The Week, June 2010
I was so shocked to see the world totally helpless and shaken when the volcanic eruption in Iceland occurred. I felt so sad to see people crying and helplessly waiting to reach their homes to be with their loved ones. I myself was a witness to world travelers stranded and helpless. In the twenty first century too, unfortunately we are yet to know how to save ourselves from natural calamities. I don’t think that the world has ever seen something like this before. I sincerely hope and pray that we never see such a situation of this nature in our lifetimes again. I have the greatest reverence and love for all our eminent scientists because music is also part of science in many ways. At present I see all the great scientists busy reaching the moon and mars but I very strongly feel that we must commit and dedicate ourselves to the pains and agony of our mother nature.

I believe that what ever has to happen will always take place and no one can stop that. In spite of so many great astrologers, holy men and professional forecasters, disasters always take place. It’s the one and only super natural power, energy or god almighty, whatever we might call it who is deciding our future and destiny. Perhaps we don’t know how to surrender ourselves to that supreme energy or power.

Whenever I hear phrases like ‘we must love or help each other’, they sound to me like they are false illusions or almost like a dream. Today many countries are busy injecting hatred among children in their schools and colleges, by emphasizing concepts like materialism, modernization, ethnic divides and so on. Although development is important, inject discriminatory ideas in the minds of young children is a sin. We have no right to ruin the future of young children .I hope and pray that all youngsters of the world should experience peace, harmony, tranquility, equality, freedom and success. It is our greatest duty to inject or infuse love and compassion in every child of world. It is really very sad that today’s children are shooting and killing each other even in high schools? Who do we blame? I really don’t have the answer. They have become so intolerant and unkind, towards others and most importantly themselves. I feel so sad to hear about very young children needing temper counseling. Why does it reach that point? It’s high time for all of us to think about the role of schools in the world. There is definitely some thing seriously wrong in the education system. We must have a class where respected teachers only talk about human and spiritual aspects of life. In this class teachers should establish their relationship as Gurus, guides and preceptors.

For a better future of every child I feel that the respected parents would have to give more time to their child from there busy schedule. We have seen enough performances of all the respected schools of the world. We don’t want to meet or see robots produced by schools. The world will be richer and will be able to achieve its goal, if schools could contribute towards making kind and empathetic children.

Today I realize why my guru and father Ustaad Haafiz Ali Khan Saaheb did not allow me to go a boarding school in Gwalior Because of my music. He would invite all the teachers at to come home so that my valuable time of music is not wasted. Ironically, home schooling is a very common thing in the west.

More then music, my father was concerned about the ‘way of life’ that I would be exposed too, which is equally important and a part of music too. I did go to a few schools in Gwalior but my real education and lessons of love and value of care, blessings, consideration etc happened at home in Gwalior.

In the year 1957, my father moved to New Delhi. At this time I was exposed to a totally different world! But here I got a chance to see and hear great musicians and to meet important many people including Pandit Nehru and Dr. Rajender Prasad. With the persuasion of our well wishers and my father’s disciple’s and friends, I was admitted to a prestigious and important school of New Delhi. I will always be grateful and indebted to my school principal Mr. M. N. Kapoor and all the respected members of the staff and my friends for their love encouragement support and blessings. I was not very comfortable with the way of life in school. The school was teaching and preparing children to be good administrators, businessman, bureaucrats etc. But the kind of teachings I received or was receiving at home was so different! I believed in an old world culture and way of life. I felt a tremendous cultural clash especially because of my increasing musical responsibilities. After few years I left for the US for two months for a concert tour. My guru and father often reminded me that in one lifetime, one can’t do everything. I chose sound and music over books or the world of words.

I am not saying that all children have to make this exact choice in order to save nature or the world. However, I do believe that by choosing to imbibe more humane virtues in our daily existence, which are often reside in creative realms, we as a race can reverse some of the tumulus conditions confronting as a civilization.