It was just another evening at the Satin Creditcare Network office in Gurugram when the guards heard an unwonted reverberation from the CMD’s cabin. Much to their surprise, and relief, HP Singh was playing his newly installed Havana drum set. “This was two years ago. Now I play in the office four to five times a month,” Singh says, and the guards are no more taken by surprise when he starts working on those cymbals and pedals.
The top boss at the NBFC shares that he has always been in awe of musical instruments. Growing up, Singh was part of many musical events in school. But he never expected this fascination to become what it is today and have a life of its own. College was when Singh finally discovered the joy of playing an instrument. He started practising on a kit that belonged to a friend. “He was my first sortie into drums. I would watch him play and then give it a go,” Singh recalls. Today, it’s more than just a hobby. “It adds to my mindfulness and keeps me happy,” he shares.
Taking up a challenging role in the financial services sector did not deter Singh from pursuing his passion. “I had stopped playing for a long time after college, but a hectic professional life took me back to it,” he says. He needed a passion besides work. And to improve his skills, he also hired a professional teacher. “I missed my first few classes due to several urgent meetings. The tutor was initially patient with my erratic attendance, but he gave up after three weeks,” Singh guffaws. Nevertheless, he has remained a persistent student by consulting online tutorials. He hopes to find time for a formal training later in his life.
He draws inspiration from the musical stalwarts of his era. Bee Gees, Eric Clapton, Judith Avers and Stevie Wonder are some of them. But Singh mostly goes freestyle and creates his own beats. He says, “Discovering new beats is like discovering new business strategies. You have a blank canvas in your instruments, and it’s up to you to stitch the right tunes.” He believes it doesn’t matter what the music is, as long as it sounds good to the one listening or creating.
Singh installed a drumset in his office to destress after long hours of work, and he jokes that he isn’t allowed to make any ‘noise’ at home. He usually plays for 15-20 minutes in the evening when the office is fairly empty. “When I indulge in playing drums after a long day of work, I am in my personal zone, away from the responsibilities and worry,” Singh says.
He played in front of an audience for the first time during an offsite office event about two years ago. A few of them organised a small show where they played different instruments. “I played my own drumbeats. It was a thrilling experience. I was nervous at first, but that’s how it starts for everyone,” Singh says. His passion keeps him high in spirits and works like therapy. “Practice and discipline can help any novice learn to play,” he says.