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Hello Delhi

"After a gap of eight months, I’m back here, and thrilled to be back," says Anoushka Shankar who's thrilled to be in Delhi.

entertainment Updated: Dec 04, 2009 18:15 IST
Anoushka Shankar

Hello to Delhi, from Delhi! I’m here in the city for a concert with my father, which will be happening tonight, as a matter of fact. After a gap of eight months, I’m back here, and thrilled to back. It’s the longest I’ve been away in many years and it’s a short trip on top of that, as I leave again in two days’ time. I’m fairly sad about that, because of course Delhi is one of my homes, there are so many people I’d love to catch up with, and so many places I’d have liked to have seen.

As you can imagine, however, I’m most excited about tonight’s concert. My father and I both loved playing as part of the

Music in the Park

series last March and are therefore really looking forward to doing it again. We’ve played quite a few shows together this year, in India and North America, but that particular show in Nehru Park was quite memorable for the atmosphere and beauty, so I can’t help but recommend the concert to you all! Though I hardly need use the park itself as an excuse to recommend the show, getting to see my father play live is reason enough.

He’s going to be ninety next April, and yet still continues to tour and give his all at every performance. There’s a way in which many artists start to become blasé or casual about their work. Perhaps it’s natural, because it is a job, and going on stage can start to feel quite normal. But my father never takes that fact for granted, and even after performing all these decades, he still has that respect for the audience, that his attitude is never one of a legend gracing people with his presence, but one of a sincere artist sharing his art with listeners honestly and openly, from the heart. And what comes out of him is, of course, more than mind-blowing. He still has all the virtuousity and technical brilliance, but on top of that, he makes his instrument speak with ninety years of life-experience, and I’ve never seen or heard anything like it in my life.

Tonight will also be special because we’re playing with the wonderful tabla player, Bickram Ghosh, after a gap of many years. I performed with him from when I was fourteen till I was about twenty-one, so I’m really looking forward to us being up onstage all together again. We’ll be playing at Nehru Park at 5.30 in the evening. It’s a free concert and you don’t need passes, but come early to get a good seat. On the other hand, head for the greens and grab yourself a spot on a nice patch of grass. It’s a nice opportunity to hear Indian classical music in a pretty outdoor setting rather than in a stuffy auditorium, so I’d probably choose a blanket on the grass over a chair anyway!