I love making playlists for my novels or, more specifically, for my characters. Having a soundtrack really helps to get me into the right frame of mind, keeping the story central in my brain even if I’m just answering emails or goofing off on Facebook. In honor of Open Heart week, I’d like to give you a rundown of Simmi’s playlist and explain why I chose each song. First here’s the music…
Track 1: Who says by Selena Gomez. Simmi struggles with her self-esteem and with bulimia. For the most part, her friends and family are incredibly supportive and her poor sense of self comes from the inside. Selena’s song may have helped Simmi realize how much those around her love her!
Track 2: Main Kya Hoon from Love Aaj Kal. The title of this song means “What am I?” and the lyrics talk about reaching out and grabbing your dreams. No matter how low Simmi’s self-esteem is, she still goes after what she wants (there’s just a lot of self-doubt and questioning first). English translation of lyrics.
Track 3: Dekho Na from Fanaa. Okay, first off, this is my favorite Bollywood movie—must watch! The title of this song literally means, “Look, see here.” And yes, I have a sense of humor. For in Open Heart, we are able to finally see the characters and world of Farsighted. English translation of lyrics.
Track 4: Touch Me from Dhoom 2. “Touch me. Don’t touch me. Don’t touch me, Soniye.” This song is all about repressing desire, which Simmi does for both Alex and Dax because she is self-conscious and afraid of upsetting her friends. English translation of lyrics (scroll down).
Track 5: Main Yahaan Hoon from Veer Zaara. If Open Heart had a single theme song, this just might be it. Imagine Dax singing to Simmi, “I’m the secret that you can’t hide. I’m the impulse that you can’t forget. When I echo in your heart, why are you surprised? I’m your heart’s very voice. If you can hear it, then listen to the language of your heartbeat… I am here, I am here, I am here.” English translation of lyrics.
Track 6: It’s Magic from Koi Mil Gaya. This song has references to so many important things in Open Heart—magic, the stage, the uncertainty of the future. In this film, the geeky main character is infused with powers from his pet alien and then all of a sudden is a great dancer and ladies’ man. Yeah, this movie is weird, but it’s still awesome and ♥ Hritik Roshan (seriously watch the video of him dancing to this song). English translation of lyrics.
Track 7: My Dil Goes Mmm from Salaam Namaste. This is an awesome love song! It’s a duet between a male and a female discussing all the other person’s faults, but then kicking in with the refrain that “My dil goes Mmm” or “my heart sings.” English translation of lyrics.
Track 8: Dil To Pagal Hai from the film of the same name. Ahhh, the heart is crazy; it’s truly insane. Simmi would definitely agree. English translation of lyrics (scroll down).
Track 9: Kajra Re from Bunty Aur Babli. This song is included less because of its lyrics and more because it’s an epic music video that was ridiculously popular a few years back. When Simmi is preparing her callback performance, she actually takes the dance moves from this song and combines them with the lyrics to America from West Side Story. She pictures herself as Aishwariya (who is something of an idol to her) and pictures Alex and Dax as the two men in the video. You must watch the video! English translation of lyrics.
Track 10: Salaam-e-Ishq from the film of the same name. The title of this song means “say hello to love.” It’s appropriate because Simmi struggles with saying these words in the start of the story… then something important changes. English translation of lyrics.
Track 11: Teri Meri Love Story from Maine Pyar Kyon Kiya. This is the Bollywood love triangle song—nuff said! English translation of lyrics (in the video description).
Track 12: I Feel Pretty from West Side Story. This is a good song choice for so many reasons. First, Simmi, Dax, and Murray are all in the school’s production of West Side Story. Second, given Simmi’s insecurities, this song is a stretch for her. Although at certain points during the story, she must admit, she does feel pretty.
Track 13: Kyon Ki Itna Pyar Tumko from Kyon Ki. This movie was never a huge hit, but it’s one of my favorites. Think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets a Bollywood love entanglement. There’s something about it that is hauntingly beautiful, even though it’s a pretty warped version of reality. The chorus of this song translates to, “Just because I love you so much, will you take my life away?” English translation of lyrics.
Track 14: Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna from the film of the same name. This movie was dreadful despite its start-studded cast and amazing soundtrack. The song/film title means “Never say goodbye.” Simmi sings this number for her drama club audition, and later she and Dax watch it together. As Simmi explains, “it’s about loving someone you can’t have.” Be sure to read these lyrics; they are beautiful. English translation of lyrics.
Track 15: A Whole New World from Aladdin. If you read the “Team Dax” excerpt, the inclusion of this song should make perfect sense. A romantic flight through the stars? Mmm’kay.
Track 16: Surili Akhiyon Wale from Veer. This is another poetic Bollywood love song that would melt even the stodgiest of hearts. “Let’s go somewhere beyond time. Let your eyes listen to my eyes.” Unlike many of the other songs on the list, this one is a duet, which symbolizes Simmi burgeoning love for one of the guys. English translation of lyrics.
Track 17: Beautiful by Christina Aguilera. Simmi’s self-esteem does grow throughout the course of the novel, although not as much as you might hope. This song is the perfect representation of her journey—it’s filled with pain behind the empowering statements.
Track 18: Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham from the film of the same name. This movie rocked; watch it! The title song translates to “Sometimes happiness, sometimes sadness.” This is very true of Open Heart. I can’t say more without dropping spoilers. English translation of lyrics.
Track 19: If I Die Young by The Band Perry. Um, not gonna say why this is on here…
Track 20: Skyscraper by Demi Lovato. I wanted to close the list with a song of empowerment and rebirth. From the sadness, Simmi rises again, higher than she’s ever been. She still has struggles and doubts, but, yes, she emerges stronger.
Well, that’s my Open Heart playlist.
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