at 5 minutes 13 seconds into the song), everything heads into a crescendo with the heavy guitar and drums rolls and keyboard. And then everyone quiets down while Jim Morrison returns with “The time to hesitate is through…” and one can hear John Densmore’s crisp hits on the snare.

The first section described above was similar to the noise while the train is in the tunnel while the latter section resembled the sounds after the train has come out into the open.

I traveled in the Kalka Shimla Railway a few times in the past few years and always thought of the connection that I made between the song and the sounds. This time round, I had already decided and kept in mind that I should share this experience with everyone. And so, I recorded an audio clip inside the Koti Tunnel on the journey today.

As Sanjay “thebengali” says – “The dots are ALL out there. It’s all about finding and connecting them.” So here’s me, finding two dots totally apart and connecting them. Maybe you, our fellow travellers, will also find and join dots during your journey with us.

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