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By Vivaan Karande, 9C

Helping my younger friends has always brought me pleasure, whether it involves explaining an academic concept or teaching a dance step.

Several years ago, my friend Neel, who was eleven years old at the time, was a member of a band and had the opportunity to participate in a renowned worldwide competition to which his band had been invited. This was the world’s most prestigious music competition and the fact that he was invited to it overwhelmed him to the core. That was a fairly natural and expected feeling, but what terrified him the most was his stage fright. Performing at the O2 Arena in London was no small deal.

I decided that I was going to help him overcome his stage fright, having some experience under my belt. Neel was the lead guitarist of his band, and the guitar is an instrument that is used in every song. I told him not to look at it as a competition but to look at it as something he loves doing. We started practising day in day out. This was not an opportunity to waste. We started performing for small audiences to gradually overcome his stage fright. I told him that at the time of the final performance, he would be wearing earphones. He should use the earphones to block out any external sound, especially of the audience. Neel gradually overcame his stage fright, giving not only him, but also me a huge amount of satisfaction.

Neel’s band went on to win the competition, eventually leading to a record deal with Columbia Record Label Company. This was a really special experience for me as it taught me that anything is possible if you enjoy doing what you do. Helping people always gives me great pleasure, but this time I definitely felt another kind of euphoria.

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