“Mom! Why can’t I go to the party tonight?” Saanjh struggled to get her mom’s attention as she rushed in and out of her walk-in wardrobe. Twelve year old Saanjh had never questioned her parents regarding her strict routine. But Mrs. Deewan realised that Saanjh was questioning protocol more often recently.
As her parents bade her goodbye and left her in good company of Kamala Tai, Saanjh snorted and pulled at Kamala Tai’s lose end of her cotton saree.
“Why Tai? Why do Mom and Dad not take me to late night parties? All my friends have so much fun going out. But I am not allowed.” Kamala Tai let out a lop-sided smile at Saanjh’s scowl. She could already see the rebel streak of an about to be teenager.
“It’s late dear. You must retire to bed. We have to wake up early in the morning. There’s a lot to do before you go to school.” Kamala Tai’s attempt at putting an end to the discussion was met with Saanjh’s glowering eyes.
“You know what, the other day the kids in my school were making fun of me. They said that I have no idea how to have fun in life. That going out for a movie once in a while is OK. And Samaira went on to say that kids from families like ours’ should not worry too much about protocol. In our world, we are allowed to have fun in life and break rules.” Saanjh titled her head and widened her eyes trying to emphasize the implications of her friend’s words,
“How do you think dad would react if I were to break some rules?” Saanjh lay deliberate stress on the words ‘I’ and ‘break’, trying to drive home a possibility.
Kamala Tai knew that she could not snap shut the girl’s questions. She had to bring the discussion to a logical end.
“Saanjh, do really have any complaints from the life you lead?” Kamala Tai took a pause to let the question sink in, “I know it’s tempting to be like other kids, have fun, loiter around and be happening. But would you live your life any other way, giving up this special thing that you and I share?”
Saanjh raked the hair falling on her forehead and tucked them behind her ears. As she contemplated, the extremely sensitive young girl realised that her friend, philosopher and guide was at it again. Sometimes Saanjh felt extremely frustrated at the kind of hold Kamala Tai had on her. She could never go beyond the rules Kamala Tai set out for her, and both the ladies knew that. Saanjh puffed out mouthful of air, shook her head and prepared to go to bed without bothering to answer Kamala Tai. It’s no use discussing anything any further. Even I know it that I wouldn’t have my life any differently.
6 Years Later
Saanjh sat watching the famous lady in front of her.
The extremely famous actor who now hosted a popular Chat show on Television was busy going through her notes. Saanjh wondered what the lady was busy with. But then she realised that the most popular anchor on the blockbuster celebrity chat show would have a lot of preparation to do. Who, after all would understand the importance of practice and discipline more than her.
All her life was spent as an almost recluse, following a strict routine of waking up at 4 in morning, practicing music with her in-house residential teacher Kamala Tai for 3 hours before leaving for school. Her evenings too were engaged in extensively studying various forms of music and their history with her mother and her teacher. Her lifestyle was an extremely monitored one with restricted access to media and outside world. As per Kamala Tai, she would get influenced too much by all that’s happening around her and get confused. Your music might get infiltrated, were her words.
For as long as she could recall, Kamala Tai spent numerous hours preparing activity kits for her, to provide her proper exposure to various forms of music. They would have extended discussions analyzing the nuances of each type and what she could derive from them.
Saanjh smiled hopelessly as she recalled how during her early teens she had created fuss over her lifestyle, while her parents and her teacher kept telling her that material things were a distraction to her. At times she would just be short of throwing tantrums so that her demands be met. But Kamala Tai was never the one to be manipulated. She would simply retire to her room and next morning be ready at 4 chiding her towards the musical abode they had created in one of the rooms in Deewan Mansion.
Saanjh Deewan, the only daughter of the owner of Deewan group of industries could not have anything as per her whims and fancies. Kamala Tai was the ultimate authority in her life. Ever since she had met Kamala Tai at the age of seven, she had felt drawn towards her. It was like she had imprinted on her the first time she set her eyes on Kamala Tai at a school competition where the latter judged her while she played violin. The old widow, herself a legendary classical music veteran, met her parents and brought their attention towards her special talent in music. She agreed to train her, but at one condition. That she be given full authority and responsibility of the young girl’s life. At her parents’ behest, the older lady had agreed to move in with them and become a shadow to Saanjh.
Today as she sat for the interview after winning the prestigious Global Music Award for The Best Music Composition for the third year in a row, she realised that she owed her success to Kamala Tai. Had it not been for her perseverance she would never have been able to work so hard, learn all that she did and achieve so much at such a young age. Atleast not with a hand with two amputated fingers and another prosthetic arm, which she had lost to a lethal infection at the age of four.
This post is a part of the #WriteBravely Write Tribe Festival of Words.
The prompt for the day is –
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.” – Mulan