It was a relatively cooler evening. Enjoying the breeze, I took out my guitar for practice. While testing the strings, I ran my gaze across the flat just opposite mine. As expected, my neighbour was standing in his balcony with the very familiar expression of intent and interest. I had shifted to this flat just a week back, & it was a bit amusing as well as curious the way my neighbour used to make it a point to stand in his balcony to witness me practising. So, I decided to end the confusion & waved him a friendly ‘hello’. The response was prompt. I signalled him to come over & within minutes the doorbell buzzed.
It did not take much time for us to hit off. A loving husband, caring father, dedicated son, lost somewhere in the milieu of responsibilities, was trying to re-discover his interest in music. The stretch has been long, a lot of time & situation changed since the time it used to be his ‘passion’. I never asked why could he not pursue what he loved, more because I had seen many dreams being buried under the ‘necessities’ of life. I considered myself lucky to have been encouraged by my parents to go after my heart. We really had a long chat. I was really impressed with all what he discussed about ‘C’ major. After a two-hour long conversation, I mildly asked him to join me from next day for the practice. It was the best I could come up with. The reply which came to me sent me into a state of unending thoughts that night, “It’s fine. I need to be free to help my son in his homework. Also, this is the only time I can help my wife in bringing groceries or helping in house-hold chores. I will definitely keep dropping in for chit-chat.” I was speechless. Following night I was trying hard to balance passion against bringing groceries & managing house-hold chores.
The week flew with its pace. Our interaction thickened & he introduced me to his family. They were really very sweet, closely-knit folks. Finally, Sunday came. I was glad to see him with a brand new guitar in his hand. I did not show any sign of excitement. We practiced for long that day. While leaving, he paused for a moment near door, turned towards me & said, “Thanks. My wife told me groceries & homework can take care of itself. I hope you have not said anything to her.”.
I smiled and replied, “No, not a single word.”