A playlist in memory of my father, by Lopa Kothari

We are very excited to share a guest blog and playlist from Lopa Kothari, presenter of Music Planet on BBC Radio 3. Lopa’s playlist is dedicated to her father who lived with Alzheimer’s disease, and features some wonderful Indian music that formed part of his extensive music collection. 

Thank you to Lopa for sharing her beautiful words and music from her father’s playlist with us. You can listen to the playlist in full below Lopa’s story.

In memory of my father, Shantikumar Chhotalal Kothari by Lopa Kothari

Music was a way to my father’s heart and, in turn, into the heart of others in his life. It was through music that he found his way into my mother’s heart…he courted her with songs.

He was a real film buff and, in India, where he grew up, it was the movie houses that indulged and nurtured his love of music. Pankaj Mullick, KL Saigal, Mohammed Rafi were his favourite composers and singers. Noorjahan and Madhubala his favourite actresses. Name a date, and Dad could tell you what the hit films and songs were that year. He had a wonderful collection of albums and, it seemed, even before the music started, from the very first crackle as the stylus connected with the vinyl, he could tell you what the song was, and he would start to sing!

In the months leading up to his death, his Alzheimers became increasingly aggressive…every week we noticed a deterioration in his mental and physical health. And so, it was to music that we turned to help ease the battle that was raging in his mind, to bring him some peace and joy at his most troubled moments.

The playlist I have put together – with the help of our dear friend, Jayshree, who Dad called his fourth daughter! – is a just a small number of the songs that were part of his treasured collection. They are songs that he loved and brought a sparkle to his eyes, as they triggered wonderful memories of his life, his travels and, of course, his love for my mother. I hope that you enjoy them, and that they too, may bring smiles of joy and memories bubble to the surface of your loved ones.

Listen to Lopa’s playlist and explore over 250 more playlists featuring a wide variety of genres, cultures, religions and interests on our Spotify profile

Get started on your own personal playlist by visiting our resources page. We also have resources available in Hindi, Urdu, simplified Chinese, Gaelic and Welsh.