Yo-Yo Ma and World Culture

It was my first time playing with the Silk Road Ensemble and members of the New York Philharmonic for four World Premiere Concerts. Year… probably 1998!

At the end of one of the shows, Yo-Yo was throwing a dinner for all of us. (One of the Gazillion times that he has fed us poor musicians!)

As I was about to leave for the restaurant I bumped into Yo-Yo. Looking at me he, asked if I could wait for a few minutes, then we could walk there together. I waited for a few minutes, and then we were ready to leave. He had his Cello on his back and his concert clothes in his hand. I had my Tabla case, my spare tabla in a backpack, and my concert clothes in my hand.

One look at me and before I could realize what he had in mind (Not that anyone can ever guess what he has on his mind!), he was carrying my Tabla case and walking down the streets of Manhattan!

I was aghast at what followed! People were, of course, recognizing him on the street and wanted to get clicked and take his autograph… and here was this man carrying my Tablas! I ran after him and kept asking him to give back my Tabla case. But would he listen? No!

Here I was from India, who could never imagine someone my senior in music and age carrying something for me, and there he was, one of the most well known artists of the world, carrying “MY” Tabla case!

Oh, God!

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