The bamboo flute..!
I touched a black key gingerly, it sounded alien in my home. I pressed another and another and another, the sounds that came were hideous, it would be, I did not know to play such sophisticated instrument. Then I looked at my bamboo flute: It lay resting on a shelf. I picked it up and placed mouth tenderly against polished bamboo hole, and then from bamboo shoot there poured out my soul. I played and looked into the room where grand piano suddenly seemed to have lost its sneer. The bamboo held and held well against the burnished wood of English oak that housed Beethoven instrument. Ah it was childhood again. I had walked along the streets of the city, tired, looking for something I could buy to churn out music building inside of me. The flute seller with his wares did not look my way. I stopped and stared mesmerized as he with ease blew breath into a bamboo hole and brought out sweet sounding refrain. “How much?” I asked. “A rupee,” he said. I would have paid him more, twice as much maybe three times more for the symphony it produced, alas, the same I couldn’t do. “The dogs are howling,” my brother said. “The cats are fighting,” my mother cried, but I pushed stubborn bamboo into equally reluctant mouth and worked sounds that would have made a banshee wail sound like harmonious chords. And then one day, the family hummed with me.
You’re whistling my tune,” I told my father. “What tune?” asked dad. “That which I just played on bamboo flute,” He grinned, but there was grudging respect for my persistence if not for melodious sounds that were rare and very far apart. He was there the flute player, in the same familiar spot. Again I listened with awe and watched his Krishna fingers Pan like play divine rhapsodies. “How?” I asked, “did you reach such harmonic heights. He grinned. “Just play and play and play,” he said and winked at me.
I did. I played and played and bamboo reed slowly, grudgingly like wild stallion stilled by determined cowboy, slowly allowed my hovering lips and clasping fingers to master it. And through the years gone by, my bamboo flute with plaintive music, composed most often from ingredients of circumstances I have gone through; sadness, and joy, happiness and grief, has been a constant mirror of my life’s ups and downs. It was a brand new piano that came into the middle of the room, but as I placed my bamboo flute back in its corner, it seemed grand piano moved back a pace or two and gave six holed reed its rightful place: Center stage..!