Delhizen is my young blogger buddy who is full of life and cheer. I call her ‘Sunshine Girl’, since her 1000 w smile has the power to light up my any room she enters. It used to light up my blog whenever she left a comment too, but sadly she has changed her profile picture now.
In her comment on my post Song of Silence, which talked about school bands, she had reminisced about her school days. I could gather that she had something interesting to share and invited her to write a guest post about it. I was so right, wasn’t I? The young girl in the post learnt so much joining the school band as a drummer.
Ta… da…presenting Delhizen aka Sunshine Girl’s guest post!
Visiting her grandparents’ house in old Delhi, was exciting for the young girl. One of the reasons was that it was bang on the route of the Republic Day Parade. Watching the parade go past her house was one of the most awaited annual affairs and meant staying for extra two days in Delhi. Every time she saw the officers take a step with the beat, she looked up at her dad and said, ‘One day I too will wear a uniform and participate in the parade with my head-up.’ Everyone smiled. No one took her seriously!
And now, the story of the little girl…
School life in D.A.V. Ambala was far from exciting especially for a girl who found arts and crafts a waste of time and couldn’t sing or dance in the name of extra curricular activities. To top it all I had an elder sister in the same school who was a topper in studies and a shining star in Kathak.
Everyone expected her to follow the elder sister’s steps. She might have said, ‘I am meant for something different, to be something different’, but she didn’t know it herself. Life was slow, predictable and boring till one fine day the selections for school band were announced. Suddenly she remembered the crisp uniforms of the Republic Day marchers and the sound of the band and above all the promise she had made to her father…She took a chance and to her joy, found a place for herself in the training academy for the band! She was to play the side drums.
It certainly was not easy. It meant skipping lunch break, coming an hour early in the morning and staying back after school. Her folks at home indulged her. ‘At least she is happy doing her own thing,’ they thought and allowed it. Boy, was it fun? She didn’t think of the things she was giving up for the practice sessions, only the joy of being part of the band.
Then the day of the final selection came. It was going to be tough. But she had practised with her heart and soul. Her moment of glory came when she was finally selected from a group of 40 as one of the 10 to join the band, to wear a uniform of crisp white shirt, red-black checked skirt and play the side drums. Their teacher was a retired Army Jawan who first taught the basics and then ‘Sarey Jahan Sey Accha’ followed by the National Anthem. The timing was of crucial importance – the anthem was without the vocals and to be played in exactly 52 seconds.
D.A.V was the only school in Ambala back in the 1990s to have a band. The girls became famous when they became the only school band to participate in the district’s Republic Day Parade. They practiced for days and hours at a stretch till the police contingent was in sync with the beats.
It was then the 14-year-old me realized that giving an enthusiastic performance every time to an audience whether of two or two hundred without getting tired was a duty towards the school, city, state and country…
As we prepared for the annual events practicing for hours, I felt it was my responsibility and not a hard task or a boring job. It was fun and more importantly it taught me the meaning of teamwork and the fruits of labour. At the end of all it was a matter of pride and honour!