Apology – To Ms Anoushka Shankar, the Sitar Player

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Apology – To Ms Anoushka Shankar, the Sitar Player

A case of mistaken identities.

[Text and picture by Mayank Austen Soofi]

On the morning of September (nooo! November!) 27, 2008, while Bombay was being held hostage by terrorists, I talked to a few eminent Delhi wallas. One of them was sitarist Anoushka Shankar. That’s what I thought. That’s what the name I had stored in my mobile phone address book.

The next day after publishing that article, a reader claiming to be Ms Anoushka Shankar, left a comment on this blog saying,” I’m Anoushka Shankar and I never said these things.”

Impossible. I had talked to Ms Anoushka Shankar.

I was wrong. A few days later I happened to meet Anoushka Shankar, the sitarist, the second daughter of Ravi Shankar, and she confirmed that she was that ‘reader’. For evidence’s sake, I also took her picture (see above).

Later I called my phonebook’s Ms Anoushka Shankar. Yes, she is Anoushka. No, she is not a sitar player. Yes, she is a writer of children books. No, her name is spelled as Anushka, not Anoushka. No, her name is not Anoushka Shankar. It’s Anushka Ravi Shankar.


I don’t mind being accused of bad writing. But I will have no credibility left as a blogger and reporter if I pad up my pieces with false quotes. I seek forgiveness from my readers. And also from Ms Anoushka Shankar and Ms Anushka Ravi Shankar. The mistake was a farce of errors.


Transcripts of the verbal duel between Ms Anoushka Shankar and me:

Anonymous said…
How about the quotes? I assume they are all shams since mine is. I’m Anoushka Shankar and I never said these things. In fact I was in Kolkata when the attacks occurred and not in Delhi, and the whole quote is made up. As far as I know, that’s libel. Not sure if you did it yourself or picked it up from somewhere else but I wanted to point it out. I appreciate your posting about the atrocities in Mumbai and I do of course share your sentiment, but please be advised those aren’t my words.

Mayank Austen Soofi said…
I guess there must be many Anosuhkas in the world. I talked to the sitarist, Pandit Ravi Shankar’s daughter.

Anonymous said…
That was rather apparent thank you very much! Surely no one would be stupid enough to write the way I did after you clearly mentioned you were speaking of Anoushka the sitarist? I’m that Anoushka sitting in a Kolkata hotel waiting to see if we can fly to Delhi tonight after tomorrow’s Mumbai show has been sadly cancelled. And I never said those things to you- have we ever even spoken? Kindly remove my quote.

Mayank Austen Soofi said…
It’s bizarre. You sound so convincing. But I talked to Anoushka Shankar on phone yesterday. And yes, she was that Anoushka Shankar. Please send me a proof that you are that Anoushka Shankar and I will issue an apology and also remove that quote. Thanks.

Anonymous said…
How about the fact that I don’t live in Panchsheel so you’re wrong on that count? Call up the Ravi Shankar Centre in Delhi and ask to speak to me or ask if I was in Delhi two nights ago. Or look at my tour schedule for God’s sake. I can’t have been in two places at once and I was at a press conference, rehearsal, and party in Kolkata the day of the attacks, and performing there the next day (yesterday).
My next step if this doesn’t end will be to have someone from my office or management will contact you. This has been an interesting jaunt into cyberspace as I don’t normally respond to these things myself but if you’re going to stand by this ridiculous story it’s going to get lame. Come on.
I hope you and people you know are safe. Best, Anoushka

Mayank Austen Soofi said…
I stand by my quote. I won’t reply more to your comments.

Anonymous said…
Send an email to my work email address, as@anoushkashankar.com
If you go to the website you’ll see it’s me. And then I’ll reply to you and repeat the same thing, which is that you either spoke to someone else or picked this up from somewhere that misquoted OR have made it all up. If you’re so sure of your quote you should really check who you spoke to. Or maybe I should since someone is pretending to be me!!!