In the winter of 2003, my guru, sitar maestro Pandit Krishna Mohan Bhatt, invited me to travel with him to Jaipur, India to study North Indian classical music. While I was there I learned of a music competition, and Krishna Ji's family encouraged me to sign up. Much to my amazement, I ended up winning the competition. What's more, this competition was the largest of it's kind in the state of Rajasthan, and I was the first American ever to participate.
A Cricket in the Court of Akbar documents my return to India to compete again at the Sri Mahendra Bhatt Music Competition, this time in the Tournament of Champions. I soon discover that my western identity is at odds with the Indian musical community, and that to truly pursue this art form I must understand and embrace the Guru Shishia Parampara—the important relationship between the Guru and the disciple. Sitar in hand, I attempt to navigate the ancient tenets of Hindustani music before the final face-off against India's newest generation of classical musicians.
Throughout the film, a variety of experts from India and the United States offer insight into the timely issue of global cultural exchange and the timeless appeal of North Indian classical music.
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