Skip to main content

Holes to heaven

It was around 7:00 pm on a weekday as I entered the house. The hall lights were dimmed & the atmosphere was sombre... so heavy that I knew there'd been a stormy argument very recently. From the kitchen, came the sound of a knife rhythmically slicing through vegetables & hitting the cutting board. The clickety-clack of the computer keyboard could be heard faintly from my folks' bedroom. My strategy in such times was to quietly slink into my room to ensure I was not at the receiving end of any leftover angst. I know you've done that countless number of times too.

The stereo was playing a tape called 'Love at the Movies', a mix of romantic 70's & 80's movie songs. Not being at an age where one is terribly enthused by random people yodelling on about love, pain, loneliness or belonging, I barely paid any attention to the music. Just as I'd crossed the hall toward the passage to my room, the opening bars of this floated forth from the speakers.

I froze.

For, while I could identify the guitar part of the song, it was the other accompanying sound that reached into me, into the depths of my heart, making it feel heavy and light simultaneously... setting off sparklers in my head, letting me see rich colours pulsing in the dusk. This being a time before the internet was even heard of, I found out whatever I could about the song from the catalogue. And, for the very first time, I read the letters... took in the sound of the word... imagined the tune in my head as I spelt it out - s a x o p h o n e.

Mesmerised. That's what I was. I remember thinking that I finally knew what the soul would sound like.

I was 12 then. At first, thanks to a lack of knowledge and of course convenience, I heard the song again and again... to a point where my mum made me a copy of the tape to ensure the original would stay safe. I was satisfied by just listening to it. A few years later I was watching an episode of the Simpsons... remember the one where Homer is in the hospital and Lisa plays him a song on her saxophone ? At the exact moment she starts playing, I knew.

I had to play it too.

Today is supposed to be the day of my very first saxophone lesson. So much emotion, so many memories, too much, actually... is balanced on possibility.

Song for the moment: Turn the page - Bob Seger


Piggy Little said…
all the best. :)
i love the title of the post. very enigmatic, if i can use that word :)

girish said…
:) Thank you. The title relates to the note holes the sax has.
Piggy Little said…
:) arre hume pataa hai!!!!!
girish said…
Aye Caramba !! faux pas on my part. 'Scusi.
Piggy Little said…
pas de problem monsieur. j'avait oublier aussi.

vous etes excuser.

bhumika said…
Finally! all the very best :)
girish said…
:) thanks. i've waited long enough for it to work out.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…