SMITA BHATT

Dear Margaret Auntie,

I send you my condolences for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this time. If there is anything I can do, please kindly let me know. Patric Uncle touched so many lives in such positive ways that I understand if remembering me may pose some difficulty. Yet I continue because he meant so much.

Many of life's most valued lessons he imparted during sitar lessons. These lessons were always subtle and were only offered with the best intentions. During my grade school years, I was too young to understand, but as I often reflect on those lessons, I have fond memories and remember his precious insights.

He taught music to be structured and mathematical. And yet when he played, the music became fluid and mystical He said that the beauty was in finding the balance ... to create timeless rhythms to instill

personality and life to your instrument to please the

audience by taking them on a journey to always play

with heart. This is what he gave to all of us students.

But what Patric Uncle imparted to me was so much more. He created a platform for my life. He offered me an avenue to strike a balance with life and all its challenges. Music became both a creative and a therapeutic tool. Music became a center point in my life from that moment on.

He made the learning process more than just palatable. He made us eager to learn and to excel. Patric Uncle showed me the breathing life in the sitar and the personality of the music she made. Only a devoted teacher could do such things.

On a personal note, Patric Uncle was the first person ever to believe in me. He saw something in me that I could not. Yet I believed in him, so I listened and learned and continued. I always remembered that. I remember that he took the time and offered careful words to inspire a child. Because at that time I was a curious child: confused, growing, wondering, and learning. And I was just one of many, many that he did inspire. On behalf of my parents, Vinayak and Madhavi Bhatt, who knew and loved him as well, and my brother, Shirish, whom he first taught tabla, we offer our sympathies.

Through the years I never stopped to thank you, Margaret Auntie, for your silent support of our eagerness to learn. You were always gracious, loving and willing to share your home. Patric Uncle is very fondly remembered. He has left an incredible legacy through his music and students like me. He was my Guruji and I will miss him dearly.