Dedication: Guruma AnnapurnaDevi & Mamaji Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib

Revered Maaji,

  was introduced to you and Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1963 in Pav Lova by the great female singer Smt. Hirabai Badodekar. Before Ganda Bandhan, Guruji asked me to play for you. I was eight years of age. I don't remember what I played but I remember you were very pleased with me.

This golden moment turned the life of a motherless child as I was into a life full of spiritual music, strict discipline and motherly affection. Even at that age I felt a responsibility to carry on my shoulders the flag of Maihar Gharana and to uphold the names of the great legendary followers such as Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Pannalal Ghosh, yourself and others. Since that moment whenever I play, every note reminds me of all my gurus and my father who introduced me to you.

Now, more than twenty-five years after starting my career in 1976 as a youth artist, I realize the value of the strictness in you a most lovely mother and a most disciplined teacher of the tradition. I experienced this for fourteen years, commencing in 1963: those golden years in my life are an inspiration to me forever.

At the beginning of 2001, I had an opportunity to visit and play in Maihar. This had been my desire for many years since those days when Baba was alive. At that time you said: "You will not go to Maihar as a visitor but you will get an invitation to play as an artist". Your words came true and I offered my feelings through music to Dhyanesh Dada, in whose name the concert was held and who was so affectionate with me when I was studying with you. I took darshan of Baba's and Amma's tomb and was deeply touched as the whole environment there is so much filled with melodious notes and spirituality.

At the end of 2001, I met Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib in California. I was very happy to know that he is in very good health and still performing and teaching strongly at the age of eighty. We talked about the old days when I was with you as a child. These visits inspired me to bring my feelings to you in the form of this compact disc with the title Inspiration: The Golden Years. As of this April 2002, you enter your seventy-fifth year and khan Sahib enters his eightieth year. I take the opportunity to dedicate this music-this inspiration-at the feet of the two great pillars of the Maihar Gharana, whom I fondly call Maaji and Mamaji since 1963.

Chandrakant Sardeshmukh,
April 2002