Be silent. Do you hear the melody?

Mellifluent notes subsume the air with as much ease as the fragrance of fresh coffee pierces the senses on a cold morning.  The vast grounds, where teams of young men are practicing, gardeners and workers resting in the shade enjoying a brief respite from labour, branches of ancient trees swaying in the breeze, those grand shadows dancing in rhythm, dark brown and golden leaves fluttering throughout the vast grounds in the cool morning; the sun bright yet benign, and the tranquil emerald lake; ripples here and there, shining like ornaments adorning a beautiful nymph. The music exhilarates everything it touches, its fluid motion

The music is grander inside the vast Assembly Hall where a group of boys are performing a violin concerto on the stage. The tall windows of the colonial era building brightens up the entire hall without necessitating any artificial source. Two boys standing in the middle are intently playing the violin eyes half open and ever so slightly swaying to the music. There is a change of pace. One of the violinists picks up from pause where the group left off. The brief silence lends its own beauty to the melody. The other violinist looks at him intently, ready for the cue, so that he can begin his part of the concerto and starts playing with the ease of a well-practiced musician. The pace changes again and the entire orchestra joins in. The conductor, a balding middle aged Falstaffian man, through a medley of hand gestures and eye contact, raises the music to a crescendo and finishes the piece on a high note.

His eyes are closed for a few seconds, lost in the joy of music, and appreciates the team’s effort with a gentle applause once he recovers. “Can you believe that this Violin Concerto was composed some three hundred years ago? The beauty of baroque music… ah. Please, go ahead, applaud yourself.” The boys looked at each other. Most of them clap enthusiastically while the boys in the middle stay stoic, holding on to their instruments in an ever so gentle manner.

The man scratches his beard and sits on the folding chair. Not minding that it is a little too small for him, and that his buttocks are juggling out from both the ends, he gives a courteous smile and invites all of them to stand before him. “If you perform exactly like this on the contest day, I’m one hundred percent sure that we won’t even qualify in the first round. Rohan and Jacob are good in their solos. The effort put in, shows. But it is a total disaster when all of you play together.  I am sorry boys, but that’s the situation here. There’s more coordination among the warring lords of Westeros than among you people. I can’t guide you through every single motion of the violin. You got to practice by yourself to perfect it.” He looks at all of them. The boys have a strangely guilty face.

“Tomorrow, same time.” With that Professor Nair dismissed the orchestra, plugged in his ear phones and started towards the school canteen.

Rohan was happy with himself. What Nair told him just reconfirmed his thesis, that he does not belong here; that his talents are being strangled in the atmosphere of mediocrity that his school is. He was in his final year in school and had already determined that he would graduate abroad and become a doctorate in Physics or Maths. “Math! That is how they say it.” He corrected his own ruminations.

Jacob started running towards the washroom. “This is going to be my death. May be I should wear a baby diaper and wear it all the time.”

“But I doubt a baby diaper would fit me?” Jacob thought as he started pissing with an unparalleled relief. He started singing then. That is one good thing about loos which he liked, they had good echo. As he checked out the mirror while stepping out he stopped and adjusted his tie. “I can’t be tied with Rohan. I mean sure, he is good. But I have to better, I want to be better. But can I do it?”