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The Rockstar Auto-Driver Who Gave Up His Passion To Support His Family

The Logical Indian

July 19th, 2015

From the blog of Kunj Karia

I was returning from guitar classes. I took an auto, back home. On the way, the auto-driver (autowallah, as we call them in Mumbai) asked me how long has it been since I started learning to play the instrument. I told him it was my 2nd session that day. 5 minutes in the conversation I understood he knows a lot about guitar. I knew there was a story behind it and I wanted to know that story. So I asked…

PS: The whole conversation happened in Hindi

Me: Sir how do you know so much about guitar?
He: *chuckles* I was a professional guitarist. I used to play with a group of friends, at small restaurants and bars. We used to perform on streets also. All that was 10 years back.
Me: Then why did you stop playing?
He: Money wasn’t good for musicians back then. Also, there was no assurance of a gig on daily basis. I was married and I needed something which assured my family food, at least twice a day.
Me: Hmm.. tell me more about your friends, the group of friends with whom you played, a bit?
He: We started playing when we were around your age. They used to go to college, I couldn’t since I was working at a factory during day time. Every evening we used to meet, play our favorite songs and perform at some bars if we could get in. Good times, those.
(We reached the place where I was going to get down)
Me: It was good talking to you, uncle.
He: You mind if I play something on your guitar? It’s been long since I played one.
(I could see how eager he was to play the guitar)
Me: Sure! I’d love to listen to you.

He started playing the background score from Sholay.

Me: That was awesome! Even after almost 10 years you have a good command on the instrument. How do you feel?
He: I feel I should buy a guitar soon. My son learns and plays on his friends’ instrument.
Me: That’s great. I hope I learn well.
He: You will. It’s not easy but promise me you’ll not give up for at least a year.
Me: Yes, I won’t.
He: Don’t give up on guitar for a year and guitar won’t give up on you ever then. (Actual words: Beta tum guitar ko ek saal mat chhodo, guitar tumko zindagy bhar nahi chhodega)

We can’t even comprehend how much, in how short period of time, can someone can touch our lives and inspire us!

– Kunj Karia


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