Thursday, May 08, 2008

Made For Music

S was no more than ten when I first met her. In our little town she was a musical prodigy. Trained in Hindustani classical music she could hold her own in almost any genre. Our fathers were co-workers and we had been invited to their home for dinner and she had performed for us. I had listened mesmerized. I thought she could give the leading playback singers of Bollywood a run for their money even at that young age.

Then I wondered if I was just being a toad in a pond who had never seen world - I was in the final year of college then. Maybe in the "real" world out there, talent like S's was commonplace. Despite my lack on confidence in my own judgment I sensed S was destined for greatness.

There was something special about her - not every kid with a lovely singing voice had such fierce dedication and sense of purpose. When she sang, it was as if the world around her had dissolved - she was transformed into the music she was creating. It was an unique experience listening to her in her living room with just our families in audience. I could see her performing on a concert stage someday with people queuing up for tickets - I felt very lucky.

It was vindicating today when I happened to see a feature on S in a leading Indian newspaper. Indeed she has arrived on the music scene and her star is on the ascent. I still treasure the cassette she had given us with some of her songs recorded on it. There were other kids I knew back then who I thought had a great deal of potential and I am hopeful of being proven right about them too. Maybe us toads in the pond are able to recognize extraordinary caliber just as well as the worldly-wise. At any rate it is a wonderful feeling to have been right.

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