Musically Yours

Dear Veena Aunty, 

" There are moments that come together and define our life; 
But at times moments come together to define you! " ~ N

If I had to define each moment I spent with you, they would fall in the latter category for me. I don’t remember our first meeting at all, but I do remember the warmth with which you had embraced me as your student so much that sometimes when I miss you a lot I can still feel that warmth around me. 

I cherish each and every meeting of ours for in those somewhere I learnt the secret of life – Music. You taught me how music is the song of the soul. How each and everything around us is music in some way and it is us who can make it into a soothing one or turn it into noise. 

Source: Google Images



You had laughed a lot the day when you came to know what I call you – Veena Aunty! For I always thought that’s your name. (Veena being the instrument I learnt from you!) Being embarrassed I had apologized profusely and asked for your real name, you had smiled and replied, “On second thoughts I like it. Rather I think it suits me more than anything else. Please call me that always!” 

I feel proud every time someone compliments me on my knowledge of music and its history for I fondly recollect all those hour long sessions we used to have where you told me all about a song much before you actually taught me a song. How you held my hand and made me do all those delicate finger movements on the strings beautifully and then when someone praised me, you would just smile and say “ My favourite student!” giving me a flying kiss that still makes me blush just at the thought of it. 

I know how hurt you would have been the day I stopped playing veena due to various reasons. But then you told me  ~
Never let music go out of your life even if you have stopped playing veena; 
Because music teaches you how to dance to the tunes of life!” 

After 7 years of togetherness I lost you for a long time in between as I moved from one city to another searching for my future. Not realizing what I had left behind was a part of me that would never be the same again. How fragile is human mind one moment we take everything for granted and the next when it is no longer we miss it madly. I came back to see you as something I had never expected in my worst nightmares. 

Alzheimer’s had been gnawing your insides and made you so hollow that you seemed to be a faint shadow of that Veena Aunty whom I knew. You didn’t recognize me. And the warmth I came looking for was replaced by a cold chill that ran down my spine. That night I cried a lot, for I felt guilty of having lost you like that. Yet in hearts of heart I knew I still could bask in your warmth in just being around you. I tried doing that half expecting to feel that warmth all over again and it did happen when one day you smiled at me! For me that day is unforgettable. And then life played a cruel game by pushing me into a dark abyss from where I struggled to find a way out. Just when I had thought my battles had ended, I got the news. You had finally given up on your battle with life. To say I was shattered wouldn’t be appropriate perhaps. 

That day lying on the hospital bed I wondered as to what is this whole life made up of and how my wish of seeing for the last time couldn’t be fulfilled. Please forgive me for not being there not because you needed me at that moment but because I needed you the most. I needed to feel you, your warmth before it all ceased to exist. I wanted to grab it tightly in my fist so that no power on this earth could take it away from me. That was solely mine, forever and ever. But I couldn’t…. 

Life has a weird way of reminding you of what you have – First it takes it all away from you and then fills your heart with love and gratitude to be happy for all that while that it was yours! I let it all go… thinking it was one such way of life for me. However much I tried, the empty space that you left cannot be filled with anything / anyone. No, not even your memories will suffice. 

Aunty, I miss the way you used to ruffle my hair, give me ice creams and chocolates to gobble as bribe for playing your favourite song perfectly. I miss your child like laughter and that joy that twinkled in your eyes every time we played the veena together. I miss those flying kisses I would get after a flawless performance. I miss hearing your voice singing “ vara veena mrudupani…

I miss everything about you and yet I don’t miss YOU, for I carry a piece of you in my heart forever. 

Source: Google Images
I might have never played the veena in years today and perhaps I will never again too but what you taught me is seeped so deeply in my soul that me and music will always be inseparable and for that I will forever remain, 

Musically yours, 

N

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