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‘Heart-wrenching’: B.C. man’s sitar survives Everest base camp but not Flair Airlines

Click to play video: 'Musician says airline smashed prized instrument' Musician says airline smashed prized instrument
A renowned sitar player who has performed all over the world recently had one of his prized instruments damaged while flying to Montreal on Flair Airlines. Kylie Stanton reports – May 20, 2022

A B.C. sitar player who has gained worldwide attention for his open-air performances, including playing on Mount Everest, has found his beloved instrument damaged after a recent trip.

Sharanjeet Singh recently travelled from Vancouver to Montreal on Flair Airlines this week.

But when he arrived in Montreal he found his sitar was damaged.

“I paid extra, over extra, I said ‘I don’t mind but you need to be sensitive to my instrument, this is my life,'” Singh posted in a Facebook update.

Click to play video: 'B.C. man inspired by nature puts on sitar concerts around the globe' B.C. man inspired by nature puts on sitar concerts around the globe
B.C. man inspired by nature puts on sitar concerts around the globe – May 10, 2022

When he received the instrument in Montreal, Singh noticed the Kadu Ka Tumba part of the instrument — the sitar’s body — had a big crack in it.

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“This is shattered,” Singh said. “But I am more shattered than this.”

The musician is in Montreal to play a concert and record some music and he said now he doesn’t have an instrument.

Read more: B.C. sitar player who performed at Mount Everest gains renown for open-air concerts

Singh said the sitar was deliberately broken as well as the instrument does not crack in that way inside a fiberglass case with proper padding unless it drops from a height.

He said the experience has been “emotional and tormenting.

“To see this most imperative part of your life, this most dearest possession in this shape, not even possession, your companion, is heart-wrenching.”

Singh added this is not the first time his instrument has been damaged and he wants Flair Airlines to take responsibility for what happened.

In a statement, Flair Airlines said: “Flair is currently in contact with Mr. Sharanjeet Singh Mand and working with him to arrive at a reasonable solution in these unique circumstances.”

The company did not provide any further details.

Click to play video: 'Future of Flair Airlines still up in the air' Future of Flair Airlines still up in the air
Future of Flair Airlines still up in the air – May 3, 2022

Singh recently performed at Mount Everest base camp in the latest in a series of open-air shows.

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Most times, though, it’s just him and the great outdoors.

“I say I’m performing in front of my favourite audience. Trees, skies, clouds, waves. I just play for them.”

Seven years ago, the sitar star moved to B.C. to learn Western classical music, and has since toured the West Coast performing in front of live audiences.

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