When I was 19 I thought I could change the world. Today my reaction to that is a big smile. How naive was I!!! Life did throw many a Challenge at me early on & a bit frequently too at that. But, then, thats Life, And I’m certain everybody faces & fights some battle or the other, so I was no exception.
But, amidst all this facing & fighting, I lost out on something which was a big part of who I was. I say was, cause it is the past. I’ve been singing since I was five and all through my teens I was a diligent student & I gave it my all. I think I thrived and blossomed against all odds was because I was singing & surrounded by music. I thought I would only go further & achieve lot more but, who would have thought that I would give it up completely! Without much ado about what & why I’ll just say, somewhere I lost almost all that I had in terms of music. I tried to continue the journey with music but somewhere the nitty gritties of the world of professional music and the lack of regular guidance & the distance from my teachers put me off. Let me be completly honest, the last few years I’ve been struggling with my self a great deal. Its like I’ve almost lost my voice. I tried to sing and no voice came out. I would just strum the Tanpura and sit there blank hoping for a note to come out of my throat. I lost my confidence completely. I stopped singing.
I was unhappy cause I was not able to do what I so loved. It has been the love of my life for as long as I can remember. I was so down and out that I couldn’t even sing when friends asked me to sing when we got together but, still made feeble attempts. But, as I sang, I often heard the whispers behind my back of how I had wasted my talent and how I was no good anymore. That pushed me down lower than I was before. I was badly stuck in a vicious cycle of no confidence, self pity, low self esteem and what not. This was such a contrast to the brave nineteen year old I was! I was a fighter. I didn’t care about who said what or thought what I just did my own thing. I hated what I had become. I hated that I couldn’t sing. I had to do something, before it was too late.
Then, one day the thought of reviving an old project that had been shelved for some reason for more than a year came to me and I thought why not give it one more try. After all I had nothing to lose.
So a couple of months back I met two hardworking & talented young men who are now helping me give myself another chance. It has so far been so much fun recording the pilot tracks and I’m enjoying this new side to music which is such a contrast to my classical training. To be a recording artist is altogether another ball game & I’m loving this. yes, I’m still struggling with myself & my voice but I am so enjoying the feeling. I feel like a small kid who learns something new at school and comes home and narrates the story to all at home.
I’ve been told by many that my voice touches them somewhere & that I could put feeling in the notes & words I sang. I have to admit, there’s no contribution of mine there. That has been God’s gift & yes, I am guilty of not using that gift well. Also being the person that I am, sensitive, vulnerable & emotionally attached brings that perhaps. Would I want to change that? No. Cause that’s who I am. I am happy being me. Yes, I could do with learning to manage my emotions so that they help me grow & not affect me so. And maybe manage what I need to & eventually express.
I can today say that my efforts to rise and overcome my fears are working. I have been my biggest challenge & probably always will be because thats how I am. Too sensitive about everything. I probably am doing what I should have done two decades ago, but its never too late to be positive & never too late to go after your dreams. Its different in terms of music to what I’ve always done but I’m still with music & I’m singing and I just love that. I don’t know how I’ll fare and what happens now, but, to stay with my music in whichever way is going to be my endeavour. I have the courage today, to face my fear & look it in the eye. No matter what happens
So as the cd rolls out soon, I hope to find the “Shraddha” I’ve so been missing. My parents gave me that name for a reason I guess. I have the Faith & have held on to Hope & the belief that I can do it (still) and do it well.
So, here I go starting out all over again at 39… “Ishtiaq” songs of yearning.. its on its way guys!!!