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I grew up in a family surrounded by music.

My mom trained professionally although she never went on to make a career of it. Instead, she took to teaching and sharing the love of music with many students.

Music filled the walls of our home, from the Suprabhatham in the mornings to the melodious Hindi songs that would wind our evenings down. Through the day, strains of Carnatic music would filter through the walls as mom would attempt to teach students to find the right note, from the cornucopia of songs in her repertoire.

I’d listen, hum along, and very early on, I could catch the right note. I’d tilt my head if I didn’t get the note right. If someone sang off key my face would scrunch up in confusion.

As I grew older, it fell to me to pursue this outside the home and within it. I had a few teachers, each of whom showed me what music could help us with.

Swaying to the notes I’d lose myself in the beauty of a ragam, immersing my attention in the world that worked the way I knew it. In here, there was no annoyance, only harmony.

Music became the balm to my soul the way reading became the salve to my mind.

As I reflect on my life in the last five years I wonder how much I have sacrificed in favour of the pursuit of things that do not matter.

The joy that music and books give me cannot be equalled by anything else. Today, as I sit in the next room, listening to my daughter learning the complex notes of a song from her teacher, I smile.

I pray that many years from now a part of her will remember these moments of happiness; the moments when it didn’t matter what people thought of you, your ideas or your outlook on life.

All that matters is this relationship between you and the music.

Always.

Day 21 of daily writing

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