May 25, 2015

Writings: The Boy Who Couldn’t Sing

in category Writings

There was a boy who couldn’t sing.

Since he was a little boy, he was exposed to all kinds of music. His father was a talented musician, a master of the guitar, the piano, the violin and the drums. He could whip up a song in whatever genre you could think of. At parties, his friends would tell him to play a song to celebrate the occasion, which he will humbly declined until someone manages to trick him into drinking down a few pints of beer. After that, everyone would sit down quietly and wait for him to start playing.

And they were never disappointed.

His mother was just an average housewife. Born into a simple family, she was shy, quiet and reserved. But she possessed the most beautiful voice ever known to man. Since the first day she sung while serving drinks in a bar, his father knew that she would be his wife. And within 6 months of their first meeting, they were married.

Within 6 more, the boy who can’t sing was born.

His parents would pass him an instrument and sing to him while he slept. His pillow was shaped like a piano, his bolster a guitar and his bed sheet had images of drum sets of all kinds. His room was painted brown like the wood of a violin, and in his room, there was all manner of music boxes that you could imagine. From little small ones where the music played as fast as you turn the handle, to huge unmovable ones that require 4 strong man to lift. All of them could play the sweetest of music.

The boy who can’t sing like the little ones.

The first word that came out of his mouth was “Little box!”

When he could walk, he would slowly tumble toward the little music boxes, and point at each of them enthusiastically, shouting “little Box, little box!”

One day, when he was 1 year and 2 months, he realised that he could try singing! He opened his favourite music box (which played Mary had a Little Lamb) and tried to hum to it.

But all that came out from it was an empty rasping voice.

His mother saw this in horror. A child, surrounded by music, could not sing. She calmed herself down, and consoled the child (who was so shocked that he didn’t say anything, for he was a talkative boy) till he fell asleep in her bosom, the music box still repeating Mary had a little lamb.

The father and mother brought the child to all kinds of doctors that they could find. Psychologist, medical doctors, voodoo masters and even witches (for witches existed then) but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Each time the boy tried to sing, nothing would come out. He would speak the most eloquent of speeches, and had the voice like melted butterscotch, but try as he might, his vocal box just refused to sing.

So the boy who can’t sing grew up sadly. Everyday he would hear his father play the most wonderful music, and listen to the angelic voice of his mother, and he would run into the room and open his mouth to join in, but all that came out was an utter emptiness of disappointment and silence.

He cried. Oh how he cried. Everyday, he would sit in his room, with ear plugs on so that he would never have to hear the wonderful music around him. His parents didn’t know what to do to stop him from crying, so the father stopped playing his music. The mother stopped singing.

And the boy finally stopped crying.

Through school, the boy was just an average kid, average in his studies, average in sports, and (much to the dismay of his parents) average in music as well. In the early mornings when the national anthem was played, the boy refused to be at the assembly to hear all these people singing. If he was average, and the average people could sing, he thought one day, then he must be below average.

He plunged into deep depression since then.

His parents tried their best to lift up his spirits, but the only way they knew how was through music, and their son did not like music, and so they felt helpless. They put out notices through the town and country, asking for help to save their only child. They had money through the concerts that they had played and had promised that their saviour would be rewarded handsomely.

People came from far and wide to answer this call. Doctors who thought they were better than others came, carrying confidence that no man could break, but left a broken person. Music teachers thought they found a formula to undo the vocal box, but they left confused and devastated that their life work was undone. Girls tried to seduce the boy to tempt him to sing, boys tried to punish the child by forcing him to sing but nothing worked.

The father and mother were close to giving up when an old man, with a white beard as tall as him and a stick as thin as he was passed them a poetry book. Teach him to recite poetry he said, and he will be able to sing. The father and mother sighed and whispered to each other that they have another crazy one. They thanked the old man, and sent him on his way, asking him to take the book with him, but he refused and disappeared faster than you can say “who is that?”

At the end of the search, the parents toss all the gifts, remedies that they have received into a pile and sat there in silence, not sure what they can do. The boy, who is now 17 years of age, saw the poetry book, and asked if he could read it.

The father, tired beyond his years, was too weak to say no, so the boy excitedly open the book and started to read. Out of his mouth came beautiful imagery, magnificently read through the buttery voice of his. He read with gusto, paused for dramatic pauses and continued reading. His feet tapped the floor to help him manage the rhythm of the poetry, and he whirled around, as if listening to a song.

The father and mother did not take notice at first, for they have heard his voice so many times, but they finally realised how much it reminded them of music. The rhythm, the pauses, and the melodic recitation of the words, it was music! This was a new form of music!

They sprang to their feet, and took their instruments out and prepared to play the music around the poetry that the boy was saying. The day played his guitar, and the mom sang when the boy stopped at a paragraph. They created a song no one has heard before, and yet it was the most melodic music ever created, a mixture of melody, recitation and rhythm.

They called it Rap.

From that day on, the boy who couldn’t be sing could finally be part of the family. Everyday they would wake up and eat breakfast in a hurry to create new songs and work on new projects. For they were excited, and they couldn’t wait for the world to hear their new sounds.

And it would take the world by storm.