Last Minute Homework and an Evening with Chopin!

This is me, being my sorry Saggitarian-self and mother…by which I mean – random & haphazard!

Ishaan starts school tomorrow after a 3 week break and I remember he has one page of homework still left in his school folder. Yup! Just one day before! Am I not brilliant? It’s a Diwali ‘diya’ that he has to color (God save us all!) and a picture of two puny firecrackers (the kind that go BANG!), that he has to say ‘No’ to by drawing a red cross. I’m glad they’re the kind that go ‘BANG’, coz the rest he loves and I couldn’t honestly make him say ‘No’ 😛

So after he’s showered, I sit him in his high-chair and lay the sheet in front of him, get out the Crayola box and try to get him to hold the red crayon in his hand so we can make the X. That goes Ok, only I think, because it’s all too sudden and he has no time to react! After that it’s all predictably downhill!! He grabs the red crayon and makes a few random strokes over the ‘diya’, after which he loses interest (it’s been a whole 5 seconds already!!), turns the page over and scribbles all over with a blue one. I make a few half-hearted attempts to direct his attention back to the task at hand, but who am I kidding? He’s not going to be coloring anything for a long time to come and frankly I don’t give a Damn!

Here’s what we started with…

Before we began...

And here’s what he accomplished in the 5 minutes he sat in the chair!

5 sec of coloring!
Creative genius on the back of his homework 😛

p.s. haven’t bothered to time him, if you noticed!

Sunday evening was fun! A close friend and her daughter (whom I shall just call M & N), took me along for a piano recital by Russian Pianist – Natalia Kapylova. The private concert was in honor of Chopin’s 200th Birth Anniversary on the 21st of Nov. The recital was at the Art Chamber (which doubles as an art gallery), a fitting venue, with its ivy-covered red-brick walls and castle-like architecture. The I-95 restaurant next-door, which we wandered through while waiting for the recital to begin, looked promising! It’s on my ‘to visit’ list 🙂 This is Goa however, and while we are surrounded by beauty, we are also victims of circumstance! In this case an unexpected power outage, means indefinite delay, as we sweat it out in the damp, autumn heat. Inside, an examiner from the London School of Music is conducting exams, which are now necessarily delayed. Outside, members of the ‘Namah’ Choir group, young girls and boys, smartly dressed in black suits, mill around enthusiastically, taking pictures and practicing for their performance, that we will sit in on, seemingly oblivious of the sweltering heat. Oh for the nonchalance of youth!

The Venue...

During the black-out, Natalia arrives with her family (her daughter looking droll in a pale, pink kimono) and stops to chat with M & N, whom she knows from previous encounters. She’s a stunning woman, svelte with delicate features, dressed in black with a string of pearls and the most gorgeous pair of crimson patent-leather heels, this side of the Mandovi 🙂 We are, all three of us, instantly covetous! Never mind that we would never balance on them for 2 sec, or what our lower backs would suffer if we tried 😉 When I manage to drag my gaze away from her shoes, I notice her hands – musicians’ hands she has – long, fluid, delicate fingers designed for precision, skill and harmony! Like surgeons’ hands…they’re powerful instruments! As suddenly as they had disappeared, the lights come back on and after a 40 minute delay, we finally enter the large, square hall of the Chamber, with its red floor, white-washed walls and domed ceiling, and make our way to our seats. The edges of the dome overhead are scattered with intriguing metallic characters, that look like Russian letters, but what do I know? I’m no linguist. I forgot to ask what they were…goes on my ‘to do’ list.

Natalia, Prof. Tutin & Chris from 'Namah'

The space is dominated by the gleaming, black Steinway Grand. I’m no musician, but I tell you, there’s just something about being in the presence of a Grand piano, that makes you sit up straighter. It’s quiet dignity demands respect and reverence. Like being in the presence of royalty! The Recital begins with the Choir. This is an exam, but I see no signs of nerves on the young faces 🙂 They start with Vande Mataram and immediately I have  goose-flesh. They are good these kids! There’s something inherently soul-stirring and heart-warming about Choirs, isn’t there? All those voices raised in unison in praise of God and country…invigorating 🙂 They sing O Come All Ye Faithful and We wish you a Merry Christmas next and the effect is magical 🙂 Yuletide is the air! They end, surprisingly, with a great rendition of a popular foot-tapping Bollywood number! We are all impressed but more importantly, so is the examiner 🙂

Natalia is next. She enters to enthusiastic applause, receives a bouquet of lilies, which she hands over to her daughter, walks over to the piano and the recital begins. For the next hour I am ‘Lost in Chopin’! The music washes over me – mesmerizing. I’m no music critique, but if I had to decribe Chopin’s music in one word (as if!), I think that would be it – mesmerizing or perhaps haunting?! In an instant it is a storm…loud, angry and insistent; in the next it is a gentle stream, a tinkling brook going merrily on its way! At times it seems like a conversation between the sea and river, mountain and hill, the strong and the weak…at once urgent, exhilarating, deep and robust! Natalia is engrossed, which lends Soul to her performance. Her head bobs vigorously as her fingers fly over the keys, and ever so often, one hand rises gracefully upwards in slow motion, while the other dances over the ivory. She plays several pieces with interestingly flowery, surgical names like fantasy F minor, Nocturnes E flat major and C sharp minor, Etude F minor and Fantasie Impromptu (the pièce de résistance), among others. She ends with Mozart’s Turkish Rondo, which delights me, coz even I know this one!

All too soon, it’s time to leave. There’s some frenzied picture-taking and we are on our way home. M and I make plans to meet up more often (we have a pathetic track record for friends living within a few miles of each other!), in the future, for concerts and otherwise. I hope she won’t be scared off by the fact that I talked my head off on the way to the venue!! It’s just so good to have a peer to talk to…and it’s been a while since I did 🙂 So, Sorry M, if I gave you a headache 😛 It was meant as a compliment 😉

And thank-you for a fabulous evening, I won’t forget in a hurry 🙂

Happy Monday People!

7 thoughts on “Last Minute Homework and an Evening with Chopin!

  1. Poor Ishaan! If I had a nickel for every time the kids’ homework wasn’t done the night before it was due, I’d be rich (and I’m not a Sagittarius!).

    Sounds like you had a wonderful musical evening…I’m not a huge classical fan, but I like Chopin and Mozart! Music is always better live, I find!

    Hugs,
    Wendy

    1. Sometimes I wonder who invented homework?? What were they thinking?

      I’ve had some great concert experiences…but then I’ve had times when the singers were just so off pitch…like a terrible episode of American Idol!! That just makes me sad…coz that’s a lot of money…straight down the drain!

      Hugs, Harsha.

  2. Do I see a hint of Picasso? A prodigy for all you know! I see Dennis the Menace thinking of what to do with the cat in his hand ;)..it truely does (to me)

    1. Maybe just a hint, Usha 😛 LOL…Dennis the Menace is just what his role model seems to be at the moment! Favorite activity includes climbing onto sofa and testing spring strength by continuous jumping!!! he’s unstoppable 😛

  3. How lovely, Harsha. The concert you attended sounds beautiful–time very well spent. You’re right about those shoes. Must have.

    I LOVED Ishaan’s artwork. Any mama who can actually get a 2-year old to sit still long enough to hold a crayon deserves a trophy.

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