Chapter 4: Akshay to my rescue
As I was just controlling my emotions, there came a huge announcement. The announcement of who would be our chief guest. And guess who the chief guest was... It was JAY. Ok!! Jay was, is and will always be my idol. He is a singer. He started his singing at the age of 4. His parents were also singers. He became a singing sensation at the age of 12. Now he is 20 years old. And of course he is very handsome. All the girls had a crush on him. His most awaited solo album song was about to be released. So he came for promoting and of course he was our chief guest. Woww!! How cool is that!!
The chief guest was told to be a surprise. I never expected it would be him. The minute he entered the auditorium the whole crowd cheered. I couldn't even cheer. I had a shock, surprised, fear kinda reaction. Phew! I was really tensed. I always wished to perform in front of or with Jay but never knew my wish would be fulfilled so soon. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I was forgetting my lyrics too. I was sweating profusely. Akshay came to me and seeing my reaction he asked me
"Tara! You okay?!"
I said, "Yeah! Just a bit of a stage fright! And it's Jay too! So kinda nervous to sing. I'm afraid I might fail this one."
Then Akshay smiled at me and said,
"Oh! It's ok Taar! Ehh mind if I call you Taar?"
I said, "It's ok you can call me Taar."
Akshay said, "Ah ok Taar! Listen up. It's natural for you to be afraid, because you are not used to performing in front of a huge crowd. And I remember how you used to adore Jay when you were small. He being your idol, I know you want to give your best shot. But remember don't think too much. Just give your best. I know you'll do great. Dont panic. Forget about the crowd and Jay, just sing how you sing naturally"
After listening to Akshay, I said, "You are right Akshay! But saying all this is easy, but doing that is difficult. I am not able to control my anxiety. I don't know what to do."
Akshay said, "Ok! I will tell you a joke to lighten your mood. But you should not judge me or tell this to anyone. Deal?"
I was pretty reluctant initially but wanted to listen to it anyway as he told it will lighten my mood. I said, "Okay! Deal"
Akshay said, "Ok listen! You know even I was like you when I was playing keyboard in front of a large crowd."
I interrupted and said, "What?! Really?! You played keyboard in front of a large crowd. When? How did it go? Were you afraid? You had anxiety attacks? Stage fright?"
Akshay smiled, stopped me in the middle and said, "Woahh! Taar! Wait! Haha! Will tell you. Don't interrupt! Let me finish!"
I said, "Sorry! Please continue."
Akshay then continued and said, "Haha no problem! I understand. So as I was saying. It was my first ever performance. I was terrified. My legs were shaking. I was in back stage. I could hear the crowd cheering. I drank lots of water to cool me down. But it didn't work. I was to perform 3rd. And just then they called the first performer to perform on stage. The first performer played beautifully. I started having doubts on myself. I was walking round the back stage in tension. They called the second performer. Just then, I peed on my pants."
I asked, "You did what? You peed on your pants Akshay !!! What !!! Are you serious?"
And then I started laughing. Though I felt sorry for him, I just couldn't control. The way he was telling, I was listening to it so seriously and then he did that. But even he was laughing seeing me laugh and said
"Ok! That's enough Taar! Stop laughing!! You know it was bad. You know how I felt that day."
I said, "I'm sorry Akshay! But it was funny. Continue, so what did you do then? How did it go?"
For that he said, " Yes Taar! It was bad but somehow I managed to have an extra set of pants. It was with Shreya. I quickly called my sister asked her to come backstage, and she gave it to me. I told her about my situation and she motivated me. It was helpful and that gave me the strength. And finally I managed to give a decent performance."
I said, "Your sister is the best! She has motivated me too. What did she tell you by the way?"
He said, "She can be a nuisance at times, but she gives the best advice. Nothing much. Actually I love music. Music is everything for me. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to play an instrument which connects me to my soul. And keyboard came in my life. She made me realise the importance of my music and motivated me to be strong and determined and asked me to believe in myself."
I said, "Wow! That's great advice."
Akshay said, "Yes Taar! That's what I'm telling you. Believe in yourself. Believe that you are the best! And everything else will fall in place."
I felt way better and confident with his advice. It was one of the best advice anyone had ever given me. Just as we were talking, they called out my name to perform.
I said, "Ok bye! Gotta go! Hope I do well."
Akshay said, "You'll do great! All the best! Rock the stage Taar! I will be watching you."
I was so happy. I told him "Thank you" and rushed towards the stage. As I saw the crowd, everyone were looking towards me including Jay. I started panting, my legs were literally shivering. At the corner was Akshay. He literally waved from there and was showing me and reminding me about his story and gave me a big thumbs up. I smiled, took a deep breath and started singing. The whole crowd listened in silence.
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