Swimming, dancing and skating were among the many hobbies that four-year-old Gauri Mishra tried her hand at but did not continue for long. Though skating did find her fancy more than others, so much so that she even participated in the sport at the state level, she discontinued it by the time she reached Class 5 — perhaps she wasn’t destined to be playing a sport but a musical instrument — a piano.
The musical journey of one of the youngest pianists in the country, Gauri Mishra started in Thane, Maharashtra where she resided with her parents before the family moved to Gurugram. “I wanted to try my hand at everything. Whatever my friends were doing, I wanted to do that. Then once I got a chance to use a synthesiser at one of our neighbours’ home, whose son was in our playgroup, and I really loved playing with the keys,” says the Class 8 student of Amity International School in Gurugram. The rest, as they say, is history.
To begin with, playing tunes on the keyboard was a hobby, Mishra indulged in the most, but exactly when did it turn into a passion is something she herself has no clue about. “It just happened. My interest developed, increased and kept increasing,” she says, adding that it was her father who recognised her skills and advised she learnt piano professionally.
The young pianist can play four different genres of music — Indian classical, fusion, Bollywood and Western — on piano, a very rare and unique talent. In August 2016, she created a national record of playing the piano for over an hour after which she was awarded a medal, a trophy and a certificate by the India Book Of Record as the ‘youngest pianist in the country’. Later, she also got a certificate by Children Book of Record as a ‘Youngest Indian Classical Pianist’.
Mishra is pursuing music certification from Trinity College of London as well as Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad, India, and practices anywhere between two-three hours on weekdays and a couple of hours more on weekends.
Isn’t that a bagful for a 13-year-old? “All the credit goes to my parents who gave me the freedom and also taught me time management,” says Mishra, who gives at least one public performance a month. When and where she performs is decided by her father. “He knows what is best for me. The idea is to balance the academics and music. Neither should suffer,” she says, wisely,
Mishra gave her first performance at Ambience Mall, Gurugram in 2015 and has given several other performances in Delhi -NCR. She performed at Mansa Star Awards, ICCR, IGNCA, IHC, Siri Fort Auditorium, Korean Cultural Centre, Assam Bhavan, Leisure Valley Ground, among others.
Though unsure of whether she would turn her passion into a profession, what she is certain about is that once in her life she will represent India at an international level. “That’s my dream. Otherwise, I just want to be a good human being and stay happy and content,” she says.
A big fan of Bollywood movies, Mishra loves also reading the life stories of people — biographies and autobiographies — as also fictional stories.