The School of Life

Preeti and Tara were childhood friends. Both were classical vocalists who performed on several stage shows together. Preeti always looked up to Tara because she was a melomaniac and an art connoisseur. Tara began grabbing opportunities. Preeti, however, wasn’t confident and lost significant projects. She degraded herself and recommended Tara’s name for concerts. Tara swiftly started climbing the success ladder, leaving Preeti behind. Her popularity soared, and she found herself witnessing supreme adulation. Tara started performing countrywide concerts. Through reliable sources, Preeti learnt about Tara's event, scheduled to take place nearby.   She was excited and reached the venue to meet Tara. “Hey Tara, you're looking cool. Best wishes. Will talk later.” Preeti beamed delightfully. “I'm already busy. I don’t think we can meet.” Tara muttered. Tara’s words stabbed. Preeti returned home crestfallen. The distance between them grew, and eventually, their connection broke. *** Once, Tara bumped into Shalini, an aspiring singer. “Hi. I'm Shalini. We've never met, but I admire you and have frequented your programmes.” “That’s sweet of you. What do you do?” “I'm an aspiring singer and desire to be like you someday,” Shalini responded with an air of confidence. “Oh, cool. Would you like to join me?" “Really? Of course, why not? We'll make a great pair,” Shalini replied excitedly. Over time, they got close and became famous. Tara gave her numerous opportunities. Shalini, however, developed a gluttonous attitude and began approaching organisers without Tara's knowledge, charging half of Tara's prices. “Shalini, you're so ungrateful. I gave you opportunities, and you backstabbed me.” Tara was heartbroken. “Hey, everything is fair in love, war and competition,” Shalini smirked. Due to stress and lack of opportunities, Tara's health deteriorated.  When she recovered and desired to start again, she realised Shalini had made a place in everyone's heart. *** However, Preeti still secretly admired and followed Tara on social media. She gave Tara's work its deserved appreciation. Tara realised her mistake. She approached Preeti and apologised for the selfish treatment.  “Preeti, you're my true friend. I made friends along the way, considering them to be my well-wishers. But they fooled me with honey-laced words and took undue advantage. Moreover, toxic adulation left a residue of pain within me. “A healthy mind and adulation with warmth elevates others. Your words were not honeyed, nor did you expect anything from me except love and togetherness.” Tara expressed and hugged her tight.  She insisted Preeti sing with her in her next live show.   Adulation from unexpected avenues can bring back zest like magic. On the D-day, Preeti was a bit nervous; but emerged stronger when Tara lent her hand and encouraged her. The crowd erupted in cheers and applauded crazily after every song.  When they were both felicitated, Preeti realised for the first time that she too, was exposed to adulation. Her eyes filled with tears of ecstatic delight; her spirit brimmed with happiness. Her face glistened with contentment.  That night, she lulled herself into a deep, peaceful slumber after eons.   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!