When I was five years old, I was first brought to an Indian Classical Music lesson and left to learn the art form for an hour. At first, I admit I felt nothing particularly special for the art form – I had no special love for it and I was certainly no prodigy. It was just one of an endless slew of activities selected to fill my days, companion to ballet classes, ice skating, violin lessons, art classes, soccer teams, and an ill-advised week attempting gymnastics. Yet somehow, as I got older and many of these arbitrarily chosen lessons fell away, music was what stuck.
Indian Classical Music is different from any other art form I have attempted, yet in some ways, it has many similarities. It too demands discipline, rigor, exceptional focus, and hours upon hours of work to achieve excellence. The difference was in this art form I had teachers who pushed me, and not only asked, but demanded a standard of work they knew I was capable of producing.
Singing was an art form I never expected to like, but somewhere in the hours of practice and performing, I found a passion for it. When I began singing I assumed it would be another art form that I would drop as I got to high school and life took over. Instead, it became more important to me than ever. The skills that it most emphasizes, after all, are not so different from the skills necessary to succeed in any aspect of life — a strange dichotomy of demanding perseverance, determination, discipline, and perfection, that also emphasizes the value of creativity.
At robotics and at school, people see me as a computer and science person, and I am both. Solving problems and making things work in whatever small way I can gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. But, for me, music also gives me that same sense of satisfaction and peace.
By Sahana Kumar