Why you ask?
Because, while I could have done a ‘U for Umbrella’ and written about the rains, or a ‘U for Unbelievable’ and written an extension of the ‘O for Obnoxious‘, I decided to pick something that was not just a means of writing about whatever I wanted to anyway. And also, how many times do you find a musical instrument whose name sounds just as sweet as the instrument itself does? I mean a guitar sounds wonderful but would you like the sound of yourself just saying ‘guitar’? Maybe. But nothing comes close to the Ukulele.
The Ukulele is a very happy sounding instrument and I will refrain from going all Wikipedia on it (you can, if you want), and just say that it originates from Hawaii, which will sort of explain why it sounds so happy. I mean, when you think Hawaii, or atleast when I think Hawaii I think all blue oceans and sunny (not harsh sunny, warm sunny) sands, and coconut trees. I also by default think Hula dancers with flower garlands around their necks, dancing happily to the tunes of, yes you guessed it right, the ukulele.
Then the first song where I clearly heard the ukulele as the main instrument was ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (had to google it, I always thought it was Louis Armstrong?). Once again, I was listening to this instrument in conjunction with lyrics that ensured that all I pictured was a beautiful rainbow, a pretty obvious and cliched symbol of joy, which was in absolute alignment with my idea of how happiness would look, if it were a picture.
Then came How I met your mother. Now we all know I was fond of this show for the longest time, until of course they decided to trash the finale and kill the mother we had been waiting for throughout, comfortably justifying that’s what they had planned to do right from the beginning. Anyhow, the only good thing they did was have a pretty nice ‘mother’ character, and while that still did not explain bumping her off, atleast she was pleasant when she was on.
So this mother, she played the ukulele, and there is this scene when Ted (people who do not know How I met your mother, please bear with me) hears the mother (sing) for the first time. And she sings ‘La Vie En Rose’ while playing the Ukulele. I have always loved the song, but songs that have a situation associated with them, especially on movies and Sitcoms I follow, tend to have a greater impact on me. And so this version of the song, though extremely sad, stayed with me. And while it sort of went against my theory of the Ukulele being a happy instrument, it still worked extremely well, perhaps because my stupid head assumed it was atleast leading to happy times.
And that’s why U is for Ukulele, because a little bit of happiness flowing through your speakers might be just what you need to fight the Monday blues.