We recently got to experience three heart warming misical/dance performances. The first was by a french gentleman, a colleague of the Mr, who can play the guitar and has recently discovered that he can sing. This gentleman and 2 french ladies with whom he came into contact at the alliance Francaise,got together to perform some French songs at his friend's restaurant.This gentleman had invited the Mr and family. We chose a Saturday, before the French national day.We reached early and the crowds had decided to come in late for dinner so we had the singers all to ourselves for an hour or so.It was beautiful,we were handed a sheet with the songs explained and the 2 ladies seemed to sing to us and us alone, smiling and swaying in between the tables...going up to the Mr (the only male guest, all the other males were restaurant staff) and hanging about him like those hotel singers they show in films! The Mr was deeply moved..."that is the first time a lady singer has done that around me", he said bashfully and I bet we would see him blushing if the lights had not been so dim. The French songs were, but obviously, mostly about love, but the freedom of the french spirit was clear as one of their most famous song writer has penned a song on 'street walkers' or loose women. In the song the women are complaining about their low position in society. It was fascinating! Another raunchy number was about how the mother, ex-wife and ex-mistress of a no good fellow are asking his present mistress to leave him and go off with them on a all girls holiday! The second performance was of two bulbul birds and the venue was the tree in front of our house that is getting prepared to enter our balcony. These bulbuls have been coming to this tree for sometime now but on this day they were more active and playful than ever before or since! The last performance was of dance by the 13 year old grand-daughter of our landlord.The young girl goes to a dance class which was celebrating its annual day. The Mr gave this programme a miss but the kids and I had a great time. The mite was screaming "sa re ga ma pa..." at the top of his lungs throughout the performance and the brat went off to sit in the first row and came away looking really impressed by it all! I forgot to mention this but the brat had given an impromptu song performance at the behest of one of the french ladies on the evening of the french songs. She sounded so sweet on the microphone and did a decent rendition of our favourite bengali song "aha ki anondo akashe batashe" from the film Hirok Rajar Deshe by Satyajit Ray! I am so proud of my bratty baby. Unfortunately our batteries got exhausted when she was singing so we don't have a rocording of it! But we do have a recording of her singing the same song, again impromptu in Calcutta with an aktara player in the crafts bazaar 'swabhumi', will see whether I can dig that out from the family archives!