Every day between 6 AM and 7 AM, my mom puts on Vijay TV and watches a guided tour of some temples. Sometimes a serious looking chap discusses interesting topics like astrology, palmistry or numerology. Sometimes people sit and sing very slowly. ("This is classical music".)
I protest feebly a couple of times, while admiring myself in the mirror before getting into the shower or while adjusting my tie. Till the TV is drowned out by the screaming which starts in the neighborhood school as those kids shout their prayers and that’s my cue to leave.
Today, as she went into the kitchen for something, I quickly grabbed the remote, put it on mute and browsed the channels for something mutually acceptable. Voila! On B4U music, there was Kishore Kumar singing "Ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si" to Madhubala. It’s one of my all time favorites.
When I was twelve, my parents enrolled me into guitar classes with an old witch in the neighborhood. After some mindless torture of my completely unsuitable-for-guitar-playing short and thick fingers for a couple of months, we finally started playing some songs. One day when the witch was in a democratic mood, she asked me what song I would like to learn to play. At which I immediately rendition the above mentioned song. The witch was shocked for a moment, and then started laughing loudly.
Horny kid, she must have thought. The elder girl students who till now thought I was cute, now looked suspiciously at me and the boys noticed my existence after my bold suggestion. Of course, the witch completely disregarded me and proceeded to teach us to play the National Anthem, standing up of course. I didn’t last very long in the class after that.
My real guitar learning started a few years later in BITS when I started hanging out with
Arjun "The Devil" Vajala in the second semester. One day, after I had mastered the chords of Hotel C, I said,
"So what’s after this, just some general twing twing?"
"What?" he almost choked. "This general twing twing", he spat, "is one of the best guitar leads in the history of rock n roll."
He forgave me though and I have since become a better student and listener. The Devil went into another hostel from the third year and I had also discovered Thunderbolt Beer, Jenna Jameson and ‘The Age of Empires’ by then.
Never had the fingers for the guitar anyway. Still have the guitar though.
"Aee Do Jahaan Ke Maaaliii!!!!"
The screaming has started. Time to leave.