Together with my son and my wife, we watched Yanni in concert, front row seats. It was expensive, but I don’t just love Yanni’s music. It saved me.
I was at a really low point in my life then. I had invested heavily in a stock that went from $80 to $8. I still hoped that it would recover even when it crossed $40, and so I rode it down. I...we, got hit hard, and I was to blame. We had a lot of arguments. I was miserable.
It was at this point when I hailed a cab to attend a packaging exhibition. I was drained and didn’t want to drive my car. But to comfort myself, I ordered an Uber premium taxi. I wanted to be at least miserable in comfort.
When my cab arrived, the driver didn’t call to prompt me. Cab drivers understandably do this to get over their business with you and move on to the next customer asap. Not this one, he was elegant. As I was walking towards his cab, I could see his lean frame polishing the car’s exterior.
I found myself departing from my usual practice of sitting at the back, and got into the front passenger seat. The driver was an elderly man. He told me he has retired already and was only driving his taxi to keep himself occupied. He wanted to try new things. He had this dignity and confidence that was quite unusual for a cab driver. Before we drove off, he asked me if he can watch Yanni in Concert: Live at the Acropolis. He had an iPad-size screen beside the dashboard, half-way between us. I agreed.
Even with the small screen, the car’s sound-system transported me into the concert. Yanni, who once confided that he was happiest when he dedicated himself exclusively to music a year after graduating from school, was now lifting me up with his music. The driver told me that the other musicians with Yanni excelled in their individual instruments, and came from all over the world - Taiwan, Japan, UK. He said that Yanni and his fellow musicians beautifully complemented each other in concert. They did!
It rained heavily, but I didn’t notice it until later when I got off. What did catch my attention was the driver tapping his fingers on the steering wheel. He had fine hands. His manner was remarkably confident in sharp contrast to mine. He loves music, and he loved his life.
I was no longer a broken man when I stepped into the exhibition. In fact, I was surprised to find myself full of energy. I haven’t met that cab driver again, but I still want to be able to personally thank him to this day.
That misery I emerged from was brought about by real events. So it was quite a surprise that what brought me back from the depths of my depression was art and humanity, and not something practical like Math or the sciences. They brought my spirits up and enabled me to do what I had to do.
I did make it, recover our losses and more. In fact, it is my pride that the brand I’m building and which I intend to leave as an inheritance to my only son is in this sphere. Watching Yanni on the front-row seats was a celebration of that recovery, of art, and of humanity.