Thursday, January 30, 2014

Unexpected Tsunami

Just like that everything changed. Might even earned "bit**" title too. 

Well, I did not plan. As usual I was excited to go to the piano class, but after driving 45 minutes to the class, and in between my daughter frustrated me with her playful behavior while we were waiting for him. I just lost my smile, and as usual might have looked grumpy and unhappy when he arrived. I did not know what to say when he said, "you all might be having lot of comments on the critic sheet."

These are the comments by the judge on my son's performance of Haydn's Sonata in E minor movement 1:


I did not say anything as I did not know whether he wanted kids to comment or was he interested to know my point of view. He reads my face, and diagnoses  my mood pretty well. Whenever some kind of unsaid tension building up in between us, he will turn his face totally towards piano, no jokes, no smiles, just serious teaching without seeing my face or rather avoiding any kind of interaction. Yesterday, the whole class was so serious and totally technique. No fooling around, totally professional, undivided attention to kids and the music, just the way it was supposed to be. 

If he had given me another chance to speak my mind  about the critic sheet - I would have said it was more like a reality check. There were different layers of emotion. First one was a huge smile because of total shockness - here I was expecting a win, a major win - a grand prize. And all I heard was others names been called out.

My son use to wow the crowd. Everybody used to always come up to me and used to say: how many hours of practice he does; he is so amazing; gifted; piano prodigy...blah, blah.Here he is not even in the picture like he did not even play. Ha!

Second, I felt bad for you as they did not turn up to your expectations or the trust you laid on them or for the effort you put in them. And I felt good that you were not there during the award ceremony as it would have been an embarrassment to  face you after the results.

Third, I look like a fool for even talking to you about my grand plans for my kids to play concertos at DSO, when they are not even good enough to win this festival. Yes, this was totally a reality check. How awful it is when you as a parent to be a music illiterate. I couldn't even judge whether they were playing well or not while they were practicing for the competition. The whole time while he was practicing, he sounded good to my illiterate ears; how the hell I was supposed to know that he doesn't know the sense of arrival or not giving shapes to the phrases. I would have not sent him to a competition with full of holes, if I have had musical background.

I even feel bad for taking a sudden decision of allowing him to compete when he did not even had enough time for practice or to master the song, and thereby allowed him to fail.

But whatever happened in one way opened our eyes, and exactly made us know where they stand when they are compared with flawless pianists of same age.

That's what I would have said to him. Now, just like tsunami, my grumpy face wiped off beautifully developing friendship which was slowly filling up with affection. Just this Sunday, we walked side by side in the college hallways while waiting for the competition to take place and discussed about various topics from music to completions to favorite drinks from black coffee to French vanilla drinks. I wanted to say thank you to him for coming and supporting us by being with us the whole time. I wanted to say how special and close we are becoming in just less than five months of knowing each other. 

This is how my son prepared for the competition based on his guidance. My daughter wrote these instructions while watching the recorded version of my son's class as he was busy with school work.




Our last interaction on iMessage:

Good morning!! Thank you for your feedback, and thank you for choosing this piece for my son. Awesome class on Wednesday! You really put your soul into this piece while teaching, hope he justifies your sincere effort. I hear your voice at certain sections of the piece :).
Do we get any instant feedback from the judge? Do we have to write the measure numbers? Are you going to be there? 

This is what he commented on my daughter's help:
"Wow!!! That is terrific!! She is such a helpful little sister!  

I can't tell you the pleasure it is to work with your children!  They take everything in and absorb it, working to apply the principles and skills I seek to share. 

I am planning to be there tomorrow for the performances. It is not always possible to be present for every competition, but I am planning to attend. 
It looks like the measures are already numbered. Just bring the score with you and check in at the appropriate room. The monitor will give you a rating sheet that will be handed back to you at the conclusion of the contest. 
I'm very proud of the hard work and dedication put into this piece!  They both proving to be ready to advance in my estimation. 

My reply to his message: Still in a very happy way amazes me about how you went out of your usual way and agreed to give Pranay the "Invention" for the recital and now in such a short span decided to enter into this contest and took risk of allowing Pranay to play this piece. Well, that says a lot about how quickly you analyze people and change accordingly. Thank you for your time! Have a wonderful day!! See you tomorrow! 
**************************************************
My serious face might have given indication that I blame him for the failure, but that's not the case. I don't understand one thing is why he registered them to this competition when they did not have enough time to prepare.

As usual, whatever God wants. If the music teacher really values my whatever friendship or aquintance, he will try his best for a second chance to develop a beautiful friendship with me, or if he thinks I'm a bit**, then he'll say screw you like how a straight man thinks.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I'm a distraction

On Sunday, my kids had their first piano competition under this new male (shhh...gay) teacher. My kids till now in the past competitions always wowed the crowd. Even composers like Robert Vandall and Christopher Norton posted great comments on their rendition on YouTube. 

The Sunday competition was totally dominated by Chinese. Shockingly, my kids didn't do well at all. First of all, the piano teacher registered them too late, and second my son went through sniffles, right when he was performing, and that too for Haydn's piece "Sonata in E minor". This competition is not just being notes correct, but more about technique, confidence, dynamics, shaping phrases, articulation, and how comfortable you're while performing.

The question is how I'm a distraction. I think I'm distracting piano teacher from his responsibility. I think he enrolled my kids in this competition is to impress me. Why do i think so? Because he enrolled on the last date of enrollment, not six months ago or even a month ago. By that time, my son didn't even get formal training for the half of the piece, and conpetition was within twenty two days. His good natured actions makes me directly say good things to him, which indirectly makes him to crave for my attention. That is human psychology. If one shows interest in us, or praises highly we would like to keep that door open by overly doing more and more, just to please them.

Do you think I have a capability to turn a guy who is involved in fifteen year gay relationship into a straight guy? I don't think so it is possible. So I guess he just wants my attention like the way I do. He watches me, observes my reaction to his jokes, even gave couple of piano classes free, and even bought a side sofa from COSTCO for his room to make me feel comfortable during the waiting time while the class is going on, and even more- changed his living room setup after thirteen years(teaching years) to sit right side of piano and still be able to see me(Well, how do I know this: because in the previous class, he sat right side of the piano while teaching, which is right infront of the sofa where I was sitting..so he couldn't see me or I couldn't see his expressions....at that time, I thought weird...and just left it thinking this is how people are - just lose interest on me after a while). He indirectly finds out from kids of what we did during weekends. I was surprised when he cleverly asked my son of what we did for New year. He even wanted to teach few more classes for free but I couldn't accept as that week I chaperoned for my sons's four day field trip. When we cane back, he was so glad to see us, literally saw the expressions on his face.

This was the email I composed after he bought sofa from Costco:

"That was really a nice gesture by you to think about our comfortability and do shopping at Costco. We might have shown willingness towards the other room, but actually your room is cozy. It may take few minutes to adjust, but once you settle in, all you get is coziness and a fruitful class. 

Good to see you being back and in full spirit. Whatever reason, you really looked bright, happy and full of life. This kind of personality was absent in December. Kind of waned off at the end of [my son]'s class. Yes, understandable! 

Thank you very much for everything you do!! Whenever you're too nice, I start worrying about my behavior.  Questions creep in like was I bad somewhere or whatever. Anyway please just excuse me, if I do/did anything wrong.

Have a great weekend!!"

One reason, might be the only reason is I shower him all the time with high praises as I believe that everybody should praise openly if it is worthy of soneone's praise.

Totally funny thing is the whenever I praise on something, the following week when I meet him, he will try to do overly. I laugh within myself with his innocence and seeing how everybody loves attention.

Whatever or how short this lasts, I don't care as I'm enjoying genuine showering and getting showered. The other day when I found a hair from my eyelash, I placed it on my palm, closed my eyes and silently wished of what I desired, and blew air for the hair to fly away. They say if you blow away the hair properly, your wish will come true. My mind gave me suggestion of why not wish for him to become straight guy, but then I thought what's the use, that will only screw up his and his partner's life. So instead of that I wished us to be always forever be nice with each other with real affection.


He and his partner has really beautiful affectionate relationship. How do I know? Hmmm...heard  FACEBOOK ever. Haha! I saw their Rome and French alps pictures - nothing was together, but they took each other's pictures. His boyfriend had a cute folder with title as "what [teacher's name] is upto". And in that folder, pictures of him cooking, a surprised face when he got birthday gifts, ......so and so. Just represented a very cute relationship. 

Hope he will be a great teacher and do real justice to my kids by teaching great and doing or taking decisions in their best interest rather than just to please me.

I guess this is what is going on with him like the way I felt when I met Steward:

Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am young again
Whenever I'm alone with you
You make me feel like I am fun again

However far away
I will always love you
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
I will always love you

Monday, January 6, 2014

An another encounter with a German

Yes, another encounter with a German. Is it memorable like the last one? Oh, yes! Wait a minute...is it a good one - the one which makes you feel like you're in cloud nine - the one which makes you feel special - the one which makes you feel like you're the best - the one which makes you love yourself - the one which puts a bright smile on your face and makes the whole world a happy happy place where you feel like helping anyone or everyone? 

Unfortunately, NOOOOO.....!!! 

This encounter happened with a cop! Crying, sobbing...whatever you want to call as! TRAFFIC TICKET, second one in less than six months. Ashamed - YES, but after first ticket, I was really careful. This one was really an unfortunate one! A bad decision, but not at all harmful one...could have been excused with a warning, but the whole world wants to prove I'm fit for nothing. Stupid of me, I did not even request the officer to excuse me. Maybe he would have given warning,  but I did not, I just froze. I did not wear glasses too, so 200 more. Total fine is 430 dollars. On top of that, I cannot reduce this time as I came to know that the judge won't allow to take the course if you've already taken during twelve month period. Ahhh...the destiny! Not even the German encounter can bring out the hidden luck!