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Monday, 11 January 2016

Of Showers and Songs- From the Diary of a Bathroom Singer

The key to being a good bathroom singer as any bathroom singer worth their salt will tell you , is to master the art of being un self-conscious and give in to total abandonment. It is not the quality of your voice , no sir , it is the decibel level that counts.The louder and more shriller your voice , the greater the joy . To you that is , not to the neighbors. While growing up , even though we lived in an independent house and not apartments , the bathrooms had a special kind of acoustics and ventilation which meant that if anyone sang in the shower , it could be heard from 2 houses across. This was a matter of great enthusiasm and pride for us kids and generally bath time meant crooning to the latest hit , only to realize that someone else is singing the same song too , somewhere down the lane . My parents after years of banging on the bathroom door demanding that I shut up , eventually gave up and let me get on with it .This was a momentous parenting decision by them as I was totally tone deaf . I don't remember when my singing in the shower started dwindling . It was maybe when I started working. Showers then started to mean introspection time , thinking about what I did or didn't do at work , or crossing off chores to be done in my head or thinking about groceries and what to cook . After the birth of my baby , showers became a place of haven where I could go in and rest for a few minutes away from feeds and dirty diapers . It was also a place of litmus test to see if the new dad and baby could manage without me for a few minutes. When I came back to my parent's house, I was hit by a wave of nostalgia when I stepped into my old bathroom .I could hear the rhythmic swish of the broom of the neighbor's gardener. Birds were gently chirping and I could hear the cat chase a bird. I could also hear my baby gently cooing and talking to her grandparents As had become a habit , I started brooding and fretting and thinking about the long list of things that had to be crossed off. Then from a distance , I heard the notes of a young bathroom singer down the lane. It was like I was instantly transported to the days of my childhood. A bit hesitantly , I opened my mouth but then realized in horror that I had forgotten how to be a bathroom singer . I realized I was feeling self conscious ,a strict no no ! I swallowed and tried again. Voila! The notes got stronger and stronger and slowly the decibel level started increasing . With each passing second , I could feel the pent up tension dissipating . My version of Adele's song reached a roaring crescendo and finally when I stopped it was to total silence on the street. The cat had paused mid way in its chase , the gardener stood rock still , the birds were silent and I think my baby stuffed his little fingers in his ears but I was beaming. A wise man once said – There are very few problems in the world that a good night's sleep ,a glass of wine and a hot bath cannot solve. I'm going to add singing in the shower to this list too.

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