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The Playlist

Disclaimer : I'm a huge KPop fan and you will come across names and photographs of KPop idols in most of my stories. They are my muse and inspiration in so many ways. The incidents and characters are fictional and have no resemblance to any K pop idol in any manner.

Nisha was born speech impaired. She could see, smell, hear, touch, feel, taste but she couldn't speak with her mouth.

Her mother often tells her the story of her birth, when the doctor told her that the baby is crying but there's no sound.... But, her mother took in the news well and asked the doctor what can be done to improve or treat the baby's condition.

As baby Nisha was growing, she was learning to express herself with her eyes and facial expressions. Since her hearing was fine, at least one way communication was possible.

Nisha's mother learnt sign language alongwith her daughter so that both of them could communicate in their own way! Nisha showed keen interest in dance which further improved her facial expressions.... Most of the times, Nisha managed to convey her feelings with her expressive eyes and face, without a single word!

Dance introduced Nisha to music. She had an extremely varied and eclectic taste in music. Any piece of music- vocal or instrumental , any genre( classical, rock, pop, ballad, fusion,etc), in any language or from any part of the world- which touched her heart or caught her fancy, was saved into her playlist.

Nisha's father had gifted her an I-pod so that she could listen to her own choice of music whenever or wherever she wanted! Her IPod and the earphones were Nisha's lifeline! As she would listen to her favourite songs, she would travel into a world of her own!

In her growing years, thanks to her extremely loving and supportive parents, Nisha had taken to writing and painting. Her words spoke her mind loud and clear, while her paintings had a depth that belied her youth! Nisha never felt inadequate in any manner because of her speech impairment.

School life did leave her with some unpleasant memories where she was bullied and called names, but having her parents, her teachers and closest friends behind her, made her face the bullies bravely!

Nisha had opted for Fine Arts in college. She was very keen to learn the guitar and drums!!! When she listed her options, people made fun of her but she stuck to her plans.

The first day, when she walked in for her guitar class, she discovered there were just 2 girls in a class of 20! The other girl, Amaira, was friendly and the two were virtually inseparable! Being a quick learner, Nisha picked up really fast and got noticed by the teacher.

In the drums class however, Nisha was the only girl. Being a focussed and determined student, Nisha excelled here too! While a lot of unwanted attention was filtered away by her medical condition, she noticed a boy who was with her in both classes! She went up to him in her drums class and held out her hand alongwith a note saying- 'Hi! I'm Nisha! I can't speak. I would like us to be friends. What about you?'

To her utter surprise, the boy replied in sign language- 'Hi! I'm Rishabh! I can speak but I thought this could be our code language, dear friend! ' When Nisha smiled, Rishabh smiled too and they shook hands! It was only a matter of time before they got close.

Anyone who was close to Nisha and knew her, also knew about her playlist. Nisha's playlist wasn't just a collection of songs.... It was a collection of her feelings... It was a way of expressing how she felt at that point of time- happy or sad or melancholy.... It was a way to communicate with anyone who would care to listen and understand her as a person.... It wasn't just a playlist, it was her mood of the moment! The most interesting part being she made a fresh playlist every single day! Sometimes even a special one for that special moment...

Amaira, Rishabh and Nisha had become fast friends and spent almost all their time together. Her new friends had learnt to assess her mood/ feelings by just listening to one song in her playlist!

With Nisha's permission, Amaira and Rishabh had spoken to the college authorities about a new concept for 'college fm' where they would play 'Nisha's playlist of the day' and it had been approved. Nisha's enthusiasm and positivity was infectious!

Every new day meant a brand new playlist from Nisha's eclectic music collection. No one could predict which song in which language would play next! No one knew what to expect! With Nisha, it was exactly this charm of the unexpected that made everyone wait excitedly for the 'playlist of the day'!!! Nisha had opened up a world of possibilities for her audience. She had opened their hearts and enabled them to appreciate music in every form, genre, language and to understand that music truly has no boundaries.....

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Nov 15, 2020


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