Born in 1985, Yogita Arun Tambe was not blessed with the gift of sight but was endowed with something much more rare and special- her ability to find music in the most unlikely of objects.
Ever since her childhood, she had always been interested in making music out of things like tables, and chairs and would spend hours doing exactly that.
Her first set of tablas were presented to her by her father when she was five years old, and it was her grandparents who realised that their granddaughter was special and had the potential to do great things with music.
Back then, Yogita was only interested in playing mainstream Bollywood songs, the kind she used to hear on the radio. “I told my teacher that I did not want to practice the basic 'tals' and wanted to get straight into practicing Hindi and Marathi songs,” she said.
However, with time, she realised the importance of making the roots of her talents stronger before indulging in the more complicated routines. “Even after playing for more than two and a half decades, I continue to work and try to get better.”
Apart from her prowess in instrumental music, Yogita also takes a keen interest in vocal music and theatre-art, and has even gotten involved in composing the background music for six to seven acts.
For her mettlesome efforts, she was honoured with the Outstanding Creative Adult Personality with Disabilities award on World Disability Day (December 3) in 2016, at the hands of the former Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
When she was in class X, Yogita met with a serious accident that completely ruined her right eye. “I hit my face on a steel tap and the impact damaged a nerve in my brain which affected my ability to read braille. My family and teachers were worried as I was to take my board exams soon.”
She was also diagnosed with tuberculosis (stage two) and had to miss her class X preliminary examinations because of extremely high fever.
But thanks to friends who continued to help her study and exceptional staffers at her school, she not only managed to take the Class X boards but scored 71% overall as well.
So, what is it that gives Yogita the strength to move on despite all the struggles in her life?
“I love to meditate and be closer to god. This however does not mean that I don't work on getting better in my craft. Meditation helps practice my music, teach my students at Asmita School and complete the rest of my chores with a lot of energy. That's my secret.”
And so, on 25th June 2018, fearless Yogaita displayed the brilliance of her unlimited energy and the 'never say die' attitude as she created a record by playing 50 instruments in 49 minutes at the Shrimati Kamala Mehta Blind School, Dadar, Mumbai and immortalised her name in the Limca Book of Records 2019.
“The biggest achievement of my life was to get myself into the Limca Book of Records. The experience was surreal,” the 34-year-old musician said.
Now, with her name in the Limca Book of Records, the musician wishes to do live shows and hopes that her work is remembered by future generations and her journey can inspire them just a little too.
Talking to Yogita Arun Tambe was an experience in itself. Listening to her talking about her past and her journey so far so seamlessly was refreshing. There was a sense of excitement in her voice when she described her aspirations, her goals. At 34 years of age, Yogita is challenging every notion related to her disabilities on a daily basis and has no intentions of looking back.
What's your excuse?
This article was originally published in MensXP