Every now and then, you experience a strange sentiment darting around you like a firefly and you wish there was a specific word that could capture it perfectly. That moment came at a music concert a couple of months ago, when I rediscovered what it was like to be surrounded by people who love the same songs as I did. Seriously, why isn’t there a word for it?

It was a balmy November evening in Mumbai, when I was among a couple of thousand people at a concert by the band When Chai Met Toast. I had discovered their music only recently, in what was one of the few bright spots of an otherwise dreary lockdown.

Nothing can quite prepare you for that instant when you find yourself in the middle of a crowd of strangers swaying and humming along to the music that you had previously heard only in moments of solitude. Sure, I had earlier scrolled through dozens of comments expressing glowing admiration for some of the songs, and describing the very specific ways in which they related to them. But the moment of joy and discovery from that November evening was something no social media algorithm could replicate.

A song, after all, is more than just a set of words and sounds strung together. It’s a story that we tell (and retell) ourselves every time we hear it. As I step into 2023, I hope many more stories are waiting for me.