The first time I sang in public
I remember waking up every morning to the sound of my very musical mother singing hymns and not at all musical dad’s reciting prayers pretty tunefully while at other times the All India Radio or a tape recorder hummed at home. Mother was then a music teacher, she sang beautifully and dad was equally inartistic in every manner, rustic and bookish. I liked music but I guess I was born tune deaf though I heard people say I had a good voice. It was a torture to sing for the compulsory music class, all through middle school I worked on the music teacher by becoming her pet to let me sing to her in the private. At home students came to learn devotional singing from mother, she was pretty embarrassed by me though she’ll not admit. I tried to sing a few times at the church it was out rightly bad.
Years went by I would listen to music but would never dare utter a word, rarely did I sang in the bathroom. Parents never liked my addiction to listening to music they thought time could be better spent studying. I remember it was the final year at the college we were competing in the inter college youth festival. I had won almost all debates and public speaking contests. Last day was cultural evening students could sign up for solo song and solo dance competitions. I have no clue what came upon me and I signed up for singing a song that I had heard only once in my life and had never practiced. May be it was the confidence of winning every other contest or what I have no recollection.
On my turn I instructed the band to play the number and I’ll pick it up from there, as if I had been singing all my life. The opening notes were perfect, I used all my might along with my breath by the time it was time to sing the stanza I was not only out of breath but tune, notes and everything musical in between. The dud was obvious but I was no quitter. The louder the audience booed the shriller I became. Guys were restless ready to throw chairs at me as they had nothing else to throw. I was calculating if a chair came at me how far I could jump and beat crap out of him. In all that cacophony far in the back I saw a guy dancing to the beat and moving towards the stage. He was the son of our family friends who knew me well and I guess had read my mind. His dance distracted the audience and few others followed him dancing to the stage as I completed the song. I think may be I am an accidental “no quitter” because the fact is I do not know when and how to quit but quit I did my public singing thereafter.
This is an old piece from a creative non fiction writing class. Till date DG has no clue what she was thinking when she sang in the public. If anyone has any idea please pitch in. Hope 2016 is treating you all well. Still here, will be back soon to kick some rubble.