A couple of weeks back, my son got an application form for the Talent Hunt on Disney Channel – “Shooting Stars”. Very excited to have got the form, out of the lucky few in his class...He started to dream about how the show will be, what he would sing…blah blah blah, even before the form was filled! Kids get really excited with these things…but, are we parents any different?
The form was duly filled and returned. I was skeptic though. Nishanth, my son, is not a trained singer. He got bored of learning guitar and so he thought he could sing…not a bad one at it, given his age. But, whom are we kidding? There are thousands of talented kids out there. To further his enthusiasm, we even got a call from the channel guys giving us the date and venue of the auditions. My main reason for allowing Nishanth to take part was to show him how talented other kids will be...And how he should work hard to achieve this, something which my laid back son doesn’t fully comprehend. Well, he is of today’s generation, isn’t he? He wants to have everything instantaneously and without much slog.
The audition was today, 20th Feb. There’s no preparation from his side even before a week. He goes to the school picnic to Essel World and Water Kingdom on the 17th of Feb. And he is down with cold and cough, a big setback for singing. He has yet to select the song/s he will sing. He wants to sing Justin Bieber’s – ‘Baby’. So, we get him the lyrics and so the practice begins at home…me and my daughter correcting him. She mostly. We also tell him to practice some Hindi songs, because he is most at ease with the language and melody. He wants to sing Atif Aslam’s, ‘Pehli nazar mein’…I am like- no, and you can’t sing that. Your low notes are bad! As if I am “Sangeeta Visharada”! We settle in for “Aasman hai neela kyon” from Rock On. On and on he practices…a bit too much for comfort I must say.
The D day he gets up to realize that he has a sore throat… the combined result of having a cold and all the high pitched practicing. I am about to rattle off with ‘I told you so’, but restrain myself. I give a glass of hot water to soothe and clear his throat. Though it does nothing for his throat, he promptly goes to the john! We have to be at the venue at 3pm. He is a bundle of nerves by lunch time. I tell him, “This is not the end of the world if you don’t make it. Be confident. If you forget you lyrics…….” God! I am saying too much. He is just a kid! In fact, by telling him all these, I am making him more nervous. Do we parents ever learn? We teach our kids to let go, say it is no big deal. Unconsciously, we project our dreams and insecurities on them. And, invariably we make bid deal of small things. And, so I consciously refrain for talking more.
We reach the venue, the registration numbers are given. It’s a bad habit of mine, but I tend to add up the numbers, though I do not believe in numerology. Nishu’s number is 2233 and it adds up to 1. OK…cool no silly thoughts. Nishu’s friends’ registration number is 2275, adding up to 7, damn! Ok, I am being very very silly now. So, we proceed to the main auditorium which is the center of activity. I see hundreds of anxious, overzealous parents like me. The same hope, same aspirations, same tension and nervousness reflected everywhere. Last minute instructions from parents to kids…which go on and on, touching up of the make-up, some mom even dressing up her daughter, in front of everyone! We never leave them alone.