Twelve years old Radha was an ardent lover of music and dreamt of becoming a great performing artist one day. Her small world was her home, where she lived with her mother and father and four year old Rahul, her younger brother. Radha had moved to a new city with her family and joined one of the elite schools in their neighbourhood. She was a dreamer, who believed in pursuing her passion, and THIS is her story.
“Radha finish your cereal, you are getting late for school. Rahul, go bring your bag” Hustled mother. Mom always seemed to be in a rush and was very sincere in everything she did. She was an academician and had set very high standards for both me and my brother. Just as I reached the portico of our house with Rahul, I heard the school bus honking at the end of the block. We sprinted. After all, you don’t want to be late on the first day of your new school.
The first day of school is never easy, as you might have guessed. As I was trying real hard to make friends, impress the teachers and be at the top of the game, a kind gentle voice called behind me. “Hi, I am Smriti. You are Radha, right? Welcome to our school. So how do you like it so far?” “Finally an acquaintance”, I thought to myself. And soon enough we were the best of friends.
Smriti was all that you wished a good friend should be. She lived in a big house, a few blocks away from our own. She was a shy girl and didn’t have too many friends. I spent most of my evenings at her place, mostly because she had a grand piano and I loved to play on it.
Smriti’s mother fed us delicious snacks as I practiced and she listened. “Your voice is like a nightingale and you play the instrument so well. Do you take lessons for it?” Smriti’s mother asked me one evening.
“I used to but as it took up a lot of my time, my parents thought it was best to discontinue my lessons,” I said rather gloomily. “Oh! Sorry to hear that. I wish you had continued taking your lessons, you really are good at this.” Smriti’s mother told me rather surprised. Indeed it was true. I missed my piano tutor, Miss Manjari. She was the best teacher and a great friend who inspired me to continue this art even when I was not allowed to take lessons from her anymore. My parents always thought that studies were a priority and nothing should come in its way. And although I was devastated, they had explained to me that in the long run, it was studies and good grades that would help me more. I however differed in my thoughts. Music had always been my biggest talent. Although a good student myself, I could never understand how my music came in way of my studies. Wasn’t a well rounded education always the aim? Thoughts like these had often bothered me, most of which I had kept to myself.
It was Sunday morning and we had gathered in the dining table to have breakfast when my mother announced that she had been offered a position in our school. She would be joining my school as a Science teacher and be in charge of the senior grades. It wasn’t a good thing though. You see, my mother was a disciplinarian and having her at home alone was too much at times. Now I dreaded the thought of her being in school with us as well. Rahul, I thought, shared my feelings too as he went unusually quiet on hearing the news. In case I forget to mention earlier, he was a bit of a chatterbox. Dad however was thrilled as he had always encouraged mom to work. “This would mean more challenges in the days to come”, my inner voice kept saying over and over. School days however went on uneventfully. We all got busy with our own little schedule and mom, unlike I had thought earlier, was too busy with her new job to worry about small things that went wrong around the house. Her new role as a teacher was not so bad after all. She seemed more understanding and several house rules were also relaxed.
On one of the weekdays at school, I was alone in the music room after school hours, practicing the piano, something that I did the best. My music teacher was impressed with my class lessons and had allowed me to stay a bit longer with the instrument if I wished. That day was one of the best days of my life, as I think of it now. Little did I known that everything was going to turn around in my favour when I reached home that day. It so happened that my mother accidentally heard me play and sing at school when she was walking past the corridor. Out of curiosity, she had peeked through the closed door of my music room and was spellbound on hearing me practice. Never had she realized that I had honed my skills so much on my own, even after Miss Manjari had stopped giving me lessons. With teary eyes, she had told me later how talented she thought I was. She had also said that she owed me an apology and had promised to send me back for formal piano lessons.
Life is perfect now. I can sing and play the piano as much as I can, without having to worry about my grades as older days. I am still a good student but not as good as playing the piano.