The Golden Instrument
The saxophone. It is the giraffe of all instruments; thin and long on top, large and round on the bottom, and the elegant, marvelous gold hue. It starts with a black mouthpiece and a reed with an earthy taste of wood, with traces of fruits like banana and vegetables like potato, all complimented by the bland flavor of the plastic cases I carry them around in. When I blow into the narrow margin between the two, the vibrations echo inside the soggy brass cauldron of the instrument and come out of the bell sounding as golden as the instrument itself.
The long giraffe-like neck of the saxophone twists brilliantly to create a harmonic tune that strikes everybody’s ears with a euphonious sound. It also has an octave key that vibrates the shaft more, creating a heavenly noise, like how vocal cords work; it makes the instrument “sing.” It sounds theatrical and majestic, and the range if notes goes from the high and angelic to the low and depressing. It sounds like a mixture between the clarinet and the trumpet; a soft reed-like sound blended in with the symphonious, brassy sound of the trumpet. In a concert, it is the star of the show, blowing out a grandiose sound which fills the audience’s ears with a melodic tonality that brings a smile to their face.
On the body of my saxophone lie a countless number of keys, creating an endless spectrum of sounds and tunes that complement each other perfectly. All the buttons are connected by some kind of bar, creating a labyrinth of golden arches, lines and keys, which are only distinguished by the small pearl ovals on each note. The piece de resistance of the saxophone is the bell. It is the base of the saxophone: gone is the maze of gold, gone are the convolutions of the neck; it is all replaced by the simple yet magnificent bell. Under the lip of it is an aesthetic silhouette of a flower etched into the gold finish, instantly astounding anybody who sees that marvelous image.
In English, my name is the North Star. In Hindi, it is the highest place in the universe, watching over everything else. The Indian myth says that the Prince of India was unfairly banished from his kingdom and prayed beside a river for 11 months, until he got his wish to rule in his rightful place among the stars. I like the sound of my name; it sounds like a smooth rhythm, a nice beat to a good song, a groove.
What I don’t like about my name is that the character in the legend just watches over the world; I don’t just want to sit and look down at the mindless violence of humans. I want to make an impression on the world, and set it to a nice beat or balance that will end the wars; I want to give the euphonic rhythm of my name to the world.
I want to live up to the myth of my name, and make myself a legend; I want to fix the world. I want to be remembered not as the spectator, not as an observer, but as the Life Changer. I don’t just want to sit on my chair made of galaxies, on my perch high above the stars, staring out of my universal window, merely longing for a chance to become a legend, to change the world. If I ever write a legend about my name, it would have the sentence “The Life Changer, set the world to the groove of his name; he put each country on its own metronome and set it to a peaceful, balanced rhythm.”
Age 12, Grade 7
Hunter College High School