I was not one amongst the early band members who were taught by Maynard but fortunately I was not too late either! I did get to see Maynard during one of his last trips to Prashanthi Nilayam.
I was a fresher to the band and was sitting at an apprehensive distance from him in that coveted room filled with his young admirers. I was trying to understand the reason behind the smiles and the glitter in the eyes of all those gathered in the Band room.
“Why are they all so eager and enthusiastic to see Maynard?”, I thought, still trying to comprehend the happenings of that evening.
All of a sudden a beautiful sound from that magical trumpet struck my ears and was heard clearly by my heart. I discovered the meaning behind all the eagerness I had seen earlier and found myself inching closer to him!
I have spent only a few moments with the legend, yet I have heard about him in all the talks and have seen him in all the eyes, time and again. Today I do not feel as sad for having not learnt music from him, as I feel good about having learnt one of the greatest lessons of life from him:
People perish, places are abandoned and empires are erased, yet the only one who lives forever is the one who has made a place in the hearts of people. For he lives on in the stories of the ones whose lives he has touched. He is heard in the voice of those who have heard him and he is seen in the eyes of those who have seen him.
My reverential obeisance to the legendary maestro!