Monday Morning Musings

Posted on December 12, 2016 under Monday Morning Musings with 3 comments

Gaudium Grandeur

“ And we’ll sit round the fire, until the wee hours,

And greet the morning sun. “

Oceanside Again. Sons of Maxwell

After some pretty low keyed weekends, this past one was a barnburner. I received all kinds of interesting invitations, none more so than the one to attend a fun evening at a private school. I won’t bore you with the details of how this transpired. Hey, when you get an invitation, I say take it!

Those of you who have been following my antics know that the neighborhood that I call home here in India is not in Beverly Hills. There’s a lot of poverty, garbage, pollution and noise. So it looked quite odd to see a sleek 2016 BMW pull up to the gates of my building to take me to the Gaudium School. I was invited as a guest of the school and was asked to spend the evening with a few hundred kids from Grade 3-8. They were having a sleep over at the school along with a talent show, assorted games and a big meal . To end the evening of festivities , they invited an up and coming female Indian singer ( she finished in the top 25 in a recent country wide talent contest ) to perform. And the warm up act? Yours truly.

The kids created their own talent show. They only had a week to plan their skit so there was quite an assortment of stuff. As you can see in the picture, the school has a lovely outdoor amphitheatre which is where the bonfire was held. They had an area set up probably fifty feet away for the two musical acts. It was poorly lit and too far from the action for my liking so I asked the principal if I could move down near the bonfire. They were able to move the PA system too.

I was told that all of the children understood English but playing for such a wide age group was going to be tricky. The opening song was a no brainer. As they were lighting the fire, I gave them a brief primer on Nova Scotia and the notion of cottages near the ocean. I sang Oceanside Again and they were clapping madly to the music. I had paid attention to the talent show, being a judge and all. There was one student who did an amazing a capella version of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I was so shocked because I didn’t think that Christmas was a big deal over here. I asked him to come up and sing it again. This time, he had a microphone, a guitar to back him up and some harmony. The other kids loved it. Then I found a kid who had a birthday and made a big deal of this. So, I just ad libbed and got the students involved… etc, etc. It was a hoot.

The Indian girl was very good and she sang in several different dialects… all a capella. I nearly dropped when she started singing John Denver’s “ Country Roads.” Being the shy type (!) I grabbed my guitar and joined her. She finished off with “ Silent Night.” I played and harmonized as every student was belting it out at the tops of their lungs. It was awesome evening and they gave me a lovely coffee table book as a gift.

Two stories coming your way. I went to my usual haunt for breakfast yesterday morning. A guy I didn’t recognize brought my meal to the table. Usually the cooks just yell and you go up and get it. He then proceeded to plunk himself down at my table. The place was nearly empty. He was picking up a big take out order and was killing time so he wanted to know where I was from and what brought me to India. He was a remarkable young man. He is a computer specialist with a Masters Degree.  He is an only child. His parents both have Masters Degrees . They spent their lives in the garment business and even though they are only in their early 60’s, their bodies are broken from the arduous work. He is going to look after them for as long as they live. He says that he owes it to them.  I am getting together with him this week and he will be the subject of an upcoming Faces in the Crowd story.

Even “follically challenged people” need to go to the barber from time to time when they get that scruffy look. I pass this place in my neighborhood every day on my way to breakfast. It is the approximate size of a small baby barn and looks like it’s been there since the city was founded. I was going to go to one of those upscale unisex places at a mall but knew that if I went to the small shop, the experience would be very different. Stay tuned for a full story called “ Beauteous” later this week. You must wonder sometimes how I can possibly write 1000 words on such mundane topics. I wonder the same thing!

Have a great week.


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3 Responses to Monday Morning Musings

  1. Noreen says:

    Love reading your Monday morning musings

  2. Sharon Bryson says:

    what a wonderful experience just before Christmas

  3. Bernice says:

    You are certainly having some great experiences, Leonard. But you must find life difficult at times. You are one tough nut!!! .

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