Story of Asif
'' I was talking to a fellow music enthusiast from Afghanistan who plays the guitar and he finally convinced me to play something and I quickly played Black Bird - Beatles before my diffidence hit me. We were then discussing Indian music and how much he loved the music of an Indian composer – A.R. Rahman. He then went on to express his admiration for one of the singers – Benny Dayal. I of course casually mentioned that I knew him and that we shared a common group of friends. He also seemed to recognise one of my other friends, Shakthisree Gopalan, who also sings with A.R Rahman, and admitted to liking her songs too. His face was priceless. His jaw literally dropped open and he was so thrilled! I quickly showed him a few photos of some group photos in Chennai from when we were at my friend’s wedding.
Quoting him, he said ‘’You just gave me a shock of 400 volts’’ because I knew these guys. I was so happy for him. It is absolutely beautiful how music connects people from everywhere. Asif and I spoke for quite some time about the music of a musician I grew up listening to. I was so thankful that I was able to give him this, some joy, some semblance of normalcy through music and I promised him that I would let both Benny and Shakti know about him. Ever since, everytime we met he would always play an Indian song on the guitar and learnt the 'Tamil' greeting, ''hello, how are you'' to greet me!
Soon, a few weeks later, Shakti sent a video of her greeting Asif and singing for her. I sent that to Asif and he was absolutely thrilled. He had no words to express his delight when he sent me his voice note. Another year later I was at Benny's concerts and I insisted he take a video with me to send to Asif. When Asif received that, his reactions were - 😳😳🥰🥰and he was over the moon. This simple moment of joy that Asif expressed was unmistakenly beautiful. As he said, ' for some people, music is part of their lives, but for me, music is life'' and with great pride I will like to say that Asif is now a music teacher at Connect by music- Sindhuja Sankaran