“There is a inter-school song competition. All interested participants have to go through a screen test. If you qualify then we will let you represent the school” head master announced this during prayers. I thought why not try my luck. Not because I wanted to become professional singer but because I like participating in any kind of competitions. I went to the room at the specified time and found there were many students in that room. They called the participants one by one on stage. I listened to all and was still thinking which song to sing. Then they called my name and I went up to the stage. I stood in front of the microphone. It was a first time experience to face the microphone. As soon as I started singing, microphone made a weird noise and teacher advised me to keep some distance between the microphone and mouth. I forgot the song that I had to sing. I tried hard to recall while all were staring at me. My teacher shouted “You can’t stand there forever, you have to start singing. There are others waiting for their turns”. This took the courage to think out of me. The only song that came to my mind was the school prayer and I started singing that from my SOUL without much delay. It did not take more than a minutes for the teacher to stop me. He said “ sa-re-ga-ma-pa-dha-ni, all are coming together. Didn’t anybody tell you not to try singing in public ever. If nobody did then I am telling you, never try singing ever. This is going to be hazardous for this mankind” all laughed and I joined them in the laughter riot so that I can hide my embarrassment.
That was my first attempt to the world of singing. But I never stopped really. I sang when I got an opportunity, of course not on stage but off stage. But this burning desire to sing in public always made me uncomfortable. I sang when I am sitting on a window seat in bus or train, when not doing anything in class or office and did not care who thinks what. I try to add emotions to it. Trust me besides emotions, rest all components of song are always wrong. Some tolerant people pointed out when I made any mistakes but most people ignored me so that I get discouraged and stop singing.
After many years of public tortures, one day one of my colleagues said politely, “Sakti, Why don’t you record your songs or try your luck at radio station as singer?”. I felt very happy, almost above this world and waited for him to add some more comments. I was about to say “You know, I never got any training, but I always wanted to be singer” but fortunately did not say anything. He said “At least then I can switch off the music system or radio” and laughed and many joined him including me.
This did not make me stop singing and many a times I ask people around “Don’t you feel the pain in song when I sing” and mostly people respond saying “Yes, we feel the pain, in our ears” and everybody laughs and as usual I join them in the laughter.
Singer in me has never felt discouraged or disheartened by the intolerance of this world. It continues to sing and will sing. Many say this is a sign of shameless person. Not sure if they are right.
– Stray Dog