Final Concerto is a beautiful melodic piece. However, the story behind this piece is the total opposite to how it sounds. In fact, there is a valid reason to why I compose this piece.
This piece is originally inspired by one of my favourite Malay Literature books called, “Konserto Terakhir” (Translation: Final Concerto). I read it when I was in Secondary Year 5. It was part of the school requirement to introduce national language literature books for O-Level exam. Final Concerto happened to be on the top list hence it is widely read by all high school senior students. It is a very interesting story; and for once, I was entirely addicted to it that even after the end of O-level, I still go thru it frequently.
The plotline is very simple. It is about a village teenage boy whom went to the city and stay in his uncle’s house. However, he was ill-treated by his aunt; because according to her; he belongs to the village and has no right of an elite treatment as to those kids born and bred in the city. He was given a job as a gardener to care for his uncle’s garden as a due to his lodgement. He gladly took the offer and transformed the garden into a mini park that attracted neighbours to the house. While his aunt was very proud to show off her garden, she refused to give him credit as she insisted that he is expected to do an even better job than this. He slave himself to improve the place even further without hesitation and no doubt attracted strangers from afar to view the beauty of the garden. His aunt continues to gloat over the ownership of the garden but still no one knows of his hardwork.
While the young chap took care of the garden, he managed to spend some time having music lesson from his cousin’s friend. His social network develops as he meet new people during music lessons. One of them is his teacher’s parents.
One day, an old man came to town and heard about a house with a garden that looks like a park and he was very curious to have a look at it. He took a drive to that house and notice the young boy trimming the plants. He recognised him as his daughter’s music student. He hollered him “What are you doing there, boy?” The young chap looked up and gave him a smile, “I am doing some gardening work for my uncle. How do you like the place?” The man viewed the garden and the house and said, “You mean, this is your uncle’s house? Then why are you, the nephew, doing the gardening work? Your uncle is rich. He could easily hired a gardener to do the job. You are a talented musician. You should be practicing music; not spending time spoiling your beautiful hands here!” The young chap said, “It doesn’t matter. I love the job. I love everything that I do. I am very happy about it.” The old man was very displeased and went to consult the house owner whom turned out to be the aunt. The aunt said, the young chap is not her nephew [without noting that he is her husband's nephew!] but a stranger who comes from village. Therefore, in order to pay for his lodgement, he agreed to be the gardener. The old man was so frustrated that he requested to have the boy rather than leaving him slaving away. The aunt gladly let the boy go and off they went.
Few months after the incident, the boy grew up to be a very fine musician with fame of his own while his uncle’s garden blemish with time. However, he was fallen ill and required immediate treatment that comes from his blood family. The only blood relative is his uncle who at that time insisted his family from the village to come and rescue him. While the young man was taking his last breath, the people from the village stated that he (the uncle) is actually the biological father. By the time he grasped the news, the boy died.
The idea of the boy being ‘ill-treated’ by others, especially by his extended family, gave me the initiative to compose the piece for it. I want people to know that nobody on earth deserves to be abused by anybody else – be it mentally, physically and spiritually! We all are very special in our own ways and we need to respect each other regardless to where we are from and who we are. We need to understand that all of us deserve kindness and love even when we think we don’t need any; because without love and kindness, we are naturally fraying from being a respectful person. Only love can make us feel warm, calm, kind and wanted. Only love can guide us to be a better person each and every day.
To quote a post from some of my friends:
“Everyone goes through hard times at some point. Life isn't easy. Just something to think about. Did you know the people that are the strongest are usually the most sensitive? Did you know the people who exhibit the most kindness are the first to get mistreated? Did you know the ones who take care of others all the time are usually the ones who need it the most? Did you know the three hardest things to say are: ‘I love you’, ‘I'm sorry’, and ‘help me’? Sometimes just because a person looks happy, you have to look past their smile to see how much pain they may be in. Please take a moment to support all of those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just needs to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune.”
Nobody is immune – because we all face these on a daily basis. But we only see it from our own perspective and ignore those who are much worse than us.
Final Concerto isn’t just a story from the novel nor is it just a piece of music that loop on a playlist. It’s a contribution to those who are taking their last breath in a worst way that could have been better than this. This is especially true for those with mental illness and those looking at ways to commit suicide when there are possibilities of turning the table around.
I hope with this music ringing in your ears, you will take heart to serve those in need of help. Even a simple act of kindness will brighten someone’s day. Do it for us. Do it for the society.