Parveen Sabrina Khan had what every Indian student covets: marks to take her places.
With a score of 89 per cent in the Arts stream, the student of the Maharani Gayatri Devi School in
Jaipur was all set to sail into a bright future. Until she decided on a course correction.
After graduating from the 12th standard last year, Parveen opted to take a year off from academics
to pursue something she had set her heart on: Hindustani classical music. “I needed to devote
a lot of time for riyaaz, which would not have been possible with a whole day spent in college,”
she says. In that year away from textbooks and all-night study sessions, Parveen practiced her
music for hours on end. She also travelled extensively; attending and participating in concerts,
taking lessons from and watching legendary musicians perform their craft. A year later, she feels
that in the gap year she learnt a lot more than just music. “I learnt to live on my own in different
cities, became friends with people much older than I am, from very different backgrounds than
my own,” she says. This year, Parveen, now 19, will “do” college without compromising on her music
or her freedom. She intends to major in political science through correspondence.