Mumbai blog – final week

Laura was back in Scotland for her birthday so we decided to have a night for her in Mumbai before she left. We went to karaoke and Amogh picked up a cake on route, without her seeing. We put her name down for karaoke, we actually put her name down to sing 5 songs but the karaoke leader said just one at a time. It ended up being Shaggy – ‘it wasn’t me’. Which Laura wasn’t over the moon about. The leader knew all the rapping so he was rapping along.

We brought out the cake and in traditional indian style it was fed to Laura by everyone else- even folk we didn’t know picked up some and fed her and also sloped it on her face. Heehee.

I had my last session with Aashansh on wednesday. I had wanted to pick up cake but the cake shop wasn’t open so early. So the best I could do was chewits. We sang through our songs and activities and sat down in a circle and I gave everyone their chewits…… Then everyone pulled out a homemade card. One at a time they came and gave their card to me. They were so sweet and said thankyou. One wasn’t finished….it was card shape with a heart cut out, no writing, handed over to me with a little shoulder shrug. Loved it.

Have really loved seeing these kids every week. Full of fun, cheek and all so sweet too.

For the last 2 weeks at gateway school Rimi and I have been making up music for the kids to play during their performance of Romeo and Juliet. It’s the first time the school is doing something like this, combining movement class, music class with the play. Had so much fun jamming ideas with Rimi. she improvised vocal lines over the top of a simple piano riff that we played round and round. It felt so good! So calm – she has the most soothing voice.

Saturday I had my last session with Muktangan teachers. We were all surprised – it had crept up. I felt bad after as I hadn’t warn them it was the last one. But I did bring mrs guest’s homemade shortbread – which they loved and said was very tasty. And these ladies know good food! The ladies said that the activities we had done in our sessions together had been useful in their own music classes – they’d be trying them all out, which was cool to hear.

On the same day I had my last session with Dharavi art room. This time I was on a mission to bring cake. I shopped around, until a lady told me to go to ‘venus cake shop’. Found it, amazing – 280 rupees for a whole cake.

Amogh came to see the kids and also Katie and Geoff from the Scottish government – who happen to be in Mumbai – came along to see the project in action. I was expecting to do a session and then eat cake but when I walked in, all the kids were gathered and shouted surprise!! They put a crown on my head- made out of a cardboard cup and gave me a bouquet of flowers made from paper. They steered me over to stand in front of a paper banner saying farewell and all the kids sang you are my sunshine to me. My eyes were welling up!! Then we sat in a circle as cake came out, I got a dollop put on my nose and fed a slice.

They also gave me a beautiful homemade card (with pop up centre), a notebook and cool illustrated coasters, which the art room sell.

What a goodbye!

Rimi joined me for the last session at St Judes cancer rehabilitation unit on Sunday. I’d asked Rimi about getting a cake for them and she organised for cake to be delivered that is suitable for the kids to eat, as not everything is good for them whilst on treatment. Rimi thinks she will carry on the music sessions with them. I was helping Rimi learn the ukulele (as well as teach myself) since the start of the residency and she can now play songs and use the ukuleles that the centre has with the kids. We’re going to carry on sharing ideas/ song chords together over internet.

Rimi gave me indian breeks for my Kerala holiday šŸ™‚ I’ve been wearing them everyday since. So comfy. We went for lunch. I’ve found a good friend in Rimi, I’m wondering how we can make music together…. Between Scotland and Mumbai.

Next day was my last day at Gateway school. I taught Rimi the piano parts to the Romeo and Juliet music we had created. There is sad tune, a happy/romantic tune and a transition melody. So she can teach the parts to the kids. We also recorded the piano accompaniment to the songs we did in class so that when it comes to the annual concert, the kids can perform with the piano recording.

This has been an incredible experience. I’m so grateful to LMN, Carol and Vicky for making it happen. I’ve learnt so much and gained really good experience. I’ve made amazing amazing friends and think my confidence has grown. Or perhaps I’ve just got a bit more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Haha. I’m so excited now to return home to play music and see everyone and mike, who’s made my trip by being so supportive.

Okay enough ooey gooey stuff

I’m going to try and surf in Kerala with my bro !








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