Dear Swapan,

I think I remember having communicated with you earlier. I am glad to hear that you have been pursuing your music along with other academic and professional commitments. I gather from your mail that you seem fairly clear with the course that you wish to undertake with your musical pursuit. I would of course hesitate to say with the same degree of confidence, that I would be in a position to ‘spread’ the wealth of Indian music. Indeed, I believe that is something that I cannot for a moment venture to say, only because the tradition has lived through several ages, whether or not people like me choose to be a part of it, let alone contribute to its future prospects! I believe the tradition is far too large for me to consider myself an indispensable part of it, or at any rate make any valuable contribution to its future. I am therefore happy that you have made such an early decision to ‘spread’ this music!

From your email, it is clear that you have had the opportunity to learn from several teachers. I know Suresh Samantji well and am also happy to hear that you are currently being guided by him. I must hasten to add however, that I am not in favour of changing teachers ever so often, as this only leads to a confusion of musical ideas, technique and at times even, repertoire. I will be happy to carry on this discussion on return from the US after a couple of weeks or so. You can contact me on my mobile number xxxxxxxxxx after Sept. 10, and we can decide the best time for you to visit me in Mumbai. We will then discuss the issue threadbare, but for now I can’t assure you that I will be in a position to teach you. There are several reasons for this, and an email will not be sufficient to explain everything to you. It would therefore be best if you made the trip to Mumbai in September.