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My flute and I..!

AND as the year comes to an end I look around and see my bamboo flute stretched out on grand piano.

I pick it up and place mouth tenderly against unpolished bamboo hole, and then from bamboo shoot pour out my soul. My tune is sad for dying year but suddenly thoughts linger on days gone, my face lights up and sad melody is replaced by stronger tune, sadness by joy and fingers flit on bamboo in gay abandon.

Ah! How my flute reflects my feelings! It is childhood again. I walk along the streets of the city, tired, looking for something I could buy to churn out music building inside me. The flute seller with his wares does not look my way. I stop and listen mesmerized as he with ease blows breath into a bamboo hole and brings out sweet sounding refrain.

'How much?' I ask breathlessly. 'A rupee,' he said. I would have paid him more, twice as much maybe ten times more for symphony he produced, though alas I soon find, the same I cannot do. 'The dogs are howling,' my brother grunts. 'Sounds like cats fighting outside,' my mother cries, but I push stubborn bamboo into equally reluctant mouth and work sounds that would have made a banshee wail sound like harmonious chords.

And then one day, my father hums with me. 'You're whistling my tune,' I tell him. 'What tune?' asks dad. 'What I'm playing on flute,' He grins, but there is grudging respect for persistence if not for melodious sounds that are rare and far apart.

I see flute player again at same familiar spot. Again I listen with awe and watch Krishna fingers play Pan like divine rhapsodies. 'How?' I ask, bewildered. He grins and winks. 'Just play and play and play! It'll come!' I did. I played and played and bamboo reed slowly, grudgingly like wild stallion stilled by determined cowboy, slowly let my boyish lips and clasping fingers master her.

And through the years, my flute with soft soothing sounds, composed most often in moments of sadness and joy, happiness and grief, has constantly mirrored my life's ups and downs. My fingers spin a song of joy and mesmerist flute twirls melodiously with happy tune my soul plays out. I raise my head, look up and give thanks to Him for joyous year gone by..!

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Publication:Pakistan Observer (Islamabad, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 6, 2018
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