At the end of a rainbow

Lucy found her diamond sky

Guitar Guts

on October 12, 2012

I had always fancied myself casually strumming the strings of a guitar as a perfect accompaniment to my philosophical musings. “It might even enhance my capacity of meaningful wastage of time” I had concluded, after observing that no thoughtful rebel in movies made it to his “eureka” moment without involving a guitar along the way. Thus, after quitting PhD, with my head full of idealistic aims and ‘Into the Wild’ soundtracks, the first thing I wanted to do was learn to play a guitar. My parents were unsure of my mental state given the seemingly bizarre decision I had made, and thought it would be best not to excite or reason out my immediate fancies. They were hopeful I would come to my senses soon and have more practical ambitions to pursue then. Well whatever the reason, I was handed a guitar soon enough and was elated to finally look at the thing at close quarters. I tried fitting it in my lap and hold it like in the films but the giant of an instrument it was, I could barely fit a quarter of it against my rather thin frame. “Don’t they sell some in a smaller size?” I asked bro who had used his shady sources to procure the guitar. “Yeah, the one smaller than this comes in plastic with buttons on it.” sniggered the brat. I gave a nonchalant shrug but was feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the guitar butt jutting into my thigh. “I think this much practice for a day is enough, I’ll go for some lessons from tomorrow.” I announced and promptly packed the instrument. Now, my brother is the incarnation of James Bond in the world of musical instruments. It does not take him more than 5 minutes to pick the basics and so, he was soon strumming the soundtrack of ‘Jurassic Park’ as I tried to look as unimpressed as possible. “That’s just because you play the violin, you already know the string stuff and notes etc” I commented without much success. My lessons didn’t quite match my expectations either. My teacher turned out to be a south-indian martinet who made me pluck the strings relentlessly till I had the notes of C- major drilled into my head. Looking back I think that was the first dig in the grave of guitar. The trauma induced by hammering those notes in my head ensured that I never made past it. So, the routine followed for a week or so wherein I would come back with swollen pink fingers sans any song to play, while my bro would graciously borrow the guitar and play some new tune everyday. This wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned, my determination to learn atleast one tune only resulted in sore fingers, a problem exacerbated because my hands are perennially sweaty. The taut strings just seemed to cut into the fingers and suddenly guitar wasn’t as fanciful a companion I thought it would be. In addition, my teacher graduated me from ‘zero’ level and proceeded to torture me with tunes of “Happy-Birthday” and some other cheap Bollywood songs. This was the last straw. My dreams of being Alexi Murdoch having gone down the drain, I made peace with the ground reality and declared I have better things to do than while away time plucking strings. The decision was rather quickly supported by family members and as a final sign from the universe, I soon got busy with work and projects that came my way. The guitar would have breathed its last in a closet but for my bro who began playing it with increased interest. I came to terms with the fact that love for music doesn’t assure a musical hand. Some just pick up a guitar and play, other just pick up a pen and write. Guess the world would be more peaceful if every teacher would embrace this truth of life.

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3 responses to “Guitar Guts

  1. Shwetha says:

    hahaha..that is so well put..people should be appreciated for what they do and which is brainstem for them 🙂 .. the rest does not matter!

  2. siddharth says:

    I have had similar experiences with Math, physics, chemistry, computers, etc etc.. :p

  3. N says:

    Hahaha 😀 I can totally empathise with you on this, Deborah! I went through a very similar phase. I wanted to be Julie Delpy, singing ‘Let me sing you a waltz’ with her guitar. I did take guitar lessons, but I got bored because I didn’t get to learn the songs I wanted to learn. I played the most boring Happy Birthday tune on my guitar to a friend on his birthday thinking he’d be impressed. He asked me if I was playing the notes on a toy keyboard 😐

    Guitar is hard work.

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