‘I found out that I was the only one who could explain our music, give a comparative idea of Western and Indian music’


You have done very well. This is your centre. Ravi Shankar Institute of Music and Performing Arts in Chanakyapuri, Delhi, that you set up almost like a museum as well. If you look at all these pictures, I can see that you can speak in any language with anybody.

That's true. That has been a blessing.

From Rajiv Gandhi to George Harrison to Dalai Lama… and that looks like S D Burman.

And here you can see my son, who unfortunately died. And that's my grandson… and grandson is grown up in this one... And this is Norah, my other daughter. I am blessed with two wonderful daughters.

Two wonderfully talented daughters.

Fantastic, yeah. This is also my son. This is Ali Akbar Khan and myself in moustache. I was a Maratha and he was a baniya in this.

Well, I hope these moustaches weren't pasted with Fevicol so they would not come off for 50 years (laughs). But tell me sir, from the joy on your face, how do you defy age? May you continue to defy it forever.

I don't know, I mean I have been very lucky in my life. I have suffered many a time through different things. But you know, I consider it all my guru's blessings. I was lucky enough to have Baba Allauddin Khan as a guru…

Yes, you had a brilliant guru.

He was more of a father to me actually and his blessings and whatever training he gave is so unique that I could bring it out, not only in India, but all over the world. I feel very honoured.

But a very tough father figure…

Oh, yeah.

... contd.

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