Let’s Start at the Very Beginning …

In a previous blog post, I had expressed, almost giddyingly, how much I loved stories. And I’d also mentioned that the first movie I watched was the one that started my love affair with all things 70mm – Sound of Music.

I have no recollection of how old I was when I first saw this movie, but I have watched it a hundred times since and will probably score a triple century before I kick the bucket.

Yes, I love it that much.

Tucked away in my aunt’s rocking chair, I remember being transported into an alternate universe set against lush green meadows, lofty peaks, tranquil lakes, and lavish mansions. The melodiously exhilarating journey started almost as soon as Maria burst into the first notes …

The hills are alive with the sound of music,
With songs they have sung for a thousand years,
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music,
My heart wants to sing every song it hears …

… and the euphoria continued till the very last scene of the movie, at which time I became conscious that I hadn’t stirred in well over 2 hours.

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No other movie comes even close to The Sound of Music. Each tune, each melody in the movie holds a special meaning for me.

“Doe, a deer, a female deer” was the first song I learned by heart and sang all day long, not caring if I sounded like a jackdaw with a bad cold.

Even today, I just have to sing “These are a few of my favourite things” and no matter how miserable I am, I perk up almost immediately. How could you not? That song is as light and buoyant as a thousand bubbles.

When I need strength, I turn to the song the Mother Superior sings, offering inspiration in the simplest words possible – “Climb every mountain, plod every stream, follow every rainbow, till you find your dream” – to encourage Maria to go after her true love.

Speaking of love, there have been countless romances and love sagas on the silver screen, but, for me, the pinnacle of romance is that scene in the garden where Captain Von Trapp confesses his love to innocent, beautiful Maria.

Maria & Von Trapp

And Chrisopher Plummer! As Captain Von Trapp. Swoon. Me weak in knees. Then and now. Show me a guy that looks like him and I will chuck all my reservations against marriage and rush straight to the altar for the ceremony.

Between the both of them, they created what was to become my idea of a perfect proposal. There is no grandstanding, no drama, and no flowery words – nothing much needs to be said, since there is so much eloquence in what remains unsaid and unexpressed. Each time I see them standing in the greenhouse, under the moonlight, I keep hoping I’m going to find someone equally special to sing this lovely song!

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood
Perhaps I had a miserable youth
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past
There must have been a moment of truth
For here you are, standing there, loving me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good
Nothing comes from nothing
Nothing ever could
So somewhere in my youth or childhood
I must have done something good

Sigh! Cue, floating hearts.

The seven kids of the Von Trap family were the first friends I ever made, but try as hard as I might, I could never get any of their names right. Still can’t, actually. But that didn’t stop me from joining in all the pranks they played or attempting to climb trees (like they did). Or wistfully singing ‘So Long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye, I hate to go and leave this pretty sight’, hoping my father would let me stay up past my bedtime and enjoy some of the late night parties he hosted.

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I shared their loneliness when Maria went back to the abbey, and their fear when they were being hunted by German guards even as their father was being forced to accept a commission in the German Navy after Austria was annexed into the Third Reich.

The Sound of Music wasn’t just a cinematic experience – it was a relationship that was built on love, affection, adoration, and joy. I found friends in the Von-Trapp children, I found a role model in the simple world view of Maria, and I found my first crush, my first sweetheart in the dashing Captain Von Trapp. These relationships hold strong and firm even 3 decades after I first watched the movie. And I suspect they will stay with me for the rest of my life.



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