The Week, June 2009
My recent orchestral venture of my Sarod Concerto ‘Samagam’ was presented with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO), earlier in May, as they were very keen to play the concerto with my Sarod. I spent ten days with the Chinese musicians in Taiwan and experienced so much love, commitment and dedication. They have some beautiful instruments which we have never seen or heard like ZHONG RAN, ERHU, YANG QIN, BEI GEHU, GEHU, GUAN, DI, PAIGU, SHENG and PIPA (a very expressive instrument). It was a great experience when Taipei Chinese Orchestra performed with me. The concert was held at the historic and prestigious Zhongshan Hall and we received a standing ovation.. I hope that we can present the concerto with the TCO soon in India so that the Indian audience can also experience the Artistry of the Taipei Chinese Orchestra. I am currently in Europe following which I do my yearly summer school at University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque in the US. Last year also I had brilliant students who were already learning European Music. I taught them vocal, tabla, Sarod and music in General. Most students are all into European music but enjoy being with me and understanding my musical journey. All my life I have tried to make my students feel music, realize music, experience music and live for music. I am trying to solve mysteries of sound and music. What is music? Why do we need music in our lives? How to appreciate music to receive positive effects of music, why one should always listen with complete concentration? What is pure music? Etc.

Just a few days ago, I visited Turkey, what a beautiful country! Every time I visited Istanbul, I was always remembered their great architects and the legendary revered poet Rumy. I performed at ‘Camal Resit Rey’ concert hall; a very beautiful one which has an immense antique value in Istanbul. I love this city; it was a very vibrant and appreciative audience, indeed a memorable concert. I have two concerts in UK; In London I play at Kings Place and the second concert is at the Town Hall in Middlesbrough. We have such beautiful memories of so many countries and venues in this world. Today I am a world citizen, I feel, I belong to the whole world, I have a home in every music lover’s heart.

Back home, my heartiest congratulations to the Congress party for the thumping victory under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh and Smt. Sonia Gandhi and all the people of India who gave such a huge mandate to the Congress party for the unity and stability of our great country. With this kind of a victory, one cannot ignore the young political leaders who have taken such a great interest for the future of India and given faith and trust to the people to bring about a change in the political approaches. The credit goes to all our young leaders for their dynamic and energetic performance during this recent election. I personally have great expectations from all the young leaders of all the parties especially Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi and their colleagues and associates. I hope and pray that may India see the light of the day with these able young leaders in the years to come and may the young hard working people of India achieve every thing they deserve and desire in their lives.

With this kind of a victory, I believe the Congress party has emerged as a strong and matured party still connected with the ideology of the past leaders like Mahatama Gandhi, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Dr. Zakir Hussain, Smt.Indira Gandhi, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi and many others. I had the honour of meeting most of these great leaders. They were our Jewels of India, I personally miss them all. I still remember the day Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru died in Delhi my parents and the whole nation was weeping. The world was shocked and sad the way Smt. Indira Gandhi and Shri. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. Being humble Classical musician, music has been way of life and the very fact of my existence. My musical homage to Smt. Indira Gandhi was Raga Priyadarshini and Raga Kamal Shree for Shri. Rajiv Gandhi. I also presented Raga Jawahar Manjari as a tribute to Pandit Nehru in London on his Birth Centenary celebrations in 1990 in presence of HRH Prince Charles as they shared the same birthday (November 14th). This was my humble token of love and reverence to our beloved leaders with whom I have had so many beautiful moments connected of my life. These tributes have been personal for me. Good luck to all of us with our new Government and the new ministers of Congress, DMK and Trinamool Congress. Here’s hoping for the most memorable term!