I am a trained singer and though I am not exactly concert material, I can manage a little of the classical songs that one hears in my country. And this meant that my parents wanted the whole world to know what a great singer in the making their daughter was. (Mom... Dad... if you're reading this, :D)
And so, they would enroll me to every single singing competition they could find! And thus, during the rehearsal for one of these things, I was supposed to memorize a long string of swaras that formed the climax of a complex 'filmy' number from a movie that was all the rage at that time.
Well... for those who know me personally, they'll know how good I am at memorizing things! My brain's like a sieve... one moment I am listening to something important someone's telling me and the very next moment... Oh! Shiny! And I have suffered a lot as far as academics is concerned thanks to this trait of mine! And so, even after two days of practice, I still managed to bungle up most of the swaras in the song.
My mom is not someone who gives up easily (a trait I deeply admire in her!) and so, took me over to her friend's place whose distant relative had managed to memorize the entire song perfectly! This girl was just a year older than me and so, mom was under the impression that if she could do it, I could do it. Little did mommy-dearest understand that I was clearly an air head most of the time!
And soon, you can guess what happened! That child's mother went on gushing about how their daughter had managed to learn the song on her own and how she'd worn the tape recorder practicing with the singer! And as soon as my mom heard this, she involuntarily turned to give me her trademark 'see-this-is-how-you-ought-to-be!' stare. The girl sang the song a couple of times and showed me how it ought to be done.
But, fey fate! I still couldn't get some of the stuff right and was left floundering. Mom scolded me, telling me I wasn't doing it with full conviction and how I was being half-hearted. I must say, I was trying my best on that day and had been practicing for the whole day before mom had come from work and so, it hurt me a little hearing that. I guess I began to believe that I couldn't sing at all and did what I do best... retreat into my wee wittle shell and worry.
Soon, it was decided I'd sing another song. One which did not have the swaras in them. I managed to learn that song pretty fast and believe it or not, I managed to bad a prize in that competition as well! I guess they just wanted a singer who could sing properly... not someone who could recite swaras like a tape recorder!
I still feel inadequate sometimes... even now... there are times when I feel if I really can do something or if I truly deserve something. I think, we're all like that at times. I guess it takes just a small amount of self-belief from our side. Though, I guess some amount of insecurity is good... lest we get too full of ourselves!