I had worked with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for nine years under various roles and designations and had thoroughly enjoyed being an independent person. In 2017, I had to resign from my services as I had exhausted all of my earned leaves, casual leaves and for that matter my sick leaves as well, and TCS policy did not include giving WFH then.
The reason for resignation? My parents met with a major car accident while driving to Delhi from Kanpur, to meet their granddaughter, roughly 15 days before Diwali, to shower their love and blessings. My father survived but my mother got severely injured with multiple fractures in the pelvic bone and had to undergo major surgery immediately. She was advised complete bed rest with restrictions to even turn to one side on the bed itself.
I nursed her day and night for nearly four months but almighty had other plans. In 2018, her soul departed that left me with mental trauma and major blow. I couldn’t fathom what to do. I was highly attached to her and we shared such a loving and friendly bond, but now the feeling of loneliness had engulfed me completely. Though I had other people around me, my ever-supportive husband and my then-2-year-old daughter, my tears kept rolling down on their own will all the time. It affected me physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically, which in turn had an adverse effect on my little one and my family.
During those days, The Divine, Our Swamiji, had entered my life and needless to say what magic He had done, His compassionate look, His silent blessings started giving me strength and acceptance, gradually. I started with the morning runs so much so that tears got mixed with my sweat and I started feeling light.
I started engaging with my daughter, Rija, thinking it was time for me to pass on the values that my mother gave, to her granddaughter. I started reading Swamiji’s blogs and books and watched His videos/discourses. And I could sense that He was talking to me and showing me the direction. One day, no matter what I was reading or listening to again and again, His words “Be creative”, “Creativity helps”, “Choose something creative” started echoing. But, what can that be? I started to think deeply.
I heard Swamiji playing the piano at Taj Fort Aguada Resort in Goa. The piano, which was of vintage origin and out of tune due to the seaside winds, started playing on its own accord. The way Lord Krishna plays the flute, Swamiji played the piano effortlessly. I managed to capture the video on my mobile. Please enjoy the piece below. This was January 2019.
So, inspiration and motivation rose and I purchased my 61-key Yamaha keyboard in May 2019 and tried my hands on it. I started teaching the Sargam to my daughter as well. Learning together is fun, isn’t it? I started experiencing a decrease in anxiety, loneliness, stress and fatigue. The search for the teacher began who could teach me and my daughter, with rhythm and musical notes, treble clef and bass clef, majors and minors, sharps and flats.
Then, Corona hit beginning 2020 and there was lockdown. August 2020, we moved to Karanja and my keyboard got packed. Then suddenly, one day in 2021, I read Swamiji’s blog “Side effects of Meditation” where He mentioned about His piano teacher, Ramona Borthwick. I immediately googled, searched her email id and texted that I am interested in the online piano classes for my daughter.
She replied saying “She is based out of Boston and timings will not suit the little one rather she suggested the name of one of her ex-student based in Mumbai.” My joy had no bounds as I was searching for the teacher for long. I am highly grateful to her for her reply and guidance.
I immediately contacted Mr. Abraham Bhonkar, who happily agreed to take online classes for my daughter and me. He is a very patient and good teacher. Perhaps, after the pandemic, we might meet. One day, I told him that my left hand is not working. He simply replied, “Then make it work.” I started practicing and encouraged my five years, little one too. I feel very satisfied and happy seeing Rija learning music and if that interests her for the future then nothing like it.
Personally, the piano has become my best friend. Friend of good times, a friend of low times. It has encouraged my creativity to a certain degree, increased my happiness, my mindfulness, my concentration. It’s like meditation. It doesn’t let me slip again into my past and it fills my void too.
Playing the piano does more than remove negative emotions. It replaces them with positive emotions – in several ways. I am learning to live in the present moment. If listening to music uplifts one then playing the same does more to it.
Also, as they say, “It’s never too late to learn, this desire makes all the difference.”
At the end of this blog and for the beautiful beginning of my musical journey and for my spiritual journey my humble pranam and gratitude to Swamiji. Thank you for your divine presence.
My thanks to my husband for always standing by my side. Thank you to os.me community for taking out time to read my story. Stay safe.