We were travelling from Lake Town to Kalyani, in a local train. After crossing Belghoria, the train became crowded and reaching Sodpur, there wasn’t an inch’s space in the compartment. Luckily, we had got empty seats on the train beforehand.
At Sodpur junction, a beggar got into our compartment. His wife was with him. He was blind and he had a harmonium with him.
The harmonium had a white strap and he had slinged it on to his neck.
Seeing such a sight, we had anticipated that he would now start playing and singing on the harmonium. Both of them were elderly.
They managed to get a space to stand near our seat and once they were comfortable, the man started playing a tune on his harmonium.
The harmonium was old but well maintained.
When he started playing, I had nearly closed my eyes and ears, as I had anticipated a harsher tune or a tune simply played to earn money.
But this man knew his music. He didn’t miss a single note.
I looked onto him and saw that as he was blind, he had worn dark glasses and was constantly looking upwards, but his hands played like magic. Like a seasoned professional, he was able to play the harmonium without looking at it.
I was more than surprised, seeing him play. At that time, I was learning harmonium too and knew that to maintain a balance between the bellow and the keys of the harmonium is a tough job.
But the man was truly in sync with his beloved instrument. Seeing him play lines after lines effortlessly, it felt as if the harmonium was his own part.
I had difficulty in playing the harmonium even while having all the keys in my vision. Whereas that beggar had honed his talent so much that, he commanded the harmonium with as much confidence with which a maestro conducts his symphony.