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Down memory lane on a Yamaha

Anjna Rawat Pratap | 22 Oct 2010, Vol 0 Issue 1

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I must have been about three years old when I first touched a living breathing Piano. It was a Grand and truly venerable at nearly 50 years of age. I remember people crowding around it in the billiard room of one of the Army clubs in central India. I forget the brand but it was an expensive one, I had heard my father say. I saw it regularly till I turned 10 when we moved away as my father was transferred to another city. And then I saw it again after a gap of 14 years. It broke my heart to see it. Nearly falling apart and the paint no longer glossy, its keys all yellow and half stuck, some missing…

The piano of my childhood had lost its voice and stood there a mere shell bereft of its soul. An icon from my childhood was no more.

They said the German manufacturer no longer supplied the spare parts for this model and that a new Grand was on its way, but it made no difference. I deeply mourned its passing away. In the intervening years I had learnt to play the modern Casio Keyboard with a fair bit of mastery and had cherished a dream of being able to play on the near fabled piano from my childhood.

After a while I got busy in building my career. Then came marriage followed by the birth of my child. We moved away from our country and started life elsewhere. And somewhere along life’s long road of twists and turns, my dream was left far behind.

Then, a few days ago, while looking for a different exit route from a shopping mall, I walked past a shop selling musical instruments. Tucked in a corner of the basement car park level, the sign outside it read, “Muzzic for d Soul”. Guitars, drums, violins and pianos… Rows of pianos! I retraced my steps. The salesman was busy on the phone and there were no other customers. I hesitated, then walked in and tried some discreet notes on an upright gleaming Yamaha. It was nearest the entrance. Then I played some more. The salesman came to enquire. But I did not hear him.

I was back again in that billiard room of my childhood at last playing my piano. I was ten and the Piano had the best, most uplifting voice ever.

Anjna Rawat Pratap is a Singapore based technical writer

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