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I must be 4 or 5 years old when my uncle took me to the movie ” Hum kissi se kum nahin”. The scene of Tariq playing “Chand mera dil” on guitar got imprisoned in my mind for so many days. And then another movie ” Yaadon ki baraat” fuelled my daydreams. I would imagine myself as Tariq playing guitar on stage and all my beloved one sitting in the first row applauding me and feeling proud of me. Most of the time it was my cricket bat which would turn into a guitar with shorter neck and make all guitar-sounds from the mouth. The vision of me playing guitar was so intense that a wish was born unknowingly and I was feeding it continuously with my daydreams . My only consolation was a toy-guitar which mom bought me from one of the stall from Durga pooja. I would hide that toy under my bed lest my cousins might break it.
Then came the final assault in the summer of 1987 when I witnessed “The Edge” playing guitar in the number ‘I haven’t found what I’m looking for’ on Delhi Doordarshan news on Grammy awards. A wish which was born 15 years ago culminated into a burning passion to play a real guitar and be a rock star. This followed by watching live shows of “Iron Maiden”, “Deep Purple”, ” Jimi Hendrix”, ” The cream”,” White snake”, ” Jeff Beck” etc. on VCR. By now, my wish to play guitar had turned into fire-throwing dragon. I had no other option but to capitulate to my wish.
After little tiff with my parents, they reluctantly agreed to give me Rs 300 to buy guitar. I got my first six-string in the winter of 1988.I got hold of my friend who would teach young students guitar by taking small fees. He agreed to give me guitar lessons free of cost. He would scream at me if I didn`t change chords fast enough. His screaming and frustration paid off eventually when I picked up the chords of ‘Hotel California’ . This followed by `Hey Jude´, ‘Sultan of swings’, ‘Michelle’, ‘Blowing in the wind’, ‘Tambourine man’ etc. My short romance with guitar had to be terminated when I had to move to Pune for higher education.
I had almost strangled my wish when I indulged myself in my first job which required extensive travelling in the interiors of Maharashtra. Somehow my wish to play guitar started tormenting my equilibrium. I had to stop at some point and take stock of what I felt so passionate about. My wish stood there stark-naked making fun of me and labelling me as a ‘failure’. I picked up guitar again and played for the first time at ‘Hope Academy’ (Pune) in front of 200+ audience in 1997. The song was “End of innocence” by Don Henley. This episode was as close as I could have come to fulfil my wish to perform on the stage. I was awarded as ‘Best entertainer’.
After marriage, my wife was my only audience and would say ‘Encore’ , every time I played ‘Wonderful tonight’ by Clapton for her. After emigrating to Canada, my wish to play guitar was totally evaporated under the pressure of meeting our both ends meet in a new country. And then on my birthday in 2006 my wife gave me a most beautiful gift which I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dream. It was ‘Art and Lutherie’ make acoustic guitar. She had kindled the dying flame of my wish and I had to play ‘Wonderful tonight’ for her again.
I’m in my late 30s now and my wish to be a rock star has never been materialized theoretically; but if you ask me, I’d say I’m a rock star in true sense. I have only three spectators but they are worth million others and they are my son, daughter and my wife. My son loves “Holiday” by Scorpions and “One more cup of coffee” by Bob Dylan. My daughter loves anything I play on guitar. My wife keeps peeping from the kitchen or other room and nods her head when I play guitar as in affirmation with the harmony of chords. I still see the same twinkle in her eyes when I had played ‘wonderful tonight’ 14 years back for her.
I would definitely add that wishes are the strings which tie all events in one’s life in order. Life will be dull and bovine without wishes. Wishes die and reborn and this roller-coaster of death and birth adds spice to one’s life.