A letter to my piano
I remember when you first came home, wrapped in thermocol, hiding in a box. I remember how I put that pink shawl on my head, placed my tiny palms on the box that was protecting you and prayed for you to be a blessing to me. I wasn’t prepared for the ‘you’ that was going to be a part of my life for 7 years. If you were a person, I would keep talking to you like no other friend of mine. If you were a flower, I’d make sure nobody would hurt you or crush you. If you were a toy, I would preserve you until I die. If you were a book, I’d read you every night before going to bed. But you were none of them. You were a memory I wasn’t ever going to forget.
I wish you could read this…but I’d still sound like a fool writing this to you…thinking it makes any difference…
Anyway, as you know, my piano teacher came home for my regular classes. He was the one who removed you from that box. You were in pieces…pieces that would join to create the most treasured memory ever in my life. My sir attached all the pieces, tightened all your screws, connected all your wires, and surprised me with you. You were a digital piano, larger than the keyboard I used to practice on and proportionately harder to play. You were dark brown, made of rosewood and you seemed to be the perfect blend between technology and nature. With an exterior of wood, you had the interior of complex engineering. I first played the C major scale on you when you blinked to life. You sounded better and clearer than a keyboard. Hearing you for the first time spontaneously formed one of the most contented smiles on my face. I thought I was going to love you and play you forever. But I never knew that the sailing would never go smoothly.
My first few years with you were wonderful. I remember how we together composed songs, took videos, prepared for competitions and enjoyed every bit of the music we created. You helped me win many competitions. My piano sir was also proud of me. You were a family. Over time, I grew. My musical level, studies, exams, and stress grew correspondingly. Things started getting harder and managing my time became more and more difficult. I’d come home from school every day and see you standing silently in the drawing room. I would glance at you, helplessly wishing to play my favourite songs on you, but unable to because the day had already filled my to-do lists. By letting even more time go by, I gradually started drifting away from you. Even when I was free, I didn’t feel like playing you. I found no reason to dislike you. But I no longer seemed to enjoy being with you. I hated not being with you, but I didn’t want to be with you either. When I played you during my regular piano classes, it was apparently because I had to. The transition from mad love to utterly complicated feelings was so inadvertent that I never realized how selfish I was becoming.
My performance at school was wonderful. All my teachers were proud of me…all except my piano sir. He sensed that my potential at playing the piano was depriving. The most genuine reason for this was the pressure I was under due to school for the sake of maintaining the topper-and-good-girl impression I had somehow created. Anyhow, I managed to pass my piano exams with considerable results. But I had lost interest. I was more used to studying and scoring marks at school for God knows what…
Then came the lockdown because of which my sir stopped coming home for my piano classes. I must’ve been the happiest soul knowing this piece of information, but all the happiness faded away when my dad (my greatest well-wisher) introduced me to the challenge of completing my final year of piano on my own. I still remember the terrified look on my face when he said that to me. I was mentally thinking if my dad had gone mad. He very well knew how bad my skills had gotten and how uninterested I was. If I attempted to do my final and the most difficult year of piano on my own, I would definitely fail. I didn’t know that accepting this challenge would allow me to spend some of my final moments with you.
Even before I could sit back with you, I had to make sure to clean you up because of all the dust and spiderwebs that had accumulated on you. Then, I connected your plugs and switched you on. You blinked back to life. You seemed happy enough to welcome me. But I wasn’t responding much because I was still under the trauma of having to play you. With time, I started practising on you…with the same level of dull interest but this time with determination to anyhow sit with you for an hour and then get back to my business. As more time went by, I started liking sitting with you. I would practice my favourite pieces or songs on you rather than practising the songs from my piano course. Then I restarted writing songs with you by my side. I finally started enjoying you. The process was gradual and at the same, fun. I could prepare very well for my final year of piano and managed to score above 85 out of 100. Now that was something I never expected.
I so badly wish you could read this…I wish I could apologize to you. I wish you heard me saying how deeply I regretted being away from you…but now, it’s too late…
I resumed shooting videos with you, playing you and devouring every essence of music with you. The gloomy lockdown life was given colour due to your presence. I’d occasionally gap out during exams. And yeah…my academics went smoothly because of you. I was happy.
But I stopped playing you when I thought I had completed my piano course and shooting videos. Eventually, the lockdown also ended and I started going to school. Grade nine began and I was expected better results from. And ultimately…I left you forsaken again. Time went by…and I never realized how I was losing you with every second.
I’m losing you
I’m losing you
I’m losing you more
My dad decided to sell you away because I wasn’t playing you anymore. He sent pictures of you online, and we got a client who offered to pay enough for you. He visited our home and had a good look at you. He liked you and paid just as much as he’d promised. Then he took you along with him.
All of this happened so quickly that I never got enough time to process what I felt back then. I wasn’t sure of what I was thinking. It felt like I was subconsciously doing my routine that day. It felt like my conscious mind was revisiting our memories together. You were asleep because you were switched off. It must’ve been heartbreaking to have woken up to find yourself in a completely unfamiliar place. You must have panicked. I wish I could at least know how you felt. I wish I could at least bid you goodbye…
My dear piano, I’m fine here. Grade nine is strenuous. Life is monotonous. I’m just fourteen, but time isn’t visible in my luck. And…I miss you. I don’t quite understand how science can label you as something ‘non-living’. Every memorable moment I spent with you felt alive. It made me feel like I was free and had all the time and happiness in the world. Sometimes, even the dilemma of having to sit with you when I was uninterested allowed me to use my time wisely and sharpen my skills. Now, I feel like a potato with nothing better to do except sit and study (I do feel like a rebel when I think of school…can’t help it).
Have I gone mad? My logical mind (around 30% of my brain) can’t yet compute the reason why am I even writing this or whom am I even writing this to. While the rest of my mind still can’t get over you. I don’t know if there’s any way this letter will reach you. I don’t know if using my time writing this is even a wise thing to do. I don’t even know how on earth is it going to make a difference. But I really want to convey to you that I loved you. I loved you the moment I saw the box carrying you into my house. I loved you when I didn’t play you. I loved you when I did play you. I loved you when I left you…
I never cried after you left. I didn’t really find the guts to. I thought people will find me crazy. So, I just shed all my tears through words on these pages to remember that I was mad once: madly in love, mad in music, madly in love with music. You were my music. I won’t ever forget you. When I fulfil my dreams and aspirations, I will remember you deep down in my heart. And I will always love you.
Someday, we’ll meet each other again, either on earth or in heaven. I’ll be waiting to see you again, blinking life into my dull world and waiting for my fingers to create music on you. Till then, please be happy and keep rooting for me.
Yours, and only yours