Wednesday 10 October 2012

Article - My experience at the Olympics - Seema Menon

London 2012 Olympics, a momentous occasion for me and an abiding memory for life. After enjoying all previous Olympics vicariously in front of the couch, I was thrilled to be selected to perform at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies in November last year. I had never imagined I would participate in an Olympic ceremony when I moved to London almost 7 years back from Mumbai. I had always wanted to learn a musical instrument but couldn't follow through in my younger days and what better opportunity than to play the "drums" in the Industrial Revolution section "Pandemonium" under the direction of Danny Boyle at the Olympics! To perceive that it was such an iconic event and watched by millions gave me sufficient gusto to pursue the rehearsals with absolute diligence.

We began as novices, beating the plastic-buckets-modified-drums with varying rhythms and not once were the drumming teachers peeved at us. Instead, at all times, they provided great leadership and patience to galvanise this 1000 strong team of drummer volunteers from various backgrounds. Amidst all my initial doubts and anxieties, I was astonished that a project of this gargantuan nature could be so gently managed at the same time preserving the fun aspect whilst training. My biggest challenge was to manage my work schedule and family front but the support from all quarters and the encouraging words to participate in this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity kept me going. 

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