I was in the morning assembly choir from class 5th to 6th, and that was my first encounter – with stage performance. Never did I have a chance to perform solo, nor did I have the confidence in my voice, or in my dancing abilities, for that matter. But one thing I knew for sure, I had a passion for singing and dancing. I would practice whenever I would be alone. Singing along with my “walkman” or dancing in front of the mirror in my room, closed securely. How I dreamt of performing one day on the stage………Solo!
I got many group chances there on….even in higher standards in school….I would never leave an opportunity to be there on stage in a group performance. I just loved everything about those..the preparation sessions, rehearsing over n over, the dresses, the make up, the dress rehearsals…the whole thrill of performing..on “stage”.
N then I entered “College”…An Engineering College…An Engineering College in Haryana….An Engineering College in Haryana headed by my dad.
Anyone acquainted with even one of the words above, would know why I lost even the tiniest confidence in myself, forget about performing in front of the engineering college crowd. I would now sing for my close friends, who would ask me to, still indoors…in closely secured hostel rooms. I would never forget my best friend Deepshikha [I Love you DJ], encouraging me to perform on stage. I remember one day, a senior girl complementing me who just overheard me singing for my friends on the girls hostel staircase.
And there would be my passion for dance. I would watch n watch the rehearsals for the annual fests for hours together….day dreaming myself to be in one of those dance performance. I would assist my friends choreograph the dances.
Not the whole of me wanted to be a part of the performance…there was this little part of my head that was against it. I had been the audience of an engineering college crowd and was very well aware of the comments that were thrown live. I never wanted any such comments about me, to reach my dad, who would be present in the front row. How embarrassing it would be ….I would just sit in the audience and watch my friends and other people perform, make excuses if I was asked to perform.
One day, before the scheduled time for the annual fest to start, my friends and I were just roaming around the stage, that was still under preparation. There was no one seated yet. My friends encouraged me & I got up on the stage, facing only the empty chairs and 6 of my friends, standing in one of the corners. I took the mike and started singing……!!O My!! What a feeling it was….my friends cheering at me….some other people, mostly the organizers ran to the venue, on hearing and clapped for me, as I quickly ran away from the stage. But Wat an experience!!!
Enter HCL Noida, where I did my internship for 7 months during my last year at college. I was excited to hear that they had an annual fest kind of thing for their employees as well….Here was my chance, to perform on the stage, in front of people & not only empty chairs. I overcame all my inhibitions and gave my name in the participants list on a day before the event. I hadn’t even thought of what I was going to perform till then. But I couldn’t miss this chance, that I thought was my one and only one. Luckily while commuting back to home that day, I heard this song “Bhaage Re Mann” on the FM and there I go. I fell in love with this song and I so wanted to perform it. I found the song when I reached home, downloaded it and practiced all night, with all my heart.
The next day, I was excited and nervous as a little child. I couldn’t concentrate at anything and was only humming the song. After lunch time, all the participants reached the venue. We could rehearse our items, if we wanted to. Only I was the one who wanted to. And so I did. Hours ticked and the venue was full. After a few performances, when my name was announced as coming next, I had to drag myself to reach the mike. I was dead nervous to see the whole public seated in front of me. I closed my eyes, and started singing…all was well until in the middle of a line, I opened my eyes,part out of confidence & part of curiosity about people reactions….and there I was..BLANK..I forgot the rest of the line and the remaining song ..all in a fraction of a second. The audience started clapping, partly to save their time..and partly to spare me of feeling humiliated, standing blank in front of them. In another second, I gathered myself up, finished the performance of whatever last line I could remember and left the hall.
I had thought I would never be able to face anyone, having let my own self down by blasting away my one and only opportunity.
Out of no where, I heard my name being given as the female vocalist for another celebration in the company. I was furious!! I never wanted to be on stage again. I feared the stage & the audience now. Later I learnt that one of my co-participants from the first event had given my name and I was to do an audition to be able to sing as the female vocalist in a band of company employees.
I did not want to do it, not at any cost. But God wanted me to. I was to meet my life partner at the auditions, how could He let me skip this “meeting”. Again, on huge encouragement from Deepshikha & the co-participant(later a friend) , I agreed to audition.
Enter Bhupesh…I met him at the auditions & he selected me in the band…partly …..mmm…neah majorly because he was flirting, and wanted to make a point…., and little because he had confidence in my voice. The band performed at the event and this one was a success…I was ecstatic.
Bhupesh & I fell rose in love. I returned back to the college to finish my graduation.
Bhupesh realised the one hidden “aakhri tamanna” in me , last wish, as they say, before I leave that college, without me saying a word about it. I guess that is what is called love <3 . He knew if once I would perform on that stage, there would be no looking back. He encouraged me,boosted me, prepared me & finally convinced me to go for it in the last annual fest, that I would attend as a student of that college. I asked my parents and they were jubilant, they always wanted to see me perform on a stage. I gave my name for the auditions and was selected for the vocals. I entered one of the group dance performance as well.
And the day came…..I danced with all my energy ….and when I saw the happy faces of my parents sitting in the front row and my friends clapping their heart out…..I was in tears!! Yes Tears of Joy!!
And for the vocals…I asked one of my friends, to keep up the line on my mobile when my performance begins, so that Bhupesh can hear it too. Afterall he was, and still is my lucky charm….And I did it!!!!I did not care whether I performed good or bad, I sang with my heart and saw that twinkle in my dad’s eye at the end of the performance…I think that was a tear too…yes a tear of joy or may be pride…I know how he loves my voice..& then on getting down the stage, I talked to Bhupesh who was still on the line and his words were an award to me . Had it not been for Bhupesh, I would have never made it to the stage of my college…I would have never flown this high in the sky!!
Then came a day, when Bhupesh & I were in tears seeing our daughter Aahana, perform a dance on stage. The feeling is beyond any words or expression.
I could now truly understand, what a blessed moment Bhupesh gave to my parents, to see their daughter perform her talent on stage.