Passion hits a crescendo . . !



LAST evening was when passion hit a crescendo, when I saw incredible talent win over age! To conduct a choir at the age of ninety, and to bring a perfect rendition of a Capella singing, is nothing short of an unimaginable miracle!

Conducting is no mean task, and pulls out from the maestro, every ounce of not just his or her energy, but their skill and musical dexterity! For those who mistakenly think it’s just about waving a baton to and fro, while choir and musicians play on merrily, they are far mistaken.

Conducting requires a ear tuned to every voice in the choir, even as another part of same ear hearkens to harmony produced. Conducting requires the softening of that loud singer, whose spouse in the audience delights only in hearing her loved one’s voice, but an understanding conductor, like a gentle shepherd nudges him or her back to their vocal team.

I watched her do all this and more, so that later when in hushed tones, the musically inclined in the audience and other choral singers nodded and whispered, she hadn’t lost her form, I looked askance and wondered why ever would she need to? When one invests one’s whole life into one’s passion, when every sound, garish or in harmony forms a musical chord or discord, when one lives and breathes, and dreams only music, however can it ever take backstage, at whatever age one is?

Yesterday, the pieces were simple, not the Bach and Mozart of yesteryears. But it is in the simple that one can bring out the magnificent. It is in simple tunes made profound, one shows one’s talent, just as the best chef in a five star is one who can take a plain egg and make the most delicious meal of it.

She did just that! The other choirs came with piano and drum set, saxophone and violin, she walked on stage with none, but just a tune in her head, which through flawless movement of her still elegant hands she transferred into song to the Paranjoti Academy Chorus she’s conducted and has been conducting for the past fifty five years! The other choirs left with drum sets and saxophones, the audience returned home humming the saxaphoneless, violinless, pianoless exquisite pieces she had regaled them with!

A lesson I learnt as I saw Coomi Wadia, getting the best out of us, even as with baited breath we hoped age would not make her falter, was that time spent in investing ourselves passionately into what we love, makes what we love our support and fortifies us in our twilight years. The audience roared, even as she walked offstage with a silent hurrah in her slow, silent, gait.