The poem “An Ode to first 4 Silver” has a long story behind it. My father's college was celebrating their silver jubilee. It was truly a memorable and highly planned tour which I enjoyed.
Or at least most of it.
My sister had fallen ill on the last day and I went alone with my new friends to Veega Land (which was a complete waste of time, I took photos and held everyone's handbags and went on ONE roller coaster). I come back and this was the conversation that ensued.
Dad: We've finished packing
(clambered onto the bed, all tired)
Dad: Mom and I had an idea
Dad: You know everyone knows your sister, I mean she was a singing sensation yesterday
Me (eyes lighting up) : Yeah, her “Made in India” brought the house down
Dad: So, we thought you should also showcase your talents.
Me (grinning): Daddy, my talents aren't exactly performing type. I can't very well solve problems or something. It's OK, she can be famous here.
Dad: You do write good poems.
Me: That's the point, I write.
Dad: Well, we want you to recite one.
Me (grin gone): WHAT? Me? Speak? On stage? Not happening.
Dad:Sowmya, don't be ridiculous. You gave such amazing speeches in school.
Me: That was school and they were not always spectacular. I've re-developed stage fear. And besides I take a month to write poetry. I'm no Shakespeare.
Dad: Well, give it a shot.
Me: Hmmm... what do you want it to be about?
At this point, my father transformed into the school-boy (or college-man) and his eyes sparkled as he spoke lovingly about his college and about the re-union. I was intrigued. The right emotions always pave the way for poetry. But I didn't have any paper, much less my laptop.
I was reduced to scribbling with a fluorescent orange pen on the back of my sister's brown paper medicine wrapper.
My work of art was completed in fifteen minutes. I purred in fulfillment. My dad was ecstatic. He said I could read it with the “paper” on stage.
The shadow of fear was back. I begged him to read it and that I really don't care if a bunch of people didn't know who I was who,in all probability, I wasn't going to see again.
It's not the first time I lost against my dad in a rational argument. He has the art of convincing me that what I don't what to do is what I want to do and vice-versa.
It was karaoke night. My sister was going to rock of course. Me? Hmmm, my stomach suddenly disappeared.
The co-ordinator said he couldn't fit me into the itinerary.
I would have whooped with joy if I hadn't felt so queasy.
I threw up the minute I reached our room.
I claimed it was because of my trip to Veega Land.
P.S. Stage fear is not that much of an issue now. I've taken four seminars since then. I've grown from an artist to a performing artist.