I stood,letting the cries and the cheers slowly sink in. My vision, focused only at the vast auditorium filled with an ocean of an audience .My hearing, only set to the “Once more!!” pleas and the rhythmic applause, the shouting of my name, my band’s name .I was frozen, frozen in the state of glory and triumph.
I was numb with joy, my heartbeats, beating proportionally to the ever increasing applause. I, gave out a wild cry of victory .The audience roared back .The feeling was delirious.
As I walked down, I could still hear the cheers, which made me dizzy with pride and happiness. My fellow band mates and I jumped with joy, embraced each other, screamed and exclaimed .Our joy knew no bounds. Our band, ’Prisoners of Music’ had been declared the best in India!
We had risen, beating many a bands and finally beating a five time winning band, ’The Music Junkies’, in the finals. The prize money of 15lacs, the feeling of being India’s best, a music contract with a leading television channel, publicity, a chance to work with world renowned maestro’s of music , we had won it all.
The CEO, of the television company came up to us, with the alluring contract. The contract, as I read, stated that, our band would be with associated with the music channel for three years straight. This meant, fame, recognition, money, and a wide range of opportunities, to make an inerasable mark in the music industry .We were overwhelmed with joy .It was all we had ever dreamt and much, much more .Now, all that was left to do, was to sign the bond, in agreement to the contract.
Just, when I was about to sign, I heard my cell phone ring, it was my dad calling. The next few seconds, were just about to decide my life. A whirlwind of emotions gobbled me up. I froze, as I was suddenly hit by the reality, of my life. My dad, the owner of the flourishing cement business, was calling me, the potential and the only heir to the grandeur, of our family business.
Yes, the truth struck me hard. I was a prince born with a silver spoon, literally. All my demands were answered immediately and in the best possible way. Being accustomed to a life of ease, I was halved when my biggest demand, the choice of making my own career was denied. My destiny in the cement business was written, the day I was born .My fate was sealed.
I closed my eyes, not able to control my thoughts. The numerous arguments, the never ending fights, the tears that flowed, every time I told my family about ma dreams and my aspirations, flashed in front of my eyes.
My eyes turned moist, as I remembered being guilty for dad coming home drunk in worry, over me. He could not bear the thought of his company, his dream, being handled by an outsider. He did not see anything beyond me managing the business. Whereas I, did not see anything beyond guitar and guitar notes. I shuddered remembering how, when I had decided to leave home to purse my career in music, and to rebel against the orthodox thinking of ma small hometown, dad had had a cardiac arrest. We were rich, but not rich culturally.
I was not the stereotype kid who was an engineer, or a doctor. I was a guitarist and a good one at that. My family, even after knowing my passion for music, and after knowing about the successful existence of my band, had cut me off of music and hence everything, that made me, me. I smirked wickedly, as to how I had deceived them to come here and participate.
Now, it had all boiled down to my decision. What was I going to choose? dad’s stride or my pride? My dreams or his dreams? I was in a fix of sorts. My parents or my passion? Life was so unfair. I was impishly tempted to reject the call and sign the contract. I was tempted to receive to tell him about my victory over him.
I received the call, and surprisingly, to everyone around and myself, I found myself saying, “ I’ll be there in 15 minutes, Mom”.
I then walked away, after handing over the bond, without signing it. I walked away, ignoring all the questions being thrown at me, ignoring my fellow band mates saying I couldn’t give up on them like that, that I was going to regret what I was doing. I walked, as a part of me was crying and the other part was already dead.
I walked, putting music behind me, guitar behind me, ‘Prisoners of Music’ behind me. I was now walking to a family, awaiting me. I walked trying to shun the voice of my mom, crying and asking me to come home, as dad had had another cardiac arrest, after finding out where I was. I walked , realizing though my victory was exhilarating, it was not my destiny. I walked, in surrender, as life proved victorious over me, yet again. I walked, as now, I had a family and a cement empire to conquer and a big dream to un-dream.