As a little kid still walking on all fours, more out of choice than an inability to walk properly, Sinha had spent many a dedicated evenings listening to his father sing. Not that he had much choice, with his supposedly rich lifestyle leaving him no friends to play around with. That given, he adored his father’s voice – growing up to believe that no person could express grief, glee, love and remorse and the entire relative gamut of emotions as well as his father.
This one evening, it rained like it never had, like it really wanted to rain. The prodigies, both followers and disciples of each other, sat around a fireplace clearing their throats. Mutually, they had decided to sing for their mothers tonight -a simple song, no difficult notes, no elaborate aalap, just the first two lines.
‘Aye Maa, teri
Both mothers in anticipatory attendance, the sons sang. The son hit every note perfect, as he always used to. The father faltered, choked, paused and broke down in inconsolable tears. Sinha smelt victory for the briefest of moments, then saw it being snatched away. For the rest of the night, the better part of tomorrow and most of his years – as a child, as an adolescent, as a boy and as a man, he wondered what happened that evening. He wondered how his father, the greatest singer of all, could falter at two of the simplest lines he had ever sung. He wondered why he cried. He wondered why HE did not. He wondered.
And then, he met Saraswat.