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Of friendship, music, and everything in between

Of friendship, music, and everything in between

It was a gala event. The stage was set. The last five years had paid off—this was Jay’s moment to shine. He was receiving the award for Best Music Composer. As the screen played his the official video of the cover song, Jay’s journey flashed before his eyes.

Not always was he this heartthrob with countless admirers. Sure, Jay got straight A’s in school, but he was also the nerd everyone bullied. The nickname ‘freak geek’ stuck for a while. Timid and unpopular, he was never invited to the birthday parties or the sleepovers. Books and music were all he had.

On the first day of college, Jay met Matt. It was at the cafeteria, where Jay was being heckled. Matt stood up for him. Given his popularity, the bullies complied. It was the start of a friendship Jay could have never imagined. The camaraderie, the banter, the bro code… Jay finally felt ‘normal’. Jay helped Matt with his math assignments. Having a popular friend can get you more friends than you bargained for. From having no friend to having his phone ring non-stop, Jay had a hectic social life.

A few years passed, Jay and Leena released their maiden album, a runaway hit.

One day, Matt introduced Jay to Leena, a popular girl at college. She sang for Matt’s band. Jay started frequenting the band’s jamming sessions for two reasons, Music and Leena. Before he knew it, Jay became integral to the band—he was now one of the core members, having replaced their erstwhile lead guitarist.

On the last day of college, Jay broke the best news a band could want to hear—he brought them the project of a lifetime. It was overwhelming and exciting, all at once. Leena already started planning an entire life imagining their first hit. Matt, on the other hand, was jittery. Call it the lack of confidence of stepping outside the comfort zone or the fear of failure, Matt, the confident stud of the college, was nervous. The convincing, the assurance from Leena and Jay failed and Matt opted out of the album. It was futile to think about the missed opportunity and the regret he secretly harboured—he had already taken the decision to step back.

A few years passed, Jay and Leena released their maiden album, a runaway hit. The success, the glory, and the adoration made all the sleepless nights of hard work worth it. What more could an artiste ask for?

Jay attended the college fest as a chief guest. As he walked through the old corridors, nostalgia enveloped him. He smiled thinking of the hours spent jamming, joking, composing music together. But the smile evaporated as he thought of Matt—the reason he was here. Except that they stopped speaking after the band broke up. He looked at the locked up jamming room, and flashed a determined smile. It was time to do what’s right.

A month later, the hall was packed to capacity, and the nervous anticipation was palpable. “… And the award for the Best album goes to Frames by Jay Roy and Leena Davis,” announced the enthusiastic host of the evening. Jay walked up the stage to accept the award. He began to speak with teary eyes and a choking voice. “I am here today, thanks to the person who brought me out of my lonely world. This one goes to you, Matt Hayes. Couldn’t have done it without you.”

Back at home, in a dim-lit living room, Matt sat holding back the mixed bag of emotions. “Thank you, Jay. I wish you didn’t have to,” Matt mumbled through his tears.

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