Between Us Only!
The Royal Opera House.
Many Readers and Fans have been asking me why I have not commented or added to the supposed to end now discussions (sometimes still heated!) of the building and opening of The Royal Opera House! Before I start on the serious subject – let me throw in some humour here!
Humour One – During the 25th National Day celebrations, in my ex Oil Company still then – my Top Management had received some VIP Classical Opera Music Invitation Ticket to Al Bustan Palace Hotel for the celebrations. The tickets came moving downwards till it came to me. My ex boss threw in to me this bait – There is nice dinner after the show – you will surely like it! And as he knew I liked my food! So I and Madam Wife offered to take the tickets from them (for free!). The tickets needed to be used – anyway!
For my wife and I, it was a First Time to attend such a type of function! Anyway, to make a long story short, I made a Big Fool of myself of clapping at the wrong places (believe me alone and as The Starter)! Everyone looked at me – even the players! Because smart me had concluded that the music had ended (when is that dinner time?) – When actually it went to a very low crescendo – and then slowing rising again to full blast! I was clapping whenever the music went to lower crescendo – and not to be beaten in clapping!
In the break, I think it was one of The Master Conductor himself visibly upset coming with another Composer (annoyed and cross!) and an Arabic Translator (fellow Oman!) came over to me that I do ‘not make a nuisance and annoyance’ of myself in the second half by ‘waiting for those who know and or are the real experts to start clapping – ‘and then you can follow!’ – They chorused to me! Madam wife was so embarrassed – but then she does not have a sense of humour like me!
Humor Two –A good friend of mine had given me a cassette (audio) in which was some classical music. I do not know which bits they were – could be Chopin or someone else – I now forget! These bits I liked very much – and kept repeating them – again and again!
We were going for a Departmental Party and my Top Director (Expatriate) was commenting on my good choices for music (he was in my car – Majid I will go with you!).Then he said to me – I did not know that you liked classical music – and why do you like this part(forgotten now!) – And he named the part! So I was lost! What? What part?
Then he turned round and looked at me – You murdered one our National Beer (Heineken) to say it was British – when it is really Dutch!. Why did you not just say you never drink instead of lying to me (I lied Sir because I was afraid you like your Stuff – and if I said I do not drink you will look to lower estimate my potentials!). And then as the goalkeeper you let our Departmental Football Team down by being beaten with the highest number of goals (13!) in the 6-a-side Company matches. After all the things you have done –see my www.majidbooks.com – now you are murdering the Classical Music too! This is too much for me! (He did not return in my car!).
Now Seriously. Our late Father (and our Religion too!) teaches us ‘not to get involved in things that do not concern you as a Believer!’There are so many quotes in the Holy Book and the Teachings on the very same subject! Or The East Africans say – it is not you eating the chilly – so why is your mouth now feeling hot?
My life’s concepts are these – Tolerance. Moderation – Life’s give-and-take, live-and-let-live – being considerate – caring and always being kind – welcoming and accepting esteeming and respectful to everyone – and especially our ‘invited guests’ in our country! (I never cast the first stone – though!). The point also of some people feeling that they are always right and correct – and imposing these on others forcefully!
Even though I may not like the classical music that much – but Umm Kulthum, Majda Roumi (images below) etc. is something else (my twin daughter’s name!). And also other composers (Arabic ones) – and few bits here and there of other Composers. Frankly, however if you offer to give me Omani Rials 60 for a ticket – or a dinner of OMR 30 – I will go for the later!
One thing for sure I will not also do! Write all nice and grand things about this-and-that just to get attention that I too ‘am forward-looking and advanced (socially). If I did that I would not be humbly writing this column today – I would in most probabilities have retired well off as a Director level at least (I was first joiners there!). But M is M – you cannot remove a stripe from a tiger – nor a spot from a leopard! And to change at this stage?
I also know this – there is an opportunity cost in everything in life – and we are responsible for own actions – and inactions! Having said that as a proud citizen of the land – I do feel great and elated to note that we in Oman are the only second one in the Arab world (after Cairo) to have an Opera House – but I too know others will follow, copy and emulate soon! That is the Arab way for you!
You say non-committal? Your stand not clear? Confused? Frankly I have always been before – and more confused now too! J!
Majid Al Suleimany